If you rely on a few different alarms to get up in the morning -- smart lights that blast on at a certain time, a smart speaker placed far away, and your trusty smartphone alarm -- the macOS app Wakefy adds another tool to your arsenal of awakening. It isn't perfect, but it performs well enough that we'd consider adding it to our morning collection.
Screenshot: David Murphy
How Wakefy Works
When you install the app -- not from the Mac App Store, since the app requires more system permissions than Apple grants App Store apps -- you also have to grab Spotify if you don't already have it installed. Finally, you'll need an active Spotify account (free is fine).
When you load Wakefy and tap on its little menu bar icon, you have to give it two bits of information: a time and a playlist. Once you set this alarm, your MacBook will wake up at the designated time and start blasting the playlist you picked. It's as easy as that. Sort-of.
Waking Up Is Hard to Do
While we love the concept, Wakefy still has to contend with some macOS peculiarities. First off, you'll want to just put your desktop or laptop to sleep every night instead of powering it off completely. Wakefy can turn your system on for you, but you'll have to enable automatic login -- fine if you know nobody else is going to ever touch your system, but less ideal for a laptop you carry around. Unless it has access to your desktop, Wakefy won't work.
If you're using Wakefy on a laptop, you'll have to keep your laptop's screen open while it's sleeping -- even slightly cracked is fine -- or else your system will immediately fall back asleep when Wakefy wakes it up to wake you up. And you (obviously) won't want to leave your headphones plugged in to your system unless you're the lightest of sleepers.
Though Wakefy indicates you can search for Spotify songs and playlists to use as an alarm, we were only able to pull up the latter. Also, Wakefy searches all of Spotify when you're picking a playlist as an alarm. There's no way to easily select from the playlists you've already created.
Still, as a work-in-progress, Wakefy is a welcome addition to a morning routine if you're looking for a little more help to get out of bed. It's free, it's fairly quick to configure, and it gets the job done if easier solutions just aren't enough.