Similar to last week, I apologize for the delay in posting this review. Again, now with my full time work starting early in the morning and ending in the afternoon, plus evening classes, I will not be able to post my reviews and other posts in the same timely manner as I was able to do previously. I will try to make sure that the posts are posted by the evening at the latest but sometimes things happen and I may not be able to do so. So, I am sorry for any inconvenience caused but I am trying to keep up with the juggling of a full and part time job plus evening classes and getting enough sleep and of course, this website. I hope you will all understand. Thank you!
It’s time for another installment of Palm Discovery’s wReview Wednesday!
We’re nearing the middle of September and by now, most of us are either getting back to school or getting back to work. And for many of us, that means needing to get up early in the morning to get to school or work. Many students rely on their alarm clocks to get us up in the morning. But most times, the sound of the alarms are less than desirable. Either they’re loud and give us a heart attack when it rings or they’re too soft and we sleep through it. What if I told you that you can choose the alarm sound that you know you’ll enjoy waking up to and that you know won’t be either too loud or too soft? How about actually waking up to your favorite song or music? And how about being able to select a selection of songs from your iPhone’s playlist so that you wake up to different songs each day instead of the same one? Yes! You can get that and more with the alarm app I’ll be reviewing today.
Today, I’ll be reviewing iHandysoft’s Alarm Clock Pro, an alarm clock app that offers you a choice of using songs from your iPhone’s music collection as the alarm sound. Plus, you can play songs from a playlist so that you’re not stuck with just one song as the alarm, but the entire playlist of songs. And, you can also view your local weather info right from within the app! Curious? Read on!
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For those who want to skip over all the detailed review and just want a summary, you can jump to the review summary
Alarm Clock Pro is more than just a simple alarm clock app that offers several built-in alarm sounds that will sound at the time set, it has a built-in flashlight, a dimmable screen, supports multiple alarms, offers local weather info as well as playing your favorite song or songs from a playlist as the alarm sound. In addition, even when your iPhone is in silent mode and screen locked, the alarm will still sound! Wow!
When you launch the app, you will view a dark screen with colored lights similar to that of a digital alarm clock, showing the current time, the day of the week as well as the local current temperature with the day’s high and low. If you tap on the “i” button at the bottom right corner, you’ll be taken to the Settings screen.
On the Settings screen, there are five categories of settings you can view and edit: Alarms, Display, Weather, Gestures, and Miscellaneous. The Alarms is quite straightforward. If you have already created an alarm, it will be displayed with an indication of whether it’s “ON” or “OFF. If you tap on that, it will display a screen showing the settings of the alarm. You can enable or disable it, change the time, change the repeat option, select and change the alarm sound, change the name of the alarm as well as Advanced settings such as the duration of the snooze, the option of fading the sound in as well as the volume of the song. To create or add a new alarm, tap on the “Add Alarm” and it will take you to a screen that offers you the options and settings. If you wish to select a particular song from your iPhone or a playlist of songs as your alarm, tap on the “Sound” and then “Music”. Tap on “Choose Music” and you’ll be taken to your iPhone’s music library where you can select either just one song or an entire playlist for the alarm sound. This is the main feature which I personally find the most appealing, the ability to choose not only a song but an entire playlist of songs as the alarm. This keeps the alarm sounding fresh and new so that you won’t get tired or bored of waking up to the same song.
In the Display category, you can choose how the app and more specifically, the clock looks. You can set the color of the time display from Blue, Cyan (default), Green, Orange, Pink, Red and Yellow. You can either enable or disable the displaying of seconds, the display of weekday, the display of the next alarm as well as choosing either the 24 hour time or the 12 hour AM/PM time.
For the Weather category, you can enable or disable the display of the weather on the clock screen, the display of the city name as well as the choice of displaying the temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
The Gestures category offers the extra features of allowing the brightness/dimming of the screen as well as turning on the flashlight feature which simply shows the screen as a white screen to use as a flashlight. You can enable or disable either feature.
The Miscellaneous category allows you to enable background alarms, which will still sound even when the app is running in the background and the setting of the auto lock. This is what makes this app different from others. Even when the app is not running directly in the foreground and even when the iPhone is set in silent mode, the alarm will still sound. Many other alarm clock apps require the app to be running in the foreground and some won’t sound when the iPhone’s screen is locked. This Alarm Clock Pro will. However, to have the alarm play your iPhone’s music, it will require the app to be running in the foreground, otherwise, the built-in alarm sound will be used. One thing for certain is that if you’ve set an alarm with this app, it will ring, even if you didn’t leaving it running in the foreground. You can definitely rely on this app to ring even when others won’t.
More details of Alarm Clock Pro (taken from iTunes website)
Alarm Clock Pro turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a beautiful digital clock with gorgeous themes and an alarm clock that sings your favorite tunes. There is even a built-in flashlight to light up the darkness!
? New feature ?
- Display live weather conditions and temperature in your area!
- With iOS 4, you will receive alarm (sound notification) even when the app is not running
- Add support for high-resolution Retina display
Now it’s the No.1 top paid utility app across 30+ countries!!!
This is the ultimate alarm clock app you’ve been waiting for — Alarm Clock Pro!
- Choose your favorite iPod music or playlist to wake you up
- Select from gorgeous designer themes, big LCD display and more coming
- Turn the clock into a flashlight instantly
All the features that you required are here. So why wait? Grab it now while the sale is still on!
? Clock ?
- Gorgeous color LCD display: Blue, Cyan, Green, Orange, Pink, Red and Yellow
- Vertical and horizontal modes
- 12 or 24 hour format
- Show/Hide seconds
- Customizable auto-lock time
? Alarm ?
- Select your song or even playlist as alarm
- 11 built-in alarm sounds: Ascending, Birds, Classic, Cuckoo, Digital, Electronic, High Tone, Mbira, Old Clock, Rooster, School Bell
- Super big Snooze/Stop Alarm buttons
- Multiple alarms supported
- Sound/Music ON/OFF
- Sound/Music volume adjustable
- Snooze ON/OFF
- Snooze time customizable
- Vibrate ON/OFF
- Sound/Music Fade In: Wake up gently in the morning!
- New: With iOS 4, now you will receive sound notification alarms even when the app is not running!
? Weather ?
- Display weather conditions and temperature in your area
- Automatically find your local weather, no need to search through lists of cities
- Support both Fahrenheit and Celsius display
? Flashlight ?
- Shake iPhone to toggle the flashlight
? Tips ?
- Slide/flick up and down to dim the screen
- Shake to toggle the flashlight
There are a few major updates coming with new features:
- More clock themes
- Sleep timer with music: Play music and set a timer, fall asleep as music fades away
- Secret features that surely will surprise you..
Buy it now before the price goes up and enjoy the FREE updates!
What’s New in Version 1.3.1
- Minor bug fixes
Slideshow of Alarm Clock Pro for the iPhone and iPod Touch
Video of Alarm Clock Pro for the iPhone and iPod Touch
easy to use
The app is fairly easy to figure out how to use. Tap on the various buttons, type in the fields, swipe to flip the buttons ON or OFF to enable to disable certain settings.
select song and music playlist as alarm
The biggest feature that convinced me to get this app is the ability to select not only ONE particular song as an alarm but to select an entire playlist of songs that will be used as the alarm. I won’t necessarily wake up to the same song on consecutive days, unless, it just happens to play the same song.
7 built-in alarm sounds
There are seven built-in alarm sounds to choose from, which is very useful when the alarm is set but the app isn’t running in the foreground or the screen is locked or even when the iPhone or iPod Touch is set in silent mode. In those instances, the selected music won’t sound but the choice of the built-in alarm sounds will. You won’t wake up to your favorite song but at least you will wake up. Slight consolation, I know .
clock display customization
You can set the display of the clock screen to the way you wish. You can choose either the AM/PM or 24 hour format, the display of the seconds, the day of the week, the time of the next alarm, the display of the local weather info.
weather info display supported
The app supports the display of current weather information (subject to internet access) showing the current temperature, and the highs and lows of the day.
24 hour/AM-PM supported
You can choose to have the app display either the 24 hour time or the 12 hour AM/PM format.
There is a flashlight feature which, when set as enabled, will change the screen to a bright white color when the iPhone/iPod Touch is shaken. This can be helpful when you are in the dark and require a quick use of light similar to that of a flashlight for a brief moment. To turn the screen back to the clock display, shake the iPhone again and it will turn back.
Set brightness/dimmer level
You can set the brightness level of the clock. Drag your finger upwards on the screen and the brightness level will increase. Drag it down and the screen will darken or dim.
7 different display colors
You have a choice of seven different clock display colors to choose from which offers you a variety in the display of the clock and app.
Portrait and landscape mode supported
The app supports both portrait and landscape mode so you can enjoy viewing the clock either way. Most people set it on its side on a tilt or supported by a rack and use it as, quite simply a bedside clock.
big snooze, stop alarm buttons
The snooze and stop alarm buttons are well placed far apart from each other and set big enough for easy access. I’m quite sure the developer figured how some of us may get a bit too groggy in the morning and set the stop and snooze buttons large enough and far enough from each other to prevent accidental tapping of the wrong button. I know I’ve done that with other alarm apps that have the buttons too close together and I simply wanted to dismiss it so the sound stops not figuring out which button I pressed. This app does a great job of clearly making it easy to tap on the correct button, especially with the red colored STOP button.
multiple alarms supported
I know that this may not be a big feature to mention but it’s still definitely worth the mention as some alarm apps only support one alarm set at a time. Being able to support multiple alarms provides flexibility, especially when certain alarms are only set for infrequent times or irregular schedules. Supporting multiple alarms will make it easy for someone to easily set up certain irregular alarms along with other more regular and frequent ones alongside without needing to set an alarm every time.
You can enable or disable snooze, choose from various snooze times which is nice as everyone has a different preference for the length of the snooze.
Sound fade in available
To avoid having the alarm sound at the music’s level, you can enable the sound fade in feature, which will play the music with the volume gradually increasing so that you won’t be shocked or jump when the alarm sounds.
Alarm plays even when in silent mode or screen locked
This is a very important feature for me. Originally, when I first got my 3rd Gen iPod Touch, I was quite disappointed and annoyed to discover that alarms don’t ring at the time I’ve set it, mainly due to the way the iOS is set. Thankfully, iOS 4 and above allows this app to play and sound the alarm even when the iPhone is set in silent mode or when the screen is locked. If you set an alarm with the app, the alarm will sound. That’s very nice.
No integration with calendar
I know I’m asking for a bit much here, but in my view, I think any alarm or clock app should have some kind of integration to the Calendar. This will allow me to set my Calendar appointments to ring those special music alarm sounds. This will definitely make this app the best.
No different fonts or displays available
Although there is a choice of different colors for the time display, I am a little disappointed that there isn’t a choice of different fonts or different choices for how the numbers are displayed.
No Date display
This is the biggest complaint for me with respect to the app and a bit of a head scratcher. If the clock displays all this stuff like the 24 hour/AM/PM, weather, day of the week and even the seconds, why is there NOT a display of the date? Sept 14 2011 or at least 9/14/11 or something like that. Having the date missing from this app is a huge disappointment for me.
No contact link
There is no contact link to the developer from within the app. There is the more iHandysoft apps banner which displays all the apps and the download link. However, there is no email address displayed anywhere and of course, there is no direct Contact developer button.
no bug submit feature
I always find it’s important to have some kind of bug submit feature for any app. This helps both the developer and the end user as bugs are readily and quickly discovered and fixed. It’s a win-win situation. Unfortunately, this is not available.
No About screen
Similar to my previous note about no contact link, there is no “About” screen. The “i” which for many apps usually is the button for the info or About screen was used for the app’s settings. No About screen means no credits screen which also means no contact information screen as previously mentioned.
No Calendar display
This is something I think, if offered, can help enhance the app. If the clock displays the seconds, the weather and other info, why not also a month display? I’m a total monthly calendar person and I operate on a monthly calendar basis, which is why I tend to want a monthly calendar for apps. I truly believe if added, this could really make the app that much nicer. Of course, that’s my opinion.
No sleep feature
It’s nice to be able to wake up to your favorite music, but what about falling asleep to your favorite music? That would be a nice feature to have since the clock looks just like a real digital alarm clock. If your digital alarm clock has a sleep feature, why not this one?
Alarm Clock Pro for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is not just another one of those alarm clock apps that you find a dime a dozen in the iTunes app store. This app will allow you to select your favorite music such as a song or an entire playlist of songs as the alarm. That means, you can wake up to “Welcome to the Jungle” if you want or any of the songs in your selected playlist. The app displays the weather information, the day of the week and will sound at your set time regardless of whether it’s in silent mode, or the screen is locked or the app is not running in the foreground. If you set the alarm, the alarm will ring. I was sold and I’m sure so will you.
You can try out the free lite version: Alarm Clock Free, Alarm Clock Free (iTunes Canada). However, these lite versions won’t support music alarms and won’t offer some the other features found in the Pro version. However, you may want to try out the free lite versions first to get an idea of the app before getting the full Pro version. In my mind, this is a great alarm clock app that will sound at the time set. That alone, is well worth it for me.
Enjoyed this review? Check out the many other Palm Discovery software reviews here such as palm os software review, windows-mobile software review, symbian os software review, iPhone and ipod touch software review.
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