iOS, Android: I’m pretty sure Alarmy is evil, but perfect, because a good alarm clock should be two-parts irritating, one-part useful. You don’t want to hate your alarm clock whenever it wakes you up each morning, but a great alarm app shouldn’t be very easy to turn off (tempting you to you go back to bed).
Instead of simply blasting an annoying tone or song, Alarmy (for iOS and Android) borrows a page from every other fun alarm app and allows you to set up wake-up challenges to prove that you’re getting out of bed. And while any app can ask you to complete a maths problem, shake the phone, or solve a graphical puzzle — all Alarmy options, too — the app takes the concept of the “morning challenge” one step further.
When you set up an alarm, you’re asked to provide a time, sound and vibration alerts; whether you want to be able to snooze it or not; and… a mission. Cue the song from that Tom Cruise movie.
Of the six missions you can pick from, two are especially insidious. The first, “Barcode/QR-code”, allows you to scan any barcode from any product (such as a book, your shampoo, or whatever), or any QR code you have either sitting around nearby or one that you recently printed.
Scan either code to register it to Alarmy. Then, once your alarm starts going off, it’ll keep going until you use your device’s camera to scan the barcode/QR code. Depending on how far away you’ve placed said item in your house or apartment, this can be a great deterrent to sleeping in.
If you don’t want to fuss with scanning items, Alarmy also comes with a simpler “Take a picture” mode. Just take a photograph of something in your house in the condition it’ll be in when you typically wake up at whatever time of day — your toilet, for example.
As before, your alarm will start ringing, and it won’t shut off until you take a similar picture of that item. Depending on your photography skills and sleepy memory, this might normally take you a bit of time in the morning, but Alarmy also provides you with a useful overlay of your registered image versus what you’re seeing on your screen, so even your tired self can take the perfect, silencing shot.
Though Alarmy’s features are completely free to use, the app does come with small advertisement under your list of alarms unless you pay $1.49 for the app’s full version. The ad didn’t bother me at all when I was using the app, and I doubt it would bother me at the crack of dawn.