Alarm Clock Pro is…an alarm clock app. Surprise! It differentiates itself by providing far more customization and functionality tha
n Apple’s built in alarm clock. The app is priced at an introductory $0.99. No word on what the final price will be or when it will go into effect.
If you’re familiar with Alarm Clock Free, the main addition to this paid version is the ability to use music from your library to play in lieu of the default sounds. Other new features include the ability to change the color of the clock itself and the option to shake the phone to put it into flashlight mode.
On top of these additions, all of the features found in the free version remain: a large, crisp digital clock, landscape orientation for an even larger clock, support for multiple alarms, the ability to adjust the brightness by sliding your finger up and down on the screen, snooze, and other options to make small tweaks to the way the clock displays.
I tested this app the other night, and it woke me up. A+. The clock display looks beautiful. When the alarm goes off, a large “Stop Alarm” button displays along with a “Snooze” button if you have snooze enabled. The ability to make minor adjustments like showing the day of the week or hiding seconds from displaying are nice touches.
Music selection is easy. The app pops up what is basically the iPod interface which has your standard tabs for playlists, artists, albums, and songs. You can choose individual songs by touching the + sign to the right of each song, or you can also add entire albums or playlists with one touch. When the alarm goes off, the app will continue to play all songs that were selected until the alarm is stopped.
Just like any other third party app, this one has to be running in order for it to work. Luckily, the developers had the foresight to warn you about it when adding an alarm. There’s nothing that the developers can do about it, so I’m not faulting them for it. But you need to keep that in mind. If you somehow forget to start the app before going to bed, you’re going to be out of luck when you’ve missed your morning meeting.
Battery usage also suffers when you leave an app running all night. When I tested it out over night, my battery drained from 68% to around 20% during the span of about 6 hours. The screen was off (which defeats the purpose of the digital clock), but I did have push Gmail on. The test isn’t scientific, but that type of drainage is definitely more than if I had no app running.
While selecting music is easy, modifying your selection once its made is not. In fact, it’s impossible. You can’t delete songs from your playlist, and you can’t reorder them. The moment you choose to select your music again, your entire playlist is erased and you have to start from scratch. This needs to be fixed.
On a minor note, there’s no way to customize the length of time for snoozing. The default is around 9 minutes. I would like to be able to snooze for a couple hours if I so choose!
The first screenshot in the app store for this app is actually an image of an iPhone with Alarm Clock Pro in what looks like a Bose sound dock. If you have this type of setup near your bed, this app will be ideal. Your phone will charge as you leave the phone running with the screen on. If you don’t, make sure you keep a charger handy. iPhone OS limitations aside, I can’t see how a third party alarm clock app could be much better than this.