Uniquely Android: Puzzle Alarm Clock

Uniquely Android is a series we started that shines the spotlight on those apps that take advantage of the unique capabilities of the platform and provide an experience that you wouldn’t find in most other phones. Previously, we have featured Plug In LauncherAirDroidShushLlamaSwiftkey 3SwipePadWidgetsoid2.xUnified RemoteAirCalc and WiFi Keyboard.

What’s so unique about Puzzle Alarm Clock?

Right at the start, I have to request you to not judge Puzzle Alarm Clock by its name. It isn’t yet another of those “solve a math problem to switch off alarm apps”. It has a butt-load of features that I’ll get to below, but there’s one key element that makes it stand out for me: NFC.

I first began using the app at the start of the year when I was struggling to get rid of my nocturnal nature. I hate getting up early in the morning, sometimes snoozing my alarm for several hours before finally getting out of bed. The key for me, however, is that once I’m up and out of my room, I’m quite fresh and won’t fall back asleep even if I try to.

I had a bunch of NFC tags lying around, and I thought “wouldn’t it be great if there was an alarm app that only switched off the alarm by tapping with an NFC tag placed far away from my bed?” For a few minutes I thought I had just stumbled across a million dollar app idea. Unfortunately, as with all my other million dollar ideas, I found that someone had already built it.

How does it work?

While the app does try to look nice and simple like the built-in alarm apps, the moment you begin to add your first alarm it becomes clear that it isn’t. The options thrown at you include:

  1. The time
  2. A name for the alarm, days to repeat (you can choose any combination of the 7 days, there’s no limitation to daily, weekdays, or weekends)
  3. Alarm mode (if you purchase the pro version, you can change this to calm and or bomb)
  4. Turn off mode (touch, various puzzles, shake, NFC and QR code) with several additional options including whether you want to limit snoozes, annoying sounds while solving the puzzle, etc.
  5. Check if I’m awake, where a notification appears after five minutes of switching off the app, and if it isn’t dismissed in the next 5 minutes, the app assumes you are asleep again and sounds the alarm once more.
  6. FB motivation, where it posts to your Facebook timeline when you snooze an alarm, or don’t wake up on time such as in the case above.
  7. App after alarm, where you can set the app to launch once you’ve switched off the alarm. I currently set Any.DO so that I can quickly see the stuff I have lined up for the day, which would typically get me sufficiently worried about deadlines to wake me up.

Honestly, having listed everything, the app seems INSANE. And on top of all this, they have a “profile” feature which helps you track how long you sleep for. The profile feature also offers to inform you when you should go to bed based on the alarms you have set, which I find extremely useful because of my tendency to sit in front of my computer till dawn.

What does the pro version add?

Besides the option for a calm or a bomb alarm mode, it also adds difficulty levels to your puzzles, removes ads and a widget.

Any cons?

The app isn’t for everyone, but I’m quite sure that if you’re reading Uniquely Android posts, you probably love the additional options. The only thing I wish this app had was some way to prevent me from reaching the device’s settings and uninstalling it when I was fed up of it ringing and was too lazy to go tap my phone against the NFC tag on my refrigerator’s door. But if I’m going to request that, I might as well as request them to add the ability to pour water on me when it’s time to get up.

 

You can download Puzzle Alarm clock here. Do let us know what you think of it in the comments, and also suggest some apps that you believe fit the Uniquely Android theme.

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  • what_eva

    Maybe calling something “bomb mode” isn’t exactly the best idea this week.

    • Tomáš Petrík

      I understand you, however, it is a name of a feature in the app itself, which I assume was not created only this week.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amar.a.singh.7 NoIdentity Necessary

      Well then you might as well never call it that. There are plenty of bombs going off daily in Syria, Iraq etc…

      • Michael Lee

        Don’t be that guy.

    • guitarist5122

      America has no idea how good we have it compared to other regions of the world. Try living in fear every day with bombings and artillery fire a norm in your public places and neighborhoods. We feel it’s the end of the world when something like the Boston bombing takes place, but sleep on the fact that other people have to constantly face the same tragedy far more frequently then we’ll ever have to.

  • Chimphappyhour

    Check if I’m awake feature sounds like something I really need! In fact, this whole app sounds like something I need. I can too easily shut off the normal alarm in my sleep. :-/

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      It got me to wake up by 8 AM on weekends. I’m telling you, this app is a miracle worker.

      • Chimphappyhour

        Ha ha! That’s getting up late for me. :( But good to know that it works out well for those who might not get up as early as I do.

  • paxmos

    LOL…Give me a break..writing to Facebook timeline when you snooze an alarm!!! LMAO

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Yeah, I think something more useful might be adding an emergency contact or something, and sending texts to them asking them to wake you up.

      • yippiedad

        Now that’s a great idea!

      • Przemek Tomulik

        Great idea! We’ll add this feature for sure.

        • Raveesh Bhalla

          Looking forward to it, Przemek!

  • Jayshmay

    Hey guys, check out this app, it’s actual live tv right on your smartphone!!!

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mdc.ustv

  • androidisawesome

    Missed you Ravens. Welcome back!

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I’m hoping thats Auto-correct. And thanks! It’s good to be back!

      • androidisawesome

        Yup, sorry.

        • Raveesh Bhalla

          No sweat. You’re the only one to welcome me back so you’re permanently in my good books!

  • eleazar

    I tried using this app for over a month. It is extremely buggy when using the NFC mode. Sometimes it turns off when I hit the NFC sticker, sometimes it doesn’t.

    If you ever have to turn the alarm off without the NFC sticker (ie. you aren’t home, so you can’t hit the sticker), it completely messes up the alarms the next time they are set to go off. So when your alarm goes off the next day, it will ignore all snooze settings, which means you have to get up immediately, even if you set your alarm to go off extra early so you can snooze 3 times.

    I love the idea of this app, but they seriously need to work on these bugs. Before I uninstalled, I saw multiple other reviews with the exact same issues. I think an alarm clock needs to be one of the most solid apps on the phone, since it is so important to most people.

    • Przemek Tomulik

      Thanks for your feedback. I’ll try fix it as soon as possible.

      • eleazar

        Sorry for being so harsh. I love the idea of what your app can do. It just needs a few things worked out before I can use it :)

  • Cory

    I just found this app the other day and it is quite possibly the best alarm clock setup I’ve found.

  • http://www.facebook.com/balvinder.makkar.7 Balvinder Makkar

    When i saw uniquely android first thing that striked me was , it raveesh who use to write it…but then i realize its ur post..good to see you back
    Welcome back sr..!!!

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Thanks so much man!

  • C-Law

    Sounds pretty cool. Gentle Alarm was the first app I ever bought. I got it back in the og droid days and its still the only alarm I use. I like having the sound fade in from silence at a speed I choose, and it has a pre alarm and optional puzzles too. Can’t say enough good things

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.romeo.52 Adam Romeo

    Ive been using this app for over a year now, and it is still my favorite app. I had to pro the buy version though because i got good at solving the easy puzzles while i was asleep.