To my – and my employers' – chagrin, I am not what you would call a morning person. Call on me anytime after 11am till late into the night and I am game to get up to all kinds of trouble—but rolling out of bed in the morning is simply not my forte.
However, duty calls, and luckily the Android platform is abuzz (geddit?) with alarm clock applications. Avid app tester and notorious morning curmudgeon that I am, I have tried out my fair share of wake up apps. Today let's take a closer look at Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed and find out if it can get me out of bed at a civilised hour.
Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Galaxy Tab
The first thing I noticed about Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed is the somewhat unfortunate app name, because Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed is also known as Goob Alarm (as in Get Out Of Bed Alarm). My guess is as good as yours as to why the app needs two names. Also, I couldn't help but notice the spacing issue in the app name. But, double names and missing spaces aside, I decided to give the app a go. After all, the Market description sounded promising and includes a funny, minimalistic little intro video, it's gotten great reviews by other users and it's free to boot.
The required permissions seem reasonable enough; the only one I couldn't quite follow at first is why the app needs to be able to access personal information. Feedback from the developers states that the reason the application needs to access personal info is because it will add calendar events in instances when users have attempted to force close the app rather than getting out of bed. So, it all seems harmless enough and installing the application only takes a moment.
On the app's welcome screen you will find two icons on the top right. Start by hitting the question mark; this is where you'll find brief yet concise instructions for how to start setting up an alarm.
Basically, the app's concept is that the duration of the alarm is coupled to the signal strength of the WiFi. This means that users can opt for a setting which will keep the alarm tone going until you actually get out of bed and walk over to where your router is located. Simple yet ingenuous, right? Because every early-morning nay-sayer knows that the trick to getting up is not having a dozen snooze options, but quite simply getting out of bed.
Alternatively, if you're router is located very near you bed you can edit settings so that you have to walk away from the router in order to switch off the alarm.
There's a decent amount of settings to allow users to personalise their alarms, but not so many so as to be overwhelming. Settings options include:
- Two separate alarm clocks for week days and the weekend
- Repeat alarm option: Select the days on which you wish to be woken up at a set time
- WiFi Strength: This is where you can determine how close you want to have to get in order to deactivate the alarm. Once you're close/or far away enough from the router you can simply hit the dismiss button to switch off the alarm clock
- Ringtone or Select music
- Crescendo: Gradually increases the alarm volume (duration of time adjustable)
I've been using the application over a few weeks now and it really works. Unless you're happy to lie in bed with a pillow over your head to block out sounds, you are forced to get up and walk over to the router (or away from it, as outlined earlier), and for me this does the trick.
For those (lucky) users for whom a more classic alarm mode suffices to rouse them from sleep, Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed / Goob Alarm also comes with more traditional alarm concepts. Go to settings and hit 'Dismiss types' for the following alternatives to the WiFi alarm:
- Dismiss button
- Snooze button
Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed gets me out of bed, and that's all I'm looking for in an alarm clock. I find this method to be more effective than having to solve math equations or puzzles, but that's for everyone to decide for themselves.
So far the application has been reliable, save for a few days when there were problems with our WiFi connection, but the application can't be held accountable for this.
Screen & Controls
Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed comes with basic controls and design. The application is functional and easy to use in a no fuss, and while the graphics are very simple they have a cute vibe about them.
Speed & Stability
As mentioned, Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed acted up a few times, but my guess is that the fault lies with our router rather than the application. Other than this the alarm function is reliable.
Alarm Clock,wake up guaranteed can be downloaded for free from Google Play. It features ad banners, but they are discreet.