As I’m sure you are well-aware, the iPhone’s stock Clock app has an in-built alarm function. It’s probably one of the most regularly used features of the iPhone and any smartphone for that matter. So why would you want to take the time to download, maybe even pay for, a separate app that only completes an already available feature?
The short answer is the need for a better experience.
The iOS Clock app is ok and it gets the job done (most of the time, barring the odd bug). I would say that it’s perfectly usable for the vast majority of users. But Rise alarm clock for iPhone and iPad is delightfully designed and effortless to use. It also offers some functionality that its stock iOS competitor lacks.
In the design department, Rise blows the stock Clock app out of the water, both in terms of how it works and how it looks.
It’s easy to set an alarm: just swipe your finger up or down the screen to adjust the time to the nearest quarter of an hour (or nearest 5 mins on iPad). You can then adjust the time more closely by tapping above or below the time.
What’s really nice about the process of setting an alarm is Rise’s use of colour. The colour changes depending on the time you select and represents a setting or rising sun as you move across the hours. Then just swipe left or right to switch the alarm on and the background goes dark with the text changing to the colour the background once was.
Once an alarm is set, the app displays the number of hours and minutes ‘until rise’ which will ensure you get to bed earlier, if nothing else.
Setting a tone or song to wake up to is easy and the app allows you to fade in the sound for a less jarring wake up.
One of my favourite features in Rise is the ability to shake to snooze on the iPhone. When sleepy and blurry-eyed, this is much easier than trying to locate and tap a snooze button.
The main complaint I have about the app, and it is the fault of iOS and its APIs, is that Rise has to be running in the foreground for all of the functions to work. This could cause major trouble if you forget to open the app before you go to bed. Rise defaults to a regular alarm notification in this case, but if you have Do Not Disturb set, you won’t get that notification and won’t wake up.
Another issue is the app’s inability to set more than one recurring alarm. This is probably not much of an issue for most people who get up at a certain time every day, but I’m sure a few would really appreciate multiple recurring alarms.
Rise, normally priced at $1.49/£1.99, is currently the free App of the Week on the App Store so now is the perfect time to grab it. Try it out and let me know if you think it could replace your current alarm clock of choice.
TiP rating: 7/10
iTunes link: Rise