Oh, that infernal alarm clock. We need it, but we hate it. And we hate it even more when it doesn't wake us up properly. If you need to guarantee that you'll wake up on time, you need one of these evil alarm clock apps.
Let's face it, some of us are heavy sleepers. We love that snooze button. But it all contributes to our downfall, as we end up being late. That's why we need alarm apps that won't stop ringing till you perform a certain activity, forcing you out of bed.
1. Walk Me Up!: Get Up and Walk Around
If typical alarm clocks don't work for you, Walk Me Up may be the best alarm clock app to get you out of bed. The only way you can dismiss Walk Me Up is if you get out of bed and walk around. It counts your steps as you walk to ensure you aren't faking it.
When you set the alarm, you can also tell the app how many times to let you hit the snooze button or enable "evil mode" to disable snooze altogether. You will also need to tell Walk Me Up how many steps to count in the morning, without which it won't switch off.
I tried cheating Walk Me Up, but the app actually seems smart enough to figure out your tricks.
2. Alarmy: Take a Photo in a Particular Place
Everyone has a morning routine. What's the first thing you do after your alarm goes off? Maybe you head to the bathroom or hop to the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee.
Whatever your routine destination is, mark it in Alarmy. The only way to dismiss the alarm then is to take a photo of you in that place.
In a way, Alarmy is making sure you aren't only awake but have started doing the morning tasks you need to. Alarmy recommends choosing a place that is far from your bed and where the lighting is consistent. The bathroom usually works best for this.
Try out the app a couple of times before you start using it. You don't want to be stuck with a blaring alarm in the morning after you're wide awake.
Alarmy also offers other modes, like solving math problems or shaking the phone. But the "photo from a location" works best.
3. Motion Alarm Clock: Get Moving to Shut It Off
Motion is another alarm that doesn't stop until you move for a specific amount of time. It won’t shut off even if you turn your phone on silent or stop the app from running in the background.
Worse, if you snooze and stop moving mid-alarm, the count will climb back up. The good thing, though, is it doesn’t need vigorous shaking. The app registers the slightest movement, so just moving your phone around would do the trick.
Since the app will still run in the background, the best way to cheat your way is to simply close the app. But it won’t give up easily. The app will send you notifications to tell you to return to the app and turn off your alarm.
It also has a Don’t wake my spouse option that turns off the alarm sound for 10 seconds—just enough for you to run outside your room and turn your noisy alarm off without causing your partner to wake up.
So if you're looking for an alarm that forces you to wake up by annoying you, this one's it.
Download: Motion Alarm Clock for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
4. Shake-It: Shake It or Scream Into It
In the world of Android alarm clock apps, Shake-It makes you shake the phone to dismiss the alarm. It's pretty easy to cheat, though.
You know what's not easy to cheat? Screaming into your phone.
Shake-It's second mode makes you shout into your phone repeatedly. You need to fill up a meter and only then does the alarm stop. It's a lot of work and you'll need to really give it a go.
Shake-It also has a neat feature where it sends a message to someone in your contact list if the alarm isn't switched off. That way, in case the alarm hasn't woken you up, a friend will!
Download: Shake-It for Android (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. I Can't Wake Up!: The All-in-One Alarm Clock App
If you don't like all the methods mentioned above, check out I Can't Wake Up. It has multiple tasks to annoy you into getting out of bed, both mental and physical.
It's an alarm app that makes you do math but it also gives you the option to do memory problems and logic problems.
You can shake the phone, scan a barcode, and write some words. My favorite is the "repeat this sequence," which shows you a sequence and you have to repeat it, forcing you to wake up and pay attention to the screen.
I Can't Wake Up is also supremely customizable. You can set ringtones, record your voice, and even wake up to your favorite songs. Plus, you can set different tasks for different days and alarms, so it doesn't get repetitive.
Download: I Can't Wake Up for Android (Free, in-app purchases available)
6. Barcode Alarm Clock: Scan a Preset Product to Stop It
Barcode Alarm Clock is another interactive alarm clock app that requires you to move around. That is, head to the bathroom.
This app’s alarm only turns off after you scan the barcode you've added during setup. It also gives you a Plan B to type in the numeric code for your barcode instead of scanning it.
The catch? The code disappears and comes back every second, giving you enough adrenaline kick to officially start your day.
The only way you could cheat this app is to have the item with the barcode accessible, although having toothpaste on your bedside table looks weird.
But even if you could cheat the app, a few seconds of trying to focus the camera on the barcode should be enough to get you up and about.
Download: Barcode Alarm Clock for iOS (Free)
Clocks vs. Phones: Which Alarm Is Better?
It's a common scenario these days. You wake up to your smartphone's alarm, and before you know it, you've spent an extra 15 minutes in bed checking out the notifications and updates you've got. It kind of defeats the purpose of the alarm, doesn't it?
A new productivity technique is to ditch smartphones and replace them with traditional bedside alarm clocks, so you aren't tempted to look at your phone before getting through your morning routine.
Image Credits: Alliance/Shutterstock