Last Updated: May 5th, 2013

For many people, a piercing alarm is the worst way imaginable to wake up in the morning. One moment you're in deep sleep, moments away from taking a battle axe to Bowser and rescuing Princess Peach in a lime green Lamborghini, the next you're covering your ears as a neglected smartphone wails from the side table nearby. It's bad, but it could be worse. Much worse. Spin Alarm Clock won't settle for mere acknowledgment to cease its unpleasant alarm, it demands you to spin around several times before accepting that you are, in fact, awake.

What it Does

Spin Alarm Clock doesn't look all that different from Android's default alarm clock application. Sure, it's brighter, but it still adheres to Android's Holo design interface, and the functionality is largely the same. If you rely on an Android smartphone as your daily alarm clock, you will already know how to work your way around this app. The Quick Alarm button in the bottom right is a new addition, and it allows you to create an alarm in just two clicks. It's really convenient for trying to squeak a 30 minute nap in between classes.

SpinAlarmClock1 SpinAlarmClock2 SpinAlarmClock3

What makes Spin Alarm Clock special is that it cannot be disabled with a simple swipe. You will have to get out of bed and spin around a few times before the alarm will cease. For those of you who are tired of missing work because you constantly sleep through your alarm, this may be an attractive premise.

When the alarm goes off, a screen will appear with two thumbprints on which you are to place your thumbs. A female voice will give you instructions, likely a necessity at 6 in the morning when your eyes are still refusing to cooperate. Once you spin around a pre-determined number of times, the alarm will finally fade. At this point, you are more than likely awake.

SpinAlarmClock4 SpinAlarmClock5 SpinAlarmClock6

The Problem

Even if you are awake, you will probably be so dizzy that you fall back in bed. Sleep will seem like the best way to get rid of your nausea, and you might need another alarm to alert you that you passed out again. Just don't use Spin Alarm Clock to bring you that alert. You might never make it in to work on time.

Really, I'm being generous. I'm assuming that you will have better luck than I did and actually manage to turn the alarm off. I had no such success. I spun around dozens of times, but the number of "Spins to go" never dropped. I couldn't get the on-screen indicator to show that I had completed more than an eighth of a spin.

A dozen spins later, I saw no improvement. When I needed to catch my breath, I pressed the snooze button and prepared myself for the next round of spinning. I never figured it out, and when I was tired of trying, I just pressed snooze and deleted the alarm. I'm pretty confident I would just snooze-delete were I to actually use Spin Alarm Clock to wake me up in the morning, at which point I might as well go back to using the default alarm clock.

In Brief

Spin Alarm Clock made me feel sick and cranky after using it. This was not a pleasant experience, and I can think of no better way to begin each day on the wrong side of the bed. If the default alarm clock that comes with Android really doesn't cut it for you, consider checking out the beautiful doubleTwist Alarm Clock. In the meantime, I'm still waiting for the world to stop spinning.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Christopher Saylor

    I've found sleep as Android to do so much more than the Alarm clock, all while just using the stock alarm system. It wakes you up on REM cycles, gives you useful data, and even can record you if you want to find out if you were snoring (a big issue during allergies).

    Don't reinvent what doesnt need reinvented.


  • squiddy20

    Generally for me, music gets me up quicker than a shrill, piercing alarm. To that end, I've got a Tasker profile set up so that when my alarm goes off (which itself is set to silent), it plays a "wakeup" playlist via PowerAmp. No need to have *another* alarm app.

    • http://www.tekshop.us/ TekShop

      Clever use of Tasker.

      • squiddy20

        Thanks! But I have a feeling it (or something like it) has been done before because I needed a Tasker plugin to be able to read and play the playlist.

  • Wilfredo Alarcon

    double twist alarm. Set to whatever music of choice.

    DONE. Plain and simple.

  • hyperbolic

    I need a good slap in order to wake up on time, no app for that.

    • Julio M


      • Justin Gable

        Perhaps an alarm that requires you to stare at pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker for 15 seconds before it shuts off... no one will want to go back to sleep after that!

        • Julio M

          Nor will they want to wake up to see that :D

  • http://www.tekshop.us/ TekShop

    "Spin Alarm Clock made me feel sick and cranky after using it." Why would anybody use this?

  • Justin Gable

    These alarm captcha concepts are great until you discover:

    1. Enable "Developer options"
    2. Enable "Kill app back button"

    • http://twitter.com/MisterBroke Rahulâ„¢

      you just ruined it for me!

    • blunden

      If you run CM or another custom ROM which have included it too. It is not a stock feature.

  • Freak4Dell

    I would have tried it, but it costs money, so I think I'll just continue to be a lazy bum instead.

  • GraveUypo

    i wake up half of my days to people shouting my name out my window. it's awful :

  • Abhinay Bagaria

    Hi ! I am one of the developers of the app. Thanks for the comprehensive review. It would be really helpful if you could tell me whether you were moving around or spinning on the spot. The app is supposed to work when you spin on the spot. We have tried it on a number of devices and it has always worked. Feedback would be very helpful. Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/bertelking Bertel King, Jr.

      Not a problem, I'd love to help. Yes, I was spinning around on the spot. I also tried spinning with the device held both upright and with its back facing down. If it helps, the device I tested with was the Kyocera Rise.

    • http://www.bobbychanblog.com Bobby Chan

      Hi. I am the UI/UX designer and one of the developers of the original SpinMe app for iOS http://bit.ly/17T4TxR released in March 2013. Although I think it's great that you liked our idea and design so much, however I am extremely disappointed that you infringed on our copyright and basically stole our app and gave it a flavourless and boring look. Sure you may have added a few additions, but the basic core functionality and UI/UX design remains the same. The whole idea behind the growing spinning arrow was my design, and if you look at the image below there is a striking comparison between the two... Now, I am requesting that you remove your app from the Google Play store.

      • Melissa Peterson

        Then why don't you just release an Android version yourself, as long as the design fits with the Android aesthetic.

      • Phalanger

        Sorry but you can not use a copyright claim on this. Firstly you would have to talking about something specifically copied, which you have not highlighted. Copyright does not cover ideas, it simply covers output and thus nothing above covered has infringed your copyright.

        Secondly, your claim of ideas requires a patent, however it is already obvious from your response you do not have one and any time period for lodging one has expired. In addition you have elements of previous controls which have already been standardized on many systems, so you would fail on novelty with regards to the display elements.

        Your strongest claim would be on the actual physical usage of the program, however like previously mentioned you have missed the period to protect this as the idea is now in the public domain. On top of this you would be required to prove it is a leap forwards in novelty on previous systems, which considering the mass number of these styles of applications would be very hard.

        I'd suggest you learn what competition is and make your own app better. In this case make it feature complete and accessible to other systems like android. In this case it is only your own fault someone beat you to it when you had a head start, and reflects very poorly on the retailer if they are going to make poor claims instead of actually looking after the customers.

  • http://twitter.com/Atyp3 David Steven

    It should be jumping!

  • najodleglejszu

    Puzzle Alarm Clock does the trick for me. it wakes you up with gentle ringtone and then you have to solve an easy equation or remember the color/shape sequence etc., and then after 5 or 10 minutes it asks you whether you're awake. if you don't press the button (because you've fallen asleep again), the alarm will relaunch.