Review: Amazon's free Android app of the day - Gentle Alarm

Do you have trouble getting up in the morning? Is your alarm clock too loud or too abrupt? Do you sit there dazed and confused for a few minutes while you try to figure out what's going on, what time it is and why you have to get up? If you said yes to any of these, then chances are today's free premium app from the Amazon Android app store probably has something for you - Gentle Alarm.

You may be wondering why you actually need an alarm clock app, after all chances are that your Android phone already comes with an alarm. An alarm that goes off when you set it to, that can be set to repeat however you like and so on. What more does an alarm really need to do?

Obviously, the creator of Gentle Alarm thought differently and came up with a whole bunch of things they wanted their alarm clock to do. And so have many others, there are quite a number of alarm clock apps on the android market, so what makes Gentle Alarm worthy of your attention, let alone the $2.80 it normally costs?

Gentle Alarm's main claim-to-fame here is its ability to gently wake you up by paying attention to your sleep pattern. The theory is simple, if you're in a deep sleep when your alarm goes off, it can be disorientating and fairly unpleasant, ideally your alarm should go off when you're in a lighter sleep for a more relaxing waking cycle. Gentle Alarm achieves this by actually having two separate alarms. The first alarm is a subtle, quiet alarm that goes off 30 minutes before you're due to get up. Theoretically, this wont wake you up, but it will bring you to a lighter sleep cycle so that when the second alarm goes off, it wont feel so jarring and you'll wake up nice and refreshed.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to actually test this feature in time for the review - after all, it's only free for today and I have no intention of going back to bed any time soon, but even if this feature doesn't work or causes you to lose 30 minutes of precious sleep, there's still plenty of reason to want to grab this app - customizability.

You see, Gentle Alarm comes with a plethora of settings and features. Aside from the usual scheduling of alarms, setting repeating alarms and so on, you can decide if you want to add a "Safe alarm", which will ensure the volume is set to max before going off, enable a gesture-based puzzle game that you have to solve in order to turn the alarm off, set a playlist of music so you wake up to a different song every time and various other tweaks and features.

Overall, I was pretty impressed by Gentle Alarm. Although I'm not sure I would be willing to part with the $2.80 asking price, I currently use the free version of Alarm Clock Plus which boasts many of the same features as Gentle Alarm and I'm quite happy with it, but it does come with ads. The ads aren't enough to bother me and the only reason I doubt I'll fully switch to Gentle Alarm is because I rarely have trouble waking in the morning, yet if I had installed Gentle Alarm first, the shoe would be on the other foot - they're both fantastic apps and do what they set out to do.

If you need a full-featured Alarm clock app, Gentle Alarm certainly fits the bill and stands out well amongst the apps currently on the market, so if this sounds like the "dream" app for you, grab it while you can - free for today only.

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22 Comments

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Same story here - US only. Not UK - maybe that should be made clear in article until Amazon get their act together?

Kuraj said,
"Amazon App store not available in your region"

Well, ****.

I know right? How can a virtual shop be limited by region? Makes jack all sense.

Thank you I am finding these articles informative and making now I am going to use the Amazon App store for this when previously I was going to steer clear.

Simon- said,
Thank you I am finding these articles informative and making now I am going to use the Amazon App store for this when previously I was going to steer clear.

OK... AMAZON APP STORE SUCKS

First they make me sign up... fair enough
They send the link to my email to install the app store on the phone... no problems here
I then install the app store and attempt to install the app.. FAIL
Gives me an error message that my billing details are incomplete.
OK so I go back onto the Desktop as it's easier to fill that kind of info in from there.
It asks me for my address... I don't think Amazon needs it because I'm not shipping anything yet, but fine.
It then asks me for my Credit Card details. OK this is a bit excessive since I am buying something for $0.00. I think it over for a minute and decide to hand over the details... Amazon are a major company and I can always do a chargeback if they do anything silly.... I hand over the credit card details.

Great, now it's time to install the App...
"We are sorry...
We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you."

Great you have had just wasted over 20 minutes of my time and gathered needless personal info (Name, address, even phone model) including my credit card to tell me this, that you couldn't say "US Only" on the first page? Well STUFF YOU Amazon. I will not use your crappy app store even when you do launch in Australia.

I tried changing to a US Address, which didn't help, same error.

My first experience with Amazon has told me all I need to know about these jokers - stay clear - and now I agree with others in the news comments, Keep these articles off the Neowin front page, gimmicks like this belong in the forums.

I will stick with the stock alarm. All I need is for the phone to sound at a certain time and thats what the stock alarm does

Alladaskill17 said,
Are daily amazon free apps really going to be covered on front page news daily?

u jelly u don't have Android phone?

Alladaskill17 said,
Are daily amazon free apps really going to be covered on front page news daily?

So they review ONE free Amazon app and you assume its going to be a daily thing? Just relax, its just one review. Don't like it, dont read it.

I'm well aware of that option and that's exactly why I haven't read it. (It's not because I harbour some sort of anti-Android sentiments, it's just that I'd rather read about interesting or innovative Android apps rather than a clock.) Besides, I was merely pointing out how someone could logically assume that this was going to be a daily occurrence as there have been 3 (I thought there was another) articles now, not "ONE" as you previously thought. I simply answered your (albeit perhaps rhetorical) question - "So they review ONE free Amazon app and you assume its going to be a daily thing?"

Alladaskill17 said,
Are daily amazon free apps really going to be covered on front page news daily?

There's actually been 3, but you're right, I was hoping to make this a somewhat daily thing (not all app of the days are worth reviewing) as I feel Neowin lacks a little bit on Android coverage. The way I figure it, not many android sites highlight the Android App of the day and I tend to be awake a good 6 hours before most people in the US, giving plenty of time to review it and get it up for when people wake up.
Still, if a lot of people don't like the idea, I'll put it to rest.

Manish said,

TWO
http://www.neowin.net/news/rev...-of-the-day---wave-launcher

Since there has been a review for 2 consecutive days now, one could assume that it's going to be a daily thing.

I also agree, but this isn't what i am looking for on the Neowin front page:
1) it's a review for an andorid app a day, what about iOS app a day? or Windows mobile app a day?
2) it is titled "Amazon Free App", but this is free and accessibile only in the USA, so...

this is just my opinion, nothing against the reviewer, android, Neowin or anybody else....

Kushan said,

I was hoping to make this a somewhat daily thing (not all app of the days are worth reviewing) as I feel Neowin lacks a little bit on Android coverage.

Personally I just don't think reviews of Gem Miner, Gentle Alarm, etc are front page worthy and that they waste space on the main page (hence my forum topic: http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...p__593969694#entry593969694). Like I said above, I wouldn't mind reading/seeing articles on creative or very popular Android (or any other platform) apps rather than a clock/alarm app and some rubbish-looking game. I'd prefer it if these reviews were placed in a forum topic instead. But this is just my opinion of course.

ramik said,

this isn't what i am looking for on the Neowin front page...

Exactly.

techbeck said,

So they review ONE free Amazon app and you assume its going to be a daily thing? Just relax, its just one review. Don't like it, dont read it.

try scrolling down to the first one, where its 2/2 days in a row

techbeck said,

Again, dont like it...dont read the damn article. It really is that simple. I swear, some people just need something to complain about.


I do not "just need to complain" thanks though; just don't think a daily review qualifies as FRONT PAGE news.

Alladaskill17 said,
Are daily amazon free apps really going to be covered on front page news daily?

Gizmodo, and their daily multiple iPhone articles, are that-a-way --->