Most of us probably replaced our old and clunky bedside clocks with smartphones ages ago. With a built-in alarm and an always-active battery backup, it's usually a reliable way to get up in the morning. However, throughout this week, Google's Clock app hasn't been activating alarms properly for some users, causing massive headaches for anyone afflicted. Thankfully, a fix has arrived.
Wow, talk about a blast from the past. The gorgeous Timely Alarm Clock showed up on the Play Store in the summer of 2013, an example of what well-designed Android apps should look like in the Jelly Bean era. Just a few months later, Google gobbled up the developer Bitspin, and made all of the pretty add-ons for Timely free.
Can't go clubbing 'cause of Coronavirus? Then you might as well have a dance party at home. Right now, Amazon is offering customers savings of up to 31% off Anker Bluetooth speakers — including the super slick Soundcore Wakey with an LED display and a built-in Qi wireless charging pad.
iHome still, in fact, exists, and just today at CES the company announced a new Google Assistant powered speaker. With a built-in clock and alarm, it's meant to be a smart bedside companion. Although it won a CES 2018 Innovation Award, the new iGV1 pretty much just looks like a sawn-off Google Home with a clock on the front.
Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, may be the most likeable man in the universe. And now he has an alarm clock app that, above all else, perpetuates this, because he's The Rock. You may say, "David, what makes this so much better than my amazing alarm clock app that I already have?" To which I would answer: this one contains nearly infinitely more Dwayne Johnson. And Dwayne Johnson does not do "snooze" buttons.
One of the alarm tones is just Johnson saying "beep, beep, beep." This may sound boring, but it is, in fact, objectively amazing. Another begins with a soft, typical-morning-wake-up harp ringtone, followed by The Rock smashing said harp, and then shouting "JABRONI!"
It's probably not a good idea to use beta versions of operating systems for your "daily driver" phone... or alarm clock, for that matter. When the original Android M Developer Preview landed back in May, we spotted a new version of the Clock app that allowed users to manually select a day of the week to start with. Turns out it had another "feature:" some users reported that sliding to the "snooze" function on the alarm would make the app delay the chime for 24 hours instead of 10 minutes (by default). I imagine this caused some awkward conversations with bosses.
Waking up is not usually awesome, but with the Hale Dreamer Alarm Clock you can at least feed your gadget-lust first thing in the morning. This is an all-in-one phone charging stand and alarm clock that works with a dedicated app. It's $99 full price and currently listed for $79.99 on Amazon (rated 4 stars), but StackSocial has it for just $55.99 with free shipping.
One of the first pieces I submitted to Android Police over a year ago was a hands-on look at an app called the Spin Alarm Clock. I hated it. I couldn't get the thing to work on my admittedly crappy phone at the time, and the entire experience just made me want to vomit.
As it turns out, that app was a clone of an iOS app that did the same thing. The developer of that app, the SpinMe Alarm Clock, quickly asked Google to take down Spin Alarm Clock. Now he has ported his own software over to Android.
It's been a busy month in the Android app world, particularly if you want useful tools or visual tweaks. There's one big app that we're not featuring in this roundup: the Google Now Launcher, AKA the Google Experience Launcher. We're omitting it from the main list because it's only compatible with Nexus and GPE devices - even the few standard Android devices that have been upgraded to KitKat can't play with it unmodified.
If you want a truly secure device, you need either a PIN code or a password. If even that isn't enough, then you need to check out TimePIN, a way of constantly changing your PIN code based on your phone's clock time.