Alarm Clock by doubleTwist for Android makes waking up less sucky

Awhile back doubleTwist decided to dabble in something other than media sync and cooked up a simple alarm clock Android app. Fast forward a few months, and it's now featured prominently in Google Play, but what's so great about it? After all, there's only so much you can do with an alarm clock, right?

All of the core functions are there, such as repeating and multiple alarms, each with custom labels and user-picked sounds and volume. There are flip and analog-style faces with a low-brightness nightstand mode available, plus custom snooze durations and vibration toggles. Beyond that, things get a bit more interesting.

Instead of setting alarms for just any ol' time, doubleTwist's app offers ideal times to set alarms in line with common sleep cycle durations. That way, you can either figure out what time you should go to sleep if you want to get up for a certain hour, or what time would be best to wake up without messing with your natural rhythm.  Based on your location and the latest weather reports, the app can also figure out what time the sun is rising, if you're the type to go by Mother Nature's alarm clock.  

Function

Alarm Clock.

Congratulations if you are one of those people the get up when the sun rises, but you are a better human than I am. There's great novelty value in the Alarm Clock app being able to figure out what time the sun's coming up, but on a day-to-day basis, I see no practical use for it. On the flip side, the sleep cycle predictor comes in really helpful; personally, I do well on 6 hours of sleep or 8 hours, but if I wake up after 7, the whole day goes to hell. A small slider along the bottom shows how much longer until the next alarm goes off, which is a nice touch. 

While doubleTwist's Alarm Clock offers the ability to use playlists or individual songs stored on your Android device as an alarm sound, there's a catch: you have to download and use doubleTwist player. If you already use it, then that's not a big deal, but it's kind of a chore having to keep something like that installed if all you want is music ringtones. On the one hand, I can't blame doubleTwist for plugging into their previous product, but having it as the exclusive option feels pushy. Is there any good reason it couldn't support the native music app?

The app handles all of the basic functions that the system clock does, except for a few, like deciding what the volume keys do during an alarm, and setting an auto-silence after an alarm has gone on long enough. 

Style

Alarm Clock.

The user interface is extremely well polished all around. Textures have smooth gradients, the layout is functional and unique, and the app font is quite classy. There's a live wallpaper included that toggles between day and night types with a tap, and includes an indicator for when the next alarm is due to go off. The live wallpaper is nice and all, but it would be great to have some extra variety. For example, HTC loads up a bajillion-and-one clock widgets on their handsets, and it would be nice to see a similar variety in a dedicated clock app with this much emphasis on looks.

Speaking of widgets, it would be really handy to have at least one, either for toggling multiple alarms on and off, setting new ones, seeing when the next one is coming up, or a few clock faces themselves that could act as an alternative to the live wallpaper. 

The good

  • Smooth user interface
  • Smart alarm time predictions based on sleep cycles

The bad

  • Music alarms require doubleTwist Player
  • No home screen widget

Conclusion 

As nice as doubleTwist's Alarm Clock is, is it really so much better than the stock offering as to be worth $1.99? Is any alarm app? I'm perfectly happy with the default app, and there are plenty of free alternatives available for those looking to mix it up. Try out the plethora of freebies available before spending any money on doubleTwist's; with any luck, your needs will be met without spending a dime.  

Download: Alarm Clock by doubleTwist

 
There are 18 comments

w00x says:

I didn't like this app. The "sleep cycle" thing is pretty neat but that's about it. I've been using Alarm Droid for over a year now and am loving the features. Even if it's as ugly as they get.

ps4rh says:

This is a nice looking app, but it's not a patch on Sleep As Droid, which is a good (if horribly complex) riff on Sleep Cycle for iOS. It really isn't better than the stock app, as the author notes above.

It would be nice if doubleTwist's sleep cycle system actually measured rhythms with the accelerometer like Sleep As Droid does, but without the complexity of that app.

coraphise says:

Dang, that looked good too right up until there was that $1.99 price tag. Not that it's expensive... but as you say, free and functional works just as well. :)

doz says:

Does anyone know of an alarm app (preferably free) that is like the "smart alarm" on the Samsung galaxy phones? It had sounds that would ramp up in volume over time, found it very effective actually. It is one of the very few things I miss now that I'm running CM9.

HuskerDad3 says:

I use Alarm Clock Extreme and it has the volume ramping feature. You can also make it ask you a math question to turn off the alarm. I love this feature, because I can't turn off the alarm when I'm half asleep and be late for work. :-)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alarmclock.xtreme.free...

schmogo says:

Great app. There are a ton of settings to get the alarm just right to wake you up.

cbinsa says:

Kaloer clock will ramp up the sound too.

olorin says:

Gentle Alarm does exactly that! I have been using it for at least 8-9 months & love it! I love the volume starting quiet & gradually getting louder.... plus it has most of the features that doubletwist placed in theirs!

prbigo91 says:

I use Alarm Clock Plus by CVP. I have been using it since acquiring my first Android phone (EVO 4G). It works great. You can set the alarm to suto snooze and auto dismiss and allow the alarm sound to increase in volume while it is going off. You can also set the duration of how long you want the alarm to ring for, how many times you want it to ring and automatically snooze and have it auto dismiss itself after the number of snoozes it was set for. It is a great app. There is also a free version with ads.

mobilewill says:

I use Gentle alarm and its worth every penny. I even use it on a Samsung Galaxy S phone(s).

dcreed says:

I'll second the vote for Alarm Clock Plus/Free by CVP. Nice home screen widget to set an alarm for X minutes from now, too. For a nap, reminder to get the laundry out, etc.

Cares says:

I tried this app out but I can't figure out how to make it respond to voice commands. With all other alarm apps I can hold down the voice control button and say "alarm 5 minutes" "alarm 6:06am" and it'll let me choose what alarm app (option to always use the app) to set it with. This alarm doesn't show up on the options.

moosc says:

Where video player feature? Give me a alarm clock app with it I'll buy it

wicketr says:

I started using Wayk recently and really like it.

You can wave your hand over the phone to make it snooze
Speak to it to snooze a certain amount of time (ie, "snooze 18 minutes")
Volume Ramp Up
When you wake up it will read you the titles from your favorite news feeds
As well as the current weather and conditions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWmieWQqUWg

Also the the developer is fairly responsive to user feedback. They they have alot planned for it.

cbinsa says:

I'm looking for an alarm clock that will screen off at night and then light up if I touch the screen. Any suggestions?

icu says:

Gentle Alarm offered the "bio-rhythm" alarm like this a while back. Used them for a long time - currently using Alarm Clock Extreme which has a nice set of features while being easy to use. Also has a countdown timer which comes in handy.

I was tempted to try this app, but reliability is most important to me so if it ain't broke...

budwizer says:

I've been using Alarm Clock Plus and been very pleased with it. Has the gradual ringer increase, etc. Check it out.

I got this on sale for $.99 and it is a great, beautiful alarm and clock. I use the option to use sleep cycles a lot, and it is really nice and helpful, as well as some of the clock options, particularly the flip clock option, which I use on the road. I only wish I could have music alarms without the DoubleTwist player, but you can use your own ringtones, and fortunately I have made a ton of custom music ringtones, which make for great alarms. Still, I would hesitate for 2 bucks, maybe wait and see if they drop if down to a dollar, which would make it a good deal.