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!" You cannot make this up.
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.
Pandora hasn't added any dramatic features to the music streaming app since the big interface change and Chromecast support, but they have been putting in small but noticeable changes on a pretty regular basis. Today's update to version 5.2 focuses on expanding some of the latest functionality to tablets and expanding the sleep timer and alarm clock.
First of all, both are now available on the tablet interface, which is handy for anyone who uses their tablet as a bedside companion. For all versions, the sleep timer can now be adjusted in increments of 15, 30, or 60 minutes, which is still a bit limited as these things go.
In an odd bit of M&A news, the developers at Bitspin announced that the small company will be joining forces with Google. Whether Google has purchased the company outright or merely hired its Zurich-based development team isn't clear, but in either case, the big G will be benefitting from their impressive user interface experience soon. Google has not commented on the situation, and there is no dollar amount posted on the Bitspin website.
If you're unfamiliar with Bitspin, it's the development team behind the stunning Timely alarm clock app, perhaps one of the best examples of synchronous form and function on the Play Store.
If you were jealous of iOS users who were able to wake up every morning to the sound of their favorite Pandora stations, then today may just be your lucky day. Today, Pandora announced a new update to its Android app that includes the alarm clock feature which debuted on iOS last month. In addition to waking you up at a set time with the station of your choosing, it also includes a snooze ability and a customizable snooze timer which can be set to 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute intervals.
If you're one of those who uses Pandora as a sleep aid, you'll also be happy to know that the alarm feature works in conjunction with the sleep timer.
Alarm clock apps are not usually described as lovely, but this one is. Scratch that – Timely is devastatingly beautiful. The numbers morph gracefully from one to the next, there are a ton of themes, and the subtle movement in the background looks great. It's not just a pretty face, though. Timely has some really useful features.
Timely uses an interesting tap-and-drag gesture to set alarm times. If you prefer to use Google Now voice input, Timely works with that too. There are a ton of options for each alarm, including a large collection of sounds. For the stubborn types, Timely can be set to use a math problem or pattern challenge to wake you up before it shuts up.