Tiny Heart's Wake app for iPhone makes for a better start to the day

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comJune 14, 2013 

As I suspect is true for most of you, I hate being awakened by my alarm clock.

There is something jarring about being abruptly yanked from my peaceful, slumbering state by my clock's loud, persistent beeping, which forces me from the comfy comfines of my bed and into the big, cruel world.

In fact, I hate my alarm clock so much, I typically wake up anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes before it even goes off so as to avoid this startling start to my day.

Safe to say, I was looking for an alternative to this annoying daily ritual and I believe I've found it with Toronto app developer Tiny Heart's Wake.

The app, available only for iPhone and on sale for $.99, is significantly more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing than the iPhone's utilitarian Clock app -- its design was inspired by minimalist interfaces such as the Braun alarm clocks designed by Dieter Rams -- and allows users to set up to eight fully-customizable alarms.

But that's not what makes this app worth downloading.

In addition to gently waking me up with alarm sounds that get gradually louder, the phone has several gesture-based ways for setting, turning on and off alarms, and -- most important for some -- hitting the snooze bar, making the app something of a game-changer in this area.

For example, when your alarm goes off and you need a few more minutes, you simply flip over your phone or lightly slap the phone as you would a conventional alarm clock's snooze button. To turn off an alarm, you can either swipe across the screen or shake the phone.

And all of these features are customizable, leaving the user to determine how the app wakes them up and how they interact with each individual alarm and the app itself.

Wake's only drawback is that it must be left open to work and, for iPhone users like me who often toggle between texting and the use of several different apps right before going to sleep and often leave their phone on vibrate, the app doesn't work as efficiently as it should in the morning.

For example, instead of waking me up to the soothing tones of my own choosing on a recent morning, I woke up 10 minutes late to the constant buzzing of my phone.

I'm not sure this is the fault of the developer as much as a shortcoming of the iPhone's operating system but it does require a kind of mindfulness before bed that many of us lack some nights.

This is still a very strong and promising new app and I have no doubt that subsequent updates will make Wake a must-have app and many iPhone users' go-to alarm clock.

If it isn't already.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/IPBG_Patrick.

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