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How to Upgrade your Morning Alarm Clock Experience on Your Phone

Many of you probably get up every day with the help of an alarm on your smartphone. But you are using your phone's alarm to its full potential, or settling for the standard default ringtone at a certain time and leaving it at that? These are the tricks, apps, and gadgets that can upgrade your wake-up experience.

The Clock app on Android

The Clock app comes with Android recently added support for Google Assistant routines so you can turn (19459007) Alarm tab, tap Google Assistant Routine When you set a alarm under the Alarm in the panel underneath. You can get a report on weather, news, or your schedule.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

On top of that, you can play the news, and podcast, or an audiobook by selecting an option under And then play heading (tap the cog icons on the right to configure these features further)

If you want to wake up to music, tap the alarm sound on the main Alarm screen. The options to wake up to YouTube Music (if you're a premium subscriber) or Spotify (whether you're a premium subscriber or not) were recently added to the Clock app so you should see them alongside the usual selection of ringtones. If you want to wake up to a specific song or audio clip without the help of Spotify or YouTube Music, you'll need to create your own custom alarm sound

Screenshot: Screenshot

To take more control over your alarms on Android , tap the menu button (three dots, top left) on the Alarm screen then choose Settings . The following list of options lets you set how long the alarms ring as well as their volume, how long the default snooze period is, and the function of the volume buttons on your phone.

Tap Gradually increase volume to do just that: If you do not want to wake up the rest of your household with an (19659002) The Clock app on iOS

The clock app on iOS

The clock app on iOS

] Adding alarms on the Alarm tab of the Clock app for iOS is straightforward enough, but there are a few tricks and features you might have missed. First of all, you can toggle the Snooze option off for when you really need to get out of bed immediately

There is also the option to name each of your alarms via the Label field . The only purpose this is to help you distinguish between alarms – eg, weekend wake-up calls and reminders to take medication – but the option is there if you need it

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Tap on the Sound button and you get a host of options, including ringtones that come with iOS, ringtones you can buy from iTunes, and songs you've synced to your phone from iTunes or available from Apple Music (tap Pick a song to make your pick). Follow this guide if you want to make some custom ringtones

If you want a more subtle wake-up call in the morning, you can turn on vibration as well as a sound alarm instead. If you want to use this option, you can choose from the list of options that iOS gives you, or even create a custom vibration by tapping on the screen (select Create New Vibration to do this.) [19659017] Screenshot: Gizmodo

To control the volume of alarms on iOS, tap Sounds & Haptics from the Settings app in iOS. Drag the Ringer and alerts slider to change the default alarm volume, and turn the Change with Buttons toggle switch on if you want to be able to adjust it as it rings with the volume buttons .

Get familiar with the Bedtime feature now available in iOS as well. (It's a separate tab in iOS Clock app.) It takes you through the process of setting a morning alarm, but it will also remind you when it's time for bed based on how much sleep you want to get as well as track how well you

Third-party alarm apps

You have a wealth of options to pick from when it comes to third-party alarm apps, and it seems like more are being added all the time. If you are struggling to get out of bed, these apps may force you to, for example, complete a math challenge or some other task to silence the ringing

Several of these apps will try to wake you up at the same time that fits in with your body's natural circadian rhythms. In theory, this makes it easier for you to get out of bed. Sleep Cycle for Android and iOS is one of the best in business, and it's free to get started. With this one, you can customize your wake-up window, analyze your sleep patterns over time (based on the sounds you make during your slumber), and get nudged into wakefulness during a light period of sleep

Sleep Cycle (left ) and Sleep As Android
Screenshot: Gizmodo

Sleep As Android for Android is another great app that combines sleeping with smart alarms, but as the name suggests it isn ' t available for iOS. It sits on your mattress to judge how well you are sleeping and can wake you at a time that fits your periods of light sleep. It also comes with a selection of natural sounds to use as an alarm.

For iPhone users, the freemium Pillow for iOS is similar to Sleep As Android. Either place your phone near your pillow or connect it to an Apple Watch, and the app measures the quality of your sleep and picks up the optimal time to wake you up (within a specific time window you've already configured ). It also comes with a choice of ambient and natural sounds to wake you up more gradually

Pillow (left) and Alarmy (right). Android and iOS has been helping people get out of bed for years and remains one of our favorites. It comes with a whole host of challenges for silencing your alarm, from taking a photo of something like your bathroom faucet to solving a math problem. The idea is that by the time you've managed to switch the alarm off, you're well and really awake. You can also get weather and news updates through Alarmy as well.

Also worth mentioning here is AlarmMon for Android and iOS. The freemium app stands out for the way it does waking up the fun (or at least tries to): There's a choice of mini-games to help you grow from your slumber more efficiently, and a selection of weird-but-cute sounds to wake you

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Alarm Clock for Heavy Sleepers (left) and AlarmMon (right)

for iOS will set you back $ 3, but for your money you get a talking alarm clock that's a little different from the norm. In addition to having a lot of attitude, the app comes with a choice of options for shutting down the alarm, including shakes, swipes, and pinches. The alarms themselves can be a mixture of custom dialogue and music, and the app actually gets angry with you if you hit the snooze button too many times

Last but not least, Alarm Clock For Heavy Sleepers for Android is a freemium alarm clock app that's well summed up by its name. In his attempts to drag you out of bed, the app can combine multiple alarms and challenge you with math puzzles. It has some other neat tricks too, like the ability to disable alarms on public holidays or to set alarms based on your location

Adding another device

way to upgrade your morning wake-up experience is to get something else working alongside your phone to get you out of bed. A dock like the $ 70 iHome Bluetooth Alarm Clock will wirelessly charge your iPhone overnight, tell you the time, and add some extra volume to those alarm sounds

There are not many brilliant alarm clock dock options for smartphones these days , but another one we like is the $ 60 Dpnao Charging Docks Station: It works with all the latest iPhone models, and it will charge your phone while you sleep, making sure the alarms are loud enough to get you out of bed.

iHome Bluetooth Alarm Clock
Image: iHome

And the advantage of having a dock that is not right by your bedside is that you actually have to get up to turn the alarm off. Whether or not you want to invest in a separate dock, if you're struggling to wake up in the morning, try putting your phone on the other side of the room (or even in another room entirely)

With so many shapes and sizes to cater for, there are not as many docks for Android devices as there are for iPhones. One we've spotted is the $ 28 Philips AJT3300 device that brings with it several useful features.

Casper Glow
Image: Casper

Indeed, you do not necessarily need to buy and dock to give the audio alarm some extra oomph. You could just connect your phone to a Bluetooth speaker before you go to bed and set the volume accordingly. (But maybe give it a few trial runs in the daytime to make sure it's not going to wake up the whole neighborhood.)

Do not forget you can get a variety of smart lights as well now to work in tandem with your phone (you could control them with Google Assistant when an alarm goes off, as we mentioned at the start). The $ 99 Casper Glow, for example, can be gently dim at bedtime and gently brighten in the mornings to ease you into the day more naturally

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