Why we hate the iPhone alarm

Apple's iPhone has changed a lot of things, but one of the most subtle is the way we wake up. Now Apple needs to make that an even better experience.

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  • iPhone Alarm What we hate about Apple's alarm app
  • Snooze Snooze
  • Do Not Disturb Cancel alarm
  • Alarm alert Better alerts
  • iPhone Alarm BEd Wake me gently
  • iPad Coffee maker Teasmade
  • More stories
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What we hate about Apple's alarm app

There are a lot of new features coming in iOS 8 [we list our favourite new iOS 8 features here] and they all sound great to us, but we are hoping for much more that what Apple showed off on 2 June at WWDC, and what we have heard about on the developer grapevine.

The one thing we really want Apple to address is the alarm app.

We don't ask for much, it's only the app we use EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Most of the people we know don't even have an alarm clock anymore. They use their iPhone to wake them up. Apple's iPhone has a few benefits as an alarm clock: you can set it to wake you up at set times during the week, but not at weekends; you can get your iPhone alarm to wake you early on Monday, but allow you an extra ten minutes on Friday; and you can choose for your alarm sound to be your favourite iTunes track (inside the Alarm app tap Edit and then the time you want to be woken then tap Sound > Pick a Song and wake in style.)

But as great an alarm clock as the iPhone makes, we still feel that there are a few ways that Apple could tweak its alarm clock to make it even better.

Here are the things that annoy us about the alarm app and how we would fix them...

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Next Prev iPhone Alarm

There are a lot of new features coming in iOS 8 [we list our favourite new iOS 8 features here] and they all sound great to us, but we are hoping for much more that what Apple showed off on 2 June at WWDC, and what we have heard about on the developer grapevine.

The one thing we really want Apple to address is the alarm app.

We don't ask for much, it's only the app we use EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Most of the people we know don't even have an alarm clock anymore. They use their iPhone to wake them up. Apple's iPhone has a few benefits as an alarm clock: you can set it to wake you up at set times during the week, but not at weekends; you can get your iPhone alarm to wake you early on Monday, but allow you an extra ten minutes on Friday; and you can choose for your alarm sound to be your favourite iTunes track (inside the Alarm app tap Edit and then the time you want to be woken then tap Sound > Pick a Song and wake in style.)

But as great an alarm clock as the iPhone makes, we still feel that there are a few ways that Apple could tweak its alarm clock to make it even better.

Here are the things that annoy us about the alarm app and how we would fix them...

 

Snooze

It's frustrating when you tap snooze and are stuck for nine minutes while you wait for the alarm to start up again.

When you first tap snooze you can see a counter in the lock screen. This is useful, but once you have visited the Home Screen there is no way of getting back to this view and you have no idea how long you have left before the alarm will go off again. You can't even view the time remaining in the Alarm app itself.

Just to exacerbate your frustration of not knowing how much longer you have to snooze, the only way to cancel snooze on you iPhone is to go into the Alarms app and turn that alarm off and on again.

Wouldn't it be easy for Apple to show the snooze counter in the lock screen with the option to Stop Snooze, and to make sure that information would stay in the lock screen.

 

Cancel alarm

The same could be said when you wake before your alarm. How about an easy way to stop that alarm from going off at its usual time (inevitably when you are in the bathroom, or in the kitchen).

We'd love Apple to introduce a way to stop the alarm going off today that doesn't rely on us going into the alarm app and turning it off. Because when we do that we inevitably forget to turn it on again before going to sleep, with the result being that the next day the alarm doesn't go off.

How about a Do Not Disturb style feature for the alarm app for those kinds of scenarios.

 

Better alerts

We often set an alarm to remind us to do something. We could use the Calendar app and set an alert there, or we could use Reminders and when we add something to a To Do list there we could tap the (i) that appears, select Remind me on a day and choose the day and time.

However, there is no quicker way than just to set an alarm and add a word or two as the label (or as we do, just presume the alarm will be enough of a reminder that there was something you were going to do to remind you to do it).

What we'd love to see is our label flashing up on the screen when the alarm goes off. This could be the reminder – or it could be a message that could help us get out of bed in the morning. Right now the text does appear, but we are thinking it could do more to grab our attention, possibly flashing or scrolling.

 

Wake me gently

We like the alarm clock apps that detect your movement throughout the night so that they know when the best time to wake you will be. The alarm app is able to nudge you awake gently, pulling you out of deep sleep before you need to be awake.

Apple could use the M7 chip in the iPhone 5s to collect this data and wake us at the best moment – not that we are suggesting that they borrow the idea of the developers who already make these apps (although we bet they would).

 

Teasmade

How about an iPhone or iPad alarm clock that wakes you up with a cup of tea?

This is already a reality. The TopBrewer from Scanomat (which we've seen in Apple's offices) lets you brew the coffee that's perfect for you, or if you prefer tea, it will provide hot water via the stainless steal tap that can be built into a table top.

Pick the drink you need, customise it to your needs and set it to brew. There's even a patented milk foamer built into the nozzle for a cappuccino.

If Apple adds just one of these five features to iOS 8 we will be happy. Read our iOS 8 preview to find out what to expect.

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