Every mobile operating system comes with a preinstalled alarm clock. In fact, I would say the feature is as fundamental to a smartphone as a web browser or email client: time is money, and staying on schedule is of the utmost importance for many people.
That’s why it’s so humorous to me that I’m sitting at my desk, writing a review about a non-standard alarm clock app that cost me an additional $2.99. But as with most smartphone features, not everything is created equal – and Timely Alarm Clock by Bitspin is a perfect example of how that works to the consumer’s benefit.
Bitspin put a heavy emphasis on design in Timely. Everything about the app is beautiful – from the way you navigate through the menus to the way the app is so elegantly designed, Timely is a work of art.
Each alarm shows up in chronological order on a vertical timeline. From there, you can swipe along the timeline to set a new alarm, or change details on the alarms you’ve already set. The time, Smart Rise, Challenge, and music can be changed by simply tapping on the alarm listing.
Smart Rise is one of my favorite features of Timely. Simply put, it uses a slowly fading melody half an hour before the actual alarm goes up in an effort to “wake you up from your light sleep.” It has woken me up a number of times and it really does “help you start your day with a smile.” Your mileage will vary depending on your sleep cycle, but it’s a helpful feature to set before you go to bed, even it if doesn’t work every time.
Another great feature is the clever Challenge mode, which makes you solve a matching puzzle, math equation, or copy a random pattern in order to stop the alarm. The thinking behind making you think in the morning is that actively solving a puzzle will wake you up much more effectively than hitting the snooze or stop button. The theory is great; and the practice, even better. No two math questions are the same, and placement of each answer is jumbled around for each alarm. There’s no way to get past actually thinking about and solving the puzzle, and ultimately waking up afterward.
Aside from Timely’s exclusive features, it works very well as a traditional alarm clock. It’s light on system resources, the music is beautiful, and it is a much more functional alarm clock than the stock Android one.
The alarm clock has been an icon of groggy mornings and awful work days for decades, but Timely attempts to make the process a bit less painful. And to be blunt, it really works. I haven’t ever been a fan of third-party alarm clocks, but Timely reinvents it in a way that is simply ingenious.
Timely by Bitspin is a free app on the Google Play Store, but some features – including the Challenge – require an in-app purchase of $2.99.
Download: Google Play