A!arm iPhone app is silenced by a shout
By Darren Quick
February 23, 2011
There's definitely no shortage of alarm clock apps available for the iPhone, but a new app, simply called A!arm, offers users a slightly different way to start the day. Instead of fumbling for their iPhone to shut off the alarm when roused from your slumber, A!arm allows users to silence the din by doing something that most of us have done at one time or another – shouting at the alarm. While it isn't exactly the most zen-like approach to starting the day, it could be a good way to relieve some tension first thing in the morning.
To ensure the alarm isn't deactivated by ambient sounds if your bedroom is conveniently located next to a freeway, the A!arm app allows users to change the microphone sensitivity between three settings. The highest sensitivity will allow the alarm to be turned off without raising your voice, while the lowest setting will require you to put some effort into it.
A!arm's creators, Martijn Verpaalen and Michael Diguet, have also included a few other nifty sleep-related features in A!arm. To ensure the alarm does its job of waking you up, they've included a wake up test that presents the user with a simple mathematical question to get the ol' gray matter working and help prevent you dropping off again.
And if you're the kind of person that likes to tweet and/or update your Facebook friends on every aspect of your life – and we mean everything – the A!arm app can tell the world when you're up and about.
In an effort to ensure the app has something to wake you up from, A!arm also includes a Sheep-Count-Game. The goal of the game is to – you guessed it – count sheep. The sheep, along with cows, pigs, trees and other non-sheep graphics, fly by on poker machine-like wheels and when the player spots a sheep they hit the "sheep button." Not exactly complicated but it is designed to lull you to sleep after all.
Interestingly, while the A!arm app includes a number of features not usually found in the plethora of alarm clock apps going around, it does leave out one feature that pretty much all of its competitors offer. That is, a choice of alarm sounds or option to wake up to your choice of music. The creators say they have limited the alarm to a simple beep so that you don't grow to hate the tune you've chosen as your alarm. Nevertheless, I'm betting the addition of customizable alarm sounds will be a common request from many purchasing the app.
Thankfully the app does include other common features such as a list of active and inactive alarms, the ability to set the snooze duration, and the ability to choose which days the alarms are to repeat. The app also beeps as a push notification if the app isn't running in the foreground.