Better Ways to Wake Up: Unique Alarm Clock Apps for Android

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clock appsWake up! Isn’t it great when someone shakes you up in the morning and makes absolutely sure you’re up? If you’re a serial snoozer like me, you know all about stretching your alarm from five more minutes to two more hours, only to realize you weren’t really up and thinking straight when all of it happened. Yes, waking up can be a tiresome process, but with smartphones, it can become easier, and even more fun.

Did you know you can easily find apps to help you get up in the morning? I don’t mean simple alarm clock apps 3 Unique Android Alarm Clocks To Get You Out Of Bed Faster Getting up early in the morning is one of the most dreaded moments of the day for most of us. A cozy and warm bed, competing with dark winter days and cold bathrooms, doesn't make... Read More that sound an alarm when you tell them to, I mean special apps that force you to play games, scan barcodes, or dock your phone in your car to make sure you’re really up; apps that use your sleep cycles or the sun to determine the best time for you to wake up; apps that read the news to you while you’re still looking for the snooze button. Sounds like a good way to wake up?

Alarm Clock Xtreme

clock apps

Alarm Clock Xtreme is actually my current alarm clock of choice, and while its interface is usual enough, it offers some unique features when it comes to snoozing your alarm. The app is pretty customizable, and lets you fine-tune anything from alarm sounds and color schemes to snooze duration and dismiss options. You can set several alarms at once, have an alarm go off on certain days and not on others, and easily activate or deactivate any alarms on your list.

So what’s unique about the snooze method? As you can see in the screenshot, you can simply tap a snooze button to snooze, but you can also choose to press the phone’s physical side buttons, shake the device, or even solve a math problem. It gets even more interesting if you want to dismiss the alarm: Here you can also choose to enter a captcha or place the phone in a car dock. The latter means the only way to dismiss the alarm is to actually get in your car – that will make sure you’re up!

Alarm Clock Xtreme also comes with a timer, and you can add a stopwatch to it as well, if you want.

Download: Free with ads. $1.99 without ads.

Gentle Alarm

android alarm clock

Gentle Alarm is a very well-known alarm clock app, and no list is complete without it. Gentle Alarm can be anything you want it to be, from the most generic alarm-clock app, to the most unique one you can find. Aside from the regular alarms you can set for certain days (free version doesn’t ring on Wednesdays), there are lots of other features you can configure and control. Similar to Alarm Clock Xtreme, snoozing or dismissing can be done by solving a math problem or by repeating a dot pattern.

You can also set a pre-alarm to go off at some point before you actually want to wake up, which is supposed to help you wake up fresher. The screen can be set to turn on gradually so as to not blind you when you try to hit that snooze button, and you can control every aspect of the alarm sound, from its maximal volume to it’s fade-in duration.

Gentle Alarm can also be configured to listen to voice commands, read a message out loud with the alarm, and do many other crazy things. If you’re curious, you can read our full review of Gentle Alarm Gentle Alarm - A Fantastic Way To Wake Up Gradually Every Morning [Android 1.5+] Gentle Alarm is everything I could wish for in an alarm clock. Its paid version (linked) costs around $3, and yet has over 50,000 downloads with a 4.5-star average out of 7,475 reviews. In fact,... Read More , or just download the clock app and try it!

Download: Free, doesn’t go off on Wednesdays. $2.70 for full version.

DoubleTwist Alarm Clock [2.2+]

android alarm clock

Before I even start on its features, DoubleTwist Alarm Clock is unique just for its interface. Many alarm-clock apps have an interface that leaves something to be desired, but DoubleTwist Alarm Clock is one of the best-looking apps I’ve seen in a while. The interface alone makes this app worth checking out, but there are other unique features worth looking at. Every alarm you add can be a regular one, but it can also depend on your sleep cycle or the sunrise, if you’re into that sort of thing. There’s also a special alarm for naps that are 60 minutes long or less, which lets you set up a quick alarm without having to calculate when you want to wake up.

You might be familiar with DoubleTwist player doubleTwist: A Simple & Clean Music App With Desktop Synchronization [Android] Ask anyone what their favorite Android music player is and you’ll get a dozen answers. The worst (or best) part is that each of those answers is perfectly viable. There are so many apps to... Read More – a well-known music player for Android – and if you download it too, you’ll get some additional alarm-clock features such as waking up to a specific song or a playlist. DoubleTwist Alarm Clock is free to try for 7 days. After that, you’ll have to get the paid version of the clock app, but for $1.99, it’s worth it.

Download: $1.99 full version.

WakeVoice [2.1+]

android alarm clock

If you’re bored with the plain old act of waking up, WakeVoice can make the whole experience a little more interesting. With its weather, news, radio and horoscope features, WakeVoice can feed you all this information as soon as you wake up, with text-to-speech or without, or even while the alarm is still sounding. WakeVoice’s interface is nice compared to other clocks, and can be customized to show your local weather, news from your favorite source (including custom RSS), events from your calendar, and your personal horoscope. You can also set up WakeVoice to recognize speech, and use your voice to control several of its operations.

The free version of WakeVoice can only play 10 alarms, and that’s it. After that, you’ll have to get the full version for $2.59.

Download: Free trial, 10 alarms only. $2.59 full version.

I Can’t Wake Up! [2.1+]

mobile alarm clock

If you’re really having trouble waking up, and no simple math problem or sequence repeat can solve it, I Can’t Wake Up! could be what you’re looking for. This alarm clock comes with not one, not two, but 8 different wake-up games. Among these challenges you’ll find a memory game, a rewrite challenge, a pairs matching game, etc. You can also choose to scan a barcode to stop the alarm, or shake your phone until you fill up the green circle.

Worried about getting to know one game too well? You can set the app up to show a random one every time an alarm goes off, so you’re always on your toes. The app includes everything else you can expect from an alarm app, such as multiple alarms, snooze control, etc.

The free version of the clock app is ad-supported. You can get rid of ads by paying $3.10.

Download: Free version, with ads. $3.10 version, no ads.

UNIQLO Wake Up [No Longer Available]

clock apps

And now for something completely different: an alarm clock that changes with the weather. As you can see from the screenshots above, UNIQLO Uniqlo Wake Up: An Alarm Clock Tone That Varies With The Weather [iOS & Android] Read More doesn’t look anything like the other apps on this list. With its bright pastel colors and its sweet music and vocals, this app won’t suit everyone, but if the look appeals to you, it’s definitely worth a try.

UNIQLO is completely free with no ads or restrictions, but doesn’t come with many features. You can set an alarm or a recurring alarm, and set how long your snooze will be, and that’s about it for alarms. The alarm will go off with an icon and color to fit the weather, and will play a little tune to match. It will also tell you what day it is and what the weather is like. Interesting take on alarm clocks.

Bottom Line

Which apps you go for depends on what kind of wake up you want to have. It also depends on which of these apps appeals to you the most visually. As for me, I’m seriously considering switching to doubleTwist Alarm Clock. I have a weak spot for beautiful apps.

If you’re looking for something even more unique, you could try using social pressure to wake up. An interesting idea, if you think it’ll work for you.

What is your clock app of choice? What’s the best and easiest way to wake up in your book?

Image credit: Woman waking up image via Shutterstock

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  1. Paul Schmidt
    February 6, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Actually I use "Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock" AKA "Personal Sunrise". This is a very gentle way to wake up. My spouse loves it (and the cat too!) ;)

  2. Anonymous
    August 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Is the sound of your alarm clock driving you crazy every morning? Is your sleep alarm makes you frustrated every time you wake up? or Do you literally want to smash your alarm clock every time it goes off? It doesn't have to be that way.

    Welcome to the newest revolution in waking up…its WAKER, the best and free alarm app that makes you wake up fresh, motivated, sooth and cool.

    To download it: please go to google play app, search for "Waker", here it is!

  3. Ben
    August 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I like the "quick nap" option on the doubletwist alarm. Handy for those long days when I need a powernap in the evening :)
    I have been using a natural sunrise alarm (Electric Dawn) for my work days. A much more gentle wakeup rather than a sudden jolt and groggy morning.
    [Broken Link Removed]

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks Ben! Electric Dawn looks like a really cool app.

  4. Zaam Mohamed
    March 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    people will press three answers and sleep :D

  5. ??????? ????????
    March 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I use Sleep if you can. To turn it off, you have to go to the registered place and take a picture. Works for me.

  6. Gary Mundy
    March 16, 2013 at 3:30 am

    To many choices.

  7. Grr
    March 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I just ensure to hit the snooze button everytime. lol

  8. Sayed Iftekhar
    March 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Sleep as Android - lots of functionality there !

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm


  9. Guy McDowell
    March 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I've been using Sleep as Android for a few days now. The thought was that it would get to know my sleep patterns and wake me at the peak of a light sleep cycle that was closest to the time that I wanted to get up.

    So far, it's waking me up at the earliest possible time - usually 30 minutes before I'd like to get up - and waking me from deep sleep. Maybe it just needs more time to monitor my sleep patterns before it gets it right.

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      I had a bad experience with that app. I can't say if it worked or not, but Erez used it to wake up, and it always woke ME up at the worst time. Might have worked for him, though.

  10. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    March 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    While UNIQLO is beautiful, safe to say it'll just make me oversleep more, instead of less.

  11. Kenzie M
    March 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Nice writeup, I've really been in need of a decent alarm app for a heavy sleeper like myself.

  12. macwitty
    March 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I think I have to go for I Can’t Wake Up! and use some of the games to be sure i wake up - not just put of the alarm in sleep

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      I'm afraid I'll just be desensitized to alarm sound and let it rings as I sleep through.

  13. Nevzat A
    March 15, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I also use "Alarm Clock Xtreme" and I didn't regret I bought it. Excellent app.

  14. techguyknows
    March 15, 2013 at 5:48 am

    The one which you need to solve problems before stopping the alarm is really cool!

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      And really geeky too!