Android Central

The days of the standalone bedside alarm clock are numbered, with the simple inclusion of a “clock” app on every smartphone taking over. But there are so many options out there, why settle for the app pre-loaded on your phone? Your alarm doesn't just have to be a bland beeping sound that makes you want to throw your phone across the room. Read on after the break and see the best alarm clock apps available for your device.

Wave Alarm

Android Central Android Central

Wave Alarm makes use of the front-facing camera on your phone or tablet to snooze or dismiss alarms by letting you wave over the device. You can set it to either snooze or completely disable your alarm when you swipe, or even turn off the feature if you happen to just like the clock face. Other than the waving gesture support, the alarm has a cool non-standard looking bedside clock with date, time and local weather. The app is free, with a $2.99 unlock key to remove ads and give you more color and alarm options.

Download: Wave Alarm (Free, $2.99 unlock key)

DoubleTwist Alarm Clock

Android Central Android Central

DoubleTwist may be better known for its music apps, but the developers have also created a fantastic alarm clock as well. The app overall is quite beautiful, with a grey/black/blue color scheme that takes Android holo design and smooths things ou a bit. You can set alarms manually, based on sleep cycles, based on sunrise (yikes!), or just short naps. There's an analog and digital clock face available, and several tweaks for alarm fade-in, volume and snooze time. There's a trial version with limited capabilities and a full version for just $1.99.

Download: DoubleTwist Alarm Clock ($1.99); Trial (Free)

Alarm Clock Extreme

Android Central Android Central

Alarm Clock Extreme may be a good choice for those of you that need a little help getting out of bed in the morning. Beyond complete customizability of sounds, volumes and app behaviors, this app gives you some challenging ways to snooze and dismiss alarms. If you choose, your phone will not stop ringing and vibrating until you either shake the device, solve math problems (of varying difficulty,) or fill out a "captcha" form. It's an interesting way to get your mind working and wake you up if you're a particularly heavy sleeper that wastes too much time in the morning hitting "snooze."

Download: Alarm Clock Extreme ($1.99); With ads (Free)

WakeVoice

Android Central Android Central

WakeVoice doesn't do anything fancy to silence your alarm, but it does provide a lot of userful information right after you stop it. Once you snooze or stop an alarm, the app begins to read aloud your choice of weather, news, horoscope and upcoming calendar events for the day. You can choose to receive weather for a specific city, and news can come from a default list of sources or a specific RSS feed if you choose. The default voice is a little rough (reminds me of early Google Maps voices,) but there are other options available for download. WakeVoice is free as a trial, with a full version setting you back just $2.99.

Download: WakeVoice ($2.99); Lite version (Free)

Caynax Alarm Clock

Android Central Android Central

Caynax Alarm Clock gets my pick for being extremely well designed with a crazy amount of tweaking potential. It follows holo design guidelines -- with a nice blue/grey theme -- and also has a proper tablet UI. As far as settings go, you get options to add several kinds of alarms -- quick, every day, work days, cyclic, timer, any -- to help you manage more than just waking up in the morning. The developer positions this app as having the function of both an alarm clock and a to-do list if you want it, and I could see that being the case with the granular controls available. The free version is full of features, but the paid version is only $0.99 and offers resizable widgets, removes ads and several other features.

Download: Caynax Alarm Clock ($1.99); Free version (Free)

 

Reader comments

The best alarm clock apps for Android

84 Comments

I saw the description on this app, and it's intriguing enough I may try it out. Thanks for the tip!

I agree. Gentle Alarm, with its gradual waking features that take advantage of natural sleep patterns is by far my favorite alarm I've ever had. I don't know if there's a paid version but for free it's awesome.

If you want the paid version of Gentle Alarm, you can get it off the Amazon Store which is where I got it when it was the free app of the day. I use it as my alarm on my Galaxy S3.

Yeah, I also love Gentle Alarm and am very sorry to see it wasn't included here. It's a great alarm clock app! I've been using it for years now and haven't had any need to even look at other alarm clock apps since using it.

Fave things about Gentle Alarm for me:

Very easy to enable/disable scheduled alarms.

Can easily skip next scheduled instance of alarm from main screen of the app. Very handy when a holiday/day off is coming up (like tomorrow, here in the U.S.)

Can use a music playlist for alarm, and also has a "shuffle" feature for randomizing songs played from the playlist.

Has option to ramp up the volume of the alarm over set period of time.

And finally, has option to make the "Snooze" and "Off" buttons really BIG. Makes it wonderfully easy to hit the buttons when you're waking up groggy and don't want to fuss with trying to find and press the right button. haha

Yes, Gentle Alarm is all I use. I ramp the music up over the first 2 minutes and allow it to play for 20. Excellent!

That UI is disgusting. I don't care if its the best alarm clock in the world. If it looks like crap, I won't be using it.

I second that. Great app with all kinds of customizability, and the dev support is great too! I tried other apps, some of which mentioned here, but I always found myself coming back to GA.

Gentle Alarm is hands down the greatest Android alarm clock I have ever had the joy of experiencing.

I used to used it all the time. And then yesterday. it started crashing EVERY time the alarm went off. I was 1.5 hours late for work thanks to the lack of stability.

My vote is for Alarm Clock Plus. Especially since the latest update a few weeks ago.

I'm not a heavy sleeper so "auto snooze" is amazing for me. Alarm Clock Plus goes off at the scheduled time, the volume rises for 15 seconds, then it snoozes itself. Every two minutes later it comes back on for 15 seconds (with rising volume (to avoid scaring me awake)).

There's also auto dismiss and a million other features that customize it. Quite happy or I'd try out the ones here...

BTW the update a few weeks ago (maybe even a month or two?) fixed a few minor bugs I was having and since then it's been flawless.

Totally agree. Alarm Clock Plus was the first app I ever bought and has woken me up ever since I got my original moto droid way back in the day.

I can't believe Alarm Clock Plus wasn't mentioned, it's the most customizable alarm app I've ever seen for Android. I especially love the gentle wake up feature and the nap settings.

I'm going to take a guess here and say that it probably wasn't mentioned because it and Alarm Clock Extreme are practically the same apps with the same features.

I actually paid for Alarm Clock Plus. Then, it turned on me...

It actually failed to go off *twice* and locked up my phone both times.

Late for work isn't worth $1.99...

I'll stick with stock. Never had a problem.

So far Alarm Clock Extreme is the only alarm clock I've found that will only play through my Bluetooth speakers and not both the Bluetooth and phone speakers. Anyone know of any others?

I haven't checked for a while but when I looked Alarm Clock Plus (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vp.alarmClockPlus) was best for my requirements, the main ones being:

* 100% reliable
* Ramp up time for sound
* Delayed vibration
* Emergency fallback (after specified time) to beeping if something wrong with ringtone

Its not perfect but it is very good, I'd have bought the PRO version if the author responded to feedback or bug reports.

From the Caynax alarm

"...the paid version is only $0.99 ...removes ads and several other features."

Wait a sec. I thought paying for an app unlocked MORE features, not took them away from me!

j/k of course. I know what you meant. I read it and the phrasing that you used struck me as funny :)

I don't think "best alarm clock apps" is a good title - how about "my look at alarm clocks", or "alarm clocks I have tried". As the comments already show, you didn't hit some major favorites, and "best" is so subjective for something like this that I don't think you can say that as a good journalist.

Got you to click over though, and me too. I agree this list is far from best by any measure. Including double twist is a shame, it just a prettier version of stock. And the lack of Gentle Alarm that actually has options is a shame. Damnith you, mighty click bait, for letting me down again

I'm actually pretty happy with the stock Samsung Clock/Alarm Clock on my S3, particularly the Briefing mode.

My "go to" alarm clock app used to be ALARM by DoubleTwist, but lately I've been using (and liking) the CLOCK app included in CM10.1. I assume this is also the stock clock app, but I could be wrong. With many clock apps I find the screen tends to still light up the room too much; this is a problem for me as I'm somewhat light-sensitive and need a very dark room. With the clock app from CM10.1, I don't find that it bothers me so much thanks to the NIGHT TIME mode, which seems to dim the phone significantly. One caveat is that I need to disable the data connection before going to bed, because any notification that triggers will take the clock out of night time, even if only for a little while until the notification times out. If the notification is a calendar reminder then I think it stays active until dismissed and therefore the clock app doesn't return to its previous night time setting.

Changing over from stock ROM alarm to Extreme... I will try it for a week to see just how good it wakes me up. Had one issue with the stock alarm... the media level was turned all the way down one night and it did not wake me up... I was not happy.

Extreme has a setting to over-ride the the media level... if it can do that successfully I will purchase it.

I actually really liked the stock 4.2 clock app. It looks amazing and its got a stopwatch, alarm, timer and world clock. Plus you can download it from the play store with a ton of customization options. Super cool.

Whaaaat no-one has mentioned the Good Morning alarm clock? Been using it over all others though I have tried some of these recommendations. Do yourself a favor and try it out.

I paid for doubleTwist (on sale) and don't use it because you can't get rid of the extra crap on the screen. When it's just being a clock, I want big freakin' numbers and nothing else. I use Night Clock by Ned Fox. The numbers are huge and the only other thing on the screen is a small indication of the next alarm time (or turn that off in settings). You can change the color and transparency of the numbers, tap the screen to set it to the dimmest that your phone supports, it will auto-rotate to landscape mode in the dock even if auto-rotate is off, it will auto-rotate to the opposite landscape position so you can use a charger without a dock, and it can be set to automatically silence your phone other than alarms.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.neddashfox.nightclock

I have used Night Clock for quite a while now. Works great but since the upgrade to ICS I haven't been able to turn off the backlit button row.

What about gentle alarm? It's nice because it wakes you up slowly, not all at once. Oh, I just noticed some of you guys mentioned it already. It's my favorite alarm app and should have been mentioned here!

Night Clock, by Ned Fox, is my favorite clock. It uses the built in Android alarm, if you want, and the screen is simple black with the option to change the color on the numbers. On my Note II the black background is inky black and looks amazing in total darkness.

Bought the DoubleTwist app and I love it. I believe I got it on sale for $.25. The analog clock has a relaxing look and has a little bit of charm to it. I forget it has a nap timer that I really need to use. It's difficult for me to sleep at night, but in the middle of the day if I'm not working, I can fall asleep in minutes. I may the sunrise and sleep cycle alarms a try as well.

AlarmDroid is my choice. It has "send audio from bluetooth" option which is a must for me cause i have a Philips AS141 Fidelio Android Dock. It also have a lot of options wheter you want to solve math while you waking up or a quite sound before the actual alarm rings or a full playlist randomly playing.

You might want to take a look at:

Morning Routine
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.havchr.mr2&hl=en

Think of this:
At the defined time, the alarm goes off and you can only stop it by scanning the barcode of the milk package in the fridge. You can define which barcode stops the alarm beforehand. Like, the barcode on the toothpaste or shampoo bottle or whatever product is out of your reach, while you are lying in your bed.

Like this, you are awake, because you had to walk into other rooms.

Based on this article I installed Wave Alarm and paid my $2.99 to get rid of the ads and get the upgrade..ads still there. How annoying. Gentle Alarm has been my Go To for years. Going back To It.

" "best" is so subjective for something like this"

+1. I have three criteria for the best alarm clock, and none of them are mentioned in this review.

The first is that it be completely reliable. That includes the human interface. I tried so many alarm clock apps through the years that didn't give enough feedback. It was too easy to go through a bunch of settings and, at the end, not know that the alarm was never set, or that it was set for PM instead of AM, or the volume was off, or whatever.

The second is that the display should remain on if the phone is charging. Moving the time around the display is a bonus. Dimming the display when it's dark is a bonus. Showing the time in large, clear numbers is a bonus. But a clock is not useful if I can't easily see what time it is if I wake up in the middle of the night. A lot of apps do this, but again it's not specifically mentioned.

The third is perhaps the most unusual requirement. I am a light sleeper. I wake up easily and get out of bed immediately. Many days I want to get up before my wife, and I don't want to bother her with loud, obnoxious noises while I try to figure out where the "off" button is. And most especially, I don't want to bother her if I find the more popular "snooze" button and the alarm starts off again while I'm downstairs stretching.

Alarm Clock Plus is the first app I found that meets all three criteria. And as an incredible bonus, I can configure it so it makes its wake-up tone just once, then shuts down until the next day. I don't need to find the off button. For that feature alone I gladly paid a considerable bit more than the $0.99 they charge for the full version these days.

Well put. In regards to your criteria, I would also suggest Gentle Alarm since it has the ability to start alarm (or music) off very quietly with customized duration (prior to wake time) of increase in alarm. This might be helpful if you are a lighter sleeper than your wife. Also, the Snooze and Off buttons are the same large size.

might I suggest nfc alarm clock... my phone is not nfc capable but this alarm works both ways.... its special too... instead of pressing the snooze button, you have to solve a math equation or play a matching card game... and even then, it checks on you in five minutes and if you are not awake to respond in time, there goes that ever horrifying sound...

+1 for Gentle Alarm on SGS3. Love all the tweaks. It just needs a UI facelift (similar to stock) and It would be perfect

My phone (and Google Music) has replaced my iPod in every way but one: alarm clock. It goes in the dock, I pick my tunes and I'm awoken by Ponies or Disney or Daughtry. And while DoubleTwist allows me to wake up to a song that I've stored on my phone, I want an alarm that just turns on the music player and lets me hit the next track button when I come to song I'm not feeling. Is there an app for that, because Tasker's come the closest but it isn't quite there (unless I'm doing something wrong).

Can the wonderful, wonderful world of Android let its flagship music player be used as an alarm clock? Could Google let that happen? -Ara

Hey there, does anyone know what the clock app is that's used on the top picture in the article? It's shown on a tablet and also on a phone, I'd love to know as ive been looking for a plain flip clock that works in both landscape and portrait mode.
Many thanks guys.

OK, here's my 2 cents. These aren't necessarily alarm apps, they are much more.

Sleep as Android is my #1 - sleep tracking, graphs, charts, etc. Wake to alarm, or playlist (just wish it had internet stream). And alarms are generated by your sleep patterns. This really works, it'll wait till you are out of deep sleep to wake you (20 minute no alarm snooze if you will). It also has puzzle alarms, lucid dreaming, sleep talk recorder, and a decent night clock. I really can't believe it wasn't mentioned. It's the end all be all of sleep and alarm apps. According to the app itself, I've gained 2~3 hours sleep per week and increased my deep sleep by 30% using it as a guide to when to go to bed and wake up.

#2 would go to tune-in radio - not an alarm app but does have a wake to radio station feature and some sleep settings. Always been my backup or weekend alarm clock.

I also use Sleep as Android and bought the extra analysis addon. I like knowing how much sleep I get and the extra analysis gives me lots of data to which I go "How am I still alive?"

I installed some of the talking ones, but I'll try them out on the weekend (I have trust issues with apps.)

I'll need to try that out! ... only issue I have with those of apps is that you usually need to put the phone under your pillow or quite close by. Something about having those radiowaves so close to your head... Can't be good.

Alarm Clock Extreme has been really good for me so far.

I like Caynax the most, however, it's licensing system sucks, it makes the app useless when I am offline!

Can any of these alarms be set to notify (vibrate, preferably) at set intervals, like every 30 minutes, and automatically shut off until the next cycle is due?

Alarm Clock Plus for me. Customisation is endless, including the night time settings. Access to pre-identified apps from its 'homescreen' or not; just as easily disabled (my choice). Math problem solving to make it shut up, if you need that. Personally, I'd prefer to keep my devices in one piece rather than in bits near the bedroom door!

Weather announcements are pulled from the ROM's weather app rather than there being any choice involved, which is a little disappointing. Colours (yes, there's a U in there!) of font, choice of font for the main clock app, layout, sizing is all there.

Its never let me down, so far. It does everything I think I need and stuff I don't want, so I turn it off.

Try it.

I use Dock Clock (free). The options, fonts and colors are great. Essentially it stays on by my bedside while it's charged nightly. Lovin' it...

Greetings -

I used to be able to assign a song from my library to an alarm. Can anyone *please* explain what happened to that feature? I did this using the "stock" alarm that came with the Anroid.

I use the stock Alarm app, but I use the audio from the Alarm Clock scene in Groundhog day, the few seconds of "I've got you babe" followed by the 2 DJ's talking about the Blizzard and Phil.

There's a new app out called Life Time Alarm Clock. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mcc.alarmclocklifetime This really should be one of the top alarms on this list.

For one the design is great - very "apple" like but without the "apple" lack of features. Every feature you can think of, curated alarm tones, and some features NOBODY else has. For one, you limit your snoozes by the minute, not the number of snoozes - this really stops over-snoozing. Plus, they allow you to adjust your snooze time WHILE YOU ARE IN THE ALARM (if you allow it)!

Another sweet feature is the ability to push the next alarm back, or ring the next alarm early, and then after that day, it's back to normal. This is great for times you just need to stick your clothes in the dryer one morning, or you just want to sleep in extra one morning.