Reviews are in are people are calling this one of the best business they have ever read. This is the place to pre-order and get it before anyone else.
(This is a free app. Although I like all the free features, if it consistently wakes me up for the next week or more, I'll probably pay for it. Paying removes the ads, unlocks a few other features, and would work as a thank you to the developers for creating something that gets me up in time to have tea and ease into my day.)
I've had trouble with getting out of bed on time for years, but it's become especially bad lately. Four alarms, and I tend to only remember hearing two of them. I'm able to turn them all off and go back to bed without it ever entering my brain that there's a reason they were set in the first place. Two of the alarms require me to walk across the room.
I decided I needed to switch things up somehow, but buying new alarm clocks every time I grow immune to the old ones is expensive, and also wasteful if I can't find someone willing to take the old ones. I figured I'd gives apps a shot.
I've only been using it for 3 full days, but so far it looks like the Alarmy app works for me.
You can do a bunch of things with the app, but I'm mostly going to talk about the settings I use.
The default volume is LOUD. Way louder than I thought my phone's volume could go. I'm glad I checked the alarm preview before using it the first time, because it probably would have given me a heart attack, and disturbed my upstairs neighbor.
There are a variety of loud alarms included, but since I want an alarm that is persistent but not shocking, I went with one of the sounds already included on my phone. You can set Alarmy so the sound starts soft and gradually grows louder. I have mine set to reach the maximum volume I've decided upon in one minute. The next longest time period you can have is over the course of 5 minutes, which gives you a warning that the initial sound will possibly be too soft to hear. Like some other reviewers, I wish there were time intervals between 1 and 5 minutes. An alarm sound that gradually grew louder over 2 or 3 minutes would be great.
Alarmy includes a variety of "missions" it can force you to complete before its alarm can be dismissed. The math problems one seemed a bit cruel and potentially impossible for my poor, tired brain, so I went with a mission that required me to scan a barcode.
I happen to have a magnet with a barcode on my fridge. In order to dismiss my alarm, I have to walk all the way to the kitchen, turn the light on (it's too dark in the morning for the scanner to see the barcode, otherwise), and scan the barcode.
Like I said before, I regularly walk across rooms and turn off alarm clocks without it waking me up much, but all of these things combined seem to be enough to get me up. The barcode scanner works well, although it has usually been difficult for my tired self to line it up with the right thing on my fridge. The longer it takes me, the more time I have to wake up enough to realize that going back to bed would be a bad idea.
Things that would be nice
I'd like it if, after dismissing the alarm, a popup appeared with messages about things I needed to do after waking up. I could set reminders in another app, timed to pop up sometime after my alarm, but I'd prefer to do it all in a single app.
Also, one other app I considered has a "checking up on you" feature that I wish this one had. That app checks up on you 5 minutes after you've dismissed the alarm, just to make sure you haven't gone back to sleep. I could see that being a useful thing. If Alarmy ever stops working for me, that's the app I plan on trying next.
So far, so good. I can't guarantee I won't find a way to become immune to it, and it can't do anything about me not getting enough sleep, but I know for a fact that two of the times it got me up this week were times when I'd have usually overslept.
Literary awards are rarely sufficient motivation for me to choose one title over another — the enjoyment of literature being notoriously subjective — but since Less was already on my wishlist, its recent Pulitzer Prize win firmed up my decision to purchase.
What immediately struck me was the unusual narrative structure… predominantly first-person present tense (identity undisclosed) yet omnipresent.
From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad.
Look at him: seated primly on the hotel lobby’s plush sofa, blue suit and white shirt, legs knee-crossed so that one polished loafer hangs free of its heel. The pose of a young man.
But on occasion more like third-person. It is both confounding and intriguing. Continue reading >>
A trip down reading memory lane with one of the countless inspiring quotes from Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist:
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is a perfect example of the saying ‘good things come in small packages’. The simple little tale conveys a very powerful and inspirational message. First published in Portuguese in 1988, it is considered a modern classic. Continue reading >>
The first title from Sarah Jessica Parker's imprint for Hogarth
Unlike many reviewers, I was not immediately absorbed by Mirza’s family narrative. The prose itself was strikingly assured for a debut novelist but I struggled to truly engage with the characters, my personal feelings about the entrenched cultural-religious gender bias impacting their lives getting in the way.
Many of the characters’ behaviours/actions are frustrating to an outside observer also. But to Mirza’s credit, her attention to detail and absence of sentimentality in the presentation of the different character viewpoints soon had me seeing past those differences. It is with the nuances of behaviour explored, the family dynamics, and the gravity and impact of what is often left unsaid that I engaged. Continue reading >>