How to update your morning wake-up experience on your phone

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

The Clock app on Android

The Clock app provided with Android has recently added support for Google Assistant routines, so you can turn on smart lights or receive a morning briefing at the same time the alarm goes off.

When you set an alarm under the Alarm tab, tap Google Assistant Routine in the panel below. You can get a report on the weather, the news or your schedule. You can also remove the phone from silent mode or do something with lights, sockets or smart thermostats that you have connected to Google Assistant.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Also, you can play news, a podcast or an audiobook by selecting an option below And then play header (tap the gear icons on the right to further configure these features).

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

Screenshot: Screenshot

For more control over alarms on Android, tap the menu button (three dots, top left) on the Alarm screen then choose settings. The next list of options allows you to set the duration of the alarms and their volume, the duration of the default postponement period and the function of the volume buttons on the phone. (They can be used to ignore or postpone alarms or to change the volume of the alarm).

Tap Gradually increase the volume to do just that: if you don't want to wake up the rest of your home with an alarm but want to be sure to get out of bed, set the volume of the initial alarm to a low level, then set the volume up for a period between 5 and 60 seconds.

The Clock app on iOS

Adding alarms on Alarm the app's Clock for iOS tab is fairly simple, but there are some tricks and features you may have missed. First, you can alternate the nap option for when you really need to get out of bed immediately.

There is also the possibility of naming each of your alarms via Label field. The only purpose is to help you distinguish between alarms, such as weekend calls and medication reminders, but the option is available if you need it.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Tap the Sound button and get a myriad of options, including the ringtones provided with iOS, the ringtones you can buy from iTunes and the songs you've synced with your phone from iTunes or available from Apple Music (tap Choose a song to make your choice). Follow this guide if you want to create custom ringtones.

If you want a thinner alarm in the morning, you can activate the vibration or instead of an audible alarm. If this is your preferred method of waking up, you can choose from the list of options that it offers you, or even create a custom vibration by tapping on the screen (select Create a new vibration to do this).

Screenshot: Gizmodo

To check the alarm volume on iOS, tap Sounds and Haptics from the Settings app in iOS. Drag the Ringtone and notices cursor to change the default volume of the alarm and rotate the Change with the buttons enable or disable the switch if you wish to be able to adjust it while ringing with the volume buttons.

Familiarize yourself with the Bedtime function now also available in iOS. (This is a separate tab in the iOS Clock app.) It takes you through the process of setting up a morning alarm, but it will also remind you when it's time to go to bed based on how much sleep you want to get and monitor. how well you are you are sticking to your goals over time.

Third-party alarm app

You have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to third-party alarm apps, and others seem to be added all the time. If you're trying to get out of bed, these apps can force you, for example, to complete a math challenge or some other activity to silence the ring.

Many of these apps will try to wake you up at a time that fits your body's natural circadian rhythms. In theory, this makes it easier to really get out of bed. Sleep cycle for Android and iOS, it's one of the best in the industry and it's free to start. With this, you can customize your wake-up window, analyze your sleep patterns over time (based on the sounds you make during your sleep), and be pushed to wake during a light sleep period.

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

Sleep like Android for Android it is another excellent app that combines sleep detection with intelligent alarms, but as the name suggests, it is not available for iOS. He sits on the mattress to judge how well you sleep and you can wake up at a time that adapts to your light sleep periods. It also comes with a selection of natural sounds to use as an alarm. The app is free, but extra features can be unlocked with a one-time payment of $ 4.

For iPhone users, freemium Pillow for iOS it is similar to Sleep As Android. Place the phone next to the pillow (see the link?) Or connect it to an Apple Watch, and the app measures the quality of your sleep and selects the optimal time to wake you up (within a specific time window that you have already configured). It also comes with a choice of environmental and natural sounds to wake you up more gradually.

Pillow (left) and Alarm (right).
Screenshot: Gizmodo

Freemium Alarmy for Android and iOS has helped people get out of bed for years and remains one of our favorites. It comes with a series of challenges to silence the alarm, to take a picture of something like the bathroom faucet to solve a math problem. The idea is that when you managed to turn off the alarm, you're really awake. You can also get weather and news updates via Alarmy.

It is also worth mentioning here AlarmMon for Android and iOS. The freemium app stands out for the way it makes awakening fun (or at least tries to do it): c & # 39; s a choice of mini-games to help you wake up from your sleep more efficient, a selection of sounds strange but cute to wake you up with different audio every day and even ways to record your patterns of waking up over time.

Alarm clock for Heavy Sleepers (left) and AlarmMon (right).
Screenshot: Gizmodo

Carrot alarm for iOS it will return you $ 3, but for your money you will receive a talking alarm a little different from the norm. In addition to having a lot of aptitude, the app comes with a number of options to turn off the alarm, including smoothies, jumps and pinches. The alarms themselves can be a mixture of custom dialogs and music and the app actually gets angry with you if you press the snooze button too many times.

Last but not least, Alarm for heavy sleepers for Android is a freemium alarm app that is well summarized by its name. In his attempts to get you out of bed, the app can combine multiple alarms and challenge you with mathematical puzzles. It also has other tricks, such as the ability to disable alarms on holidays or set alarms based on the user's location (so you don't wake up too early on vacation).

Add another device

Another way to update your morning awakening experience is to make something else work together with your phone to get you out of bed. A dock like the $ 70 iHome Bluetooth alarm clock will wirelessly charge your iPhone during the night, tell you the time and add extra volume to those alarm sounds.

Today there are not too many smartphone docking options, but one we like is the $ 60 Dpnao Charging Docks Station: it works with all recent iPhone models, and will charge your phone while you sleep in addition to make sure the alarms are strong enough to get you out of bed.

IHome Bluetooth alarm clock.
Image: iHome

And the advantage of having a dock that is not right next to your bed is that you have to get up to turn off the alarm. Regardless of whether you want to invest in a separate dock device, if you have trouble waking up in the morning, try putting the phone on the other side of the room (or even in another room entirely).

With so many shapes and sizes to satisfy, there aren't as many docks for Android devices as there are for iPhones. One we have identified is the $ 28 Philips AJT3300 device that brings with it several useful features. Some of these include keeping the time on the display, playing music (or alarm sounds) via Bluetooth and charging the phone.

Casper Glow.
Image: Casper

In fact, it is not necessary to buy a dock to give the audio a little more energy. You could simply connect your phone to a Bluetooth speaker before going to bed and set the volume accordingly. (But maybe give some test rides during the day to make sure you won't wake up the whole neighborhood.)

Don't forget that you can have a variety of smart lights and now work in tandem with your phone (you can control them with Google Assistant when an alarm is triggered, as mentioned at the beginning). The $ 99 Casper Glow, for example, can soften slightly during bedtime and light up gently in the morning to make the day more natural.

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