45

1Alarm, a no-frills alarm for Windows Phone 8

1Alarm

1Alarm is a simple, easy to use alarm app for Windows Phone 8.  It is a single alarm without many bells and whistles, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The app makes use of gesture controls and a unique time setting interface to help the app stand out a bit.

While there are some functionality restrictions do to the Windows Phone OS, 1Alarm is not a bad option to consider if you are looking for a clean, easy to use alarm app for your Windows Phone 8 device.

Again, there is not much to 1Alarm.  If you need to set multiple alarms, have the weather displayed or have the snooze linked to solving a puzzle this app may not have much appeal.

The display has your time displayed in large numbers with the alarm time displayed just underneath.  In the upper left corner of the display will be your current day/date and down below is your next calendar appointment.

1Alarm

Swiping up at the screen you will find options to set the nap feature and select a song to wake up by.  The nap feature is basically a duration alarm or timer.  When the nap feature is activated, an alarm will sound once the set time duration expires.

To set the alarm, tap the alarm display to set the wake-up time.  The alarm-setting feature is a bit on the unique side in that you tap the time block to pull up a numbers pad.  Just tap the numbers to set the time, and then tap that AM/PM box to set the AM or PM.  Once set and the alarm sounds, you can activate the snooze feature by shaking your Windows Phone and slide up to reveal the dismiss function.

Setting the nap timer is done in similar fashion.  Just swipe up at the screen to choose the nap feature and the alarm display will be replaced with the nap timer.  The timer will automatically start but to adjust the duration, tap the timer display.

While I like the simplicity of 1Alarm, it has a few restrictions that holds the app back.  1Alarm will not run under a lockscreen and will not run in the background.  To the developer’s credit, these restrictions are OS based and should these restrictions change, these features will be implemented.

1Alarm is well suited as a nightstand alarm clock and possibly a duration alarm for naps, as a reminder of an event, or just keeping track of your kid’s homework time.  The single alarm function may not appeal to some but if you need an easy to use alarm app on your Windows Phone 8 device, 1Alarm is worth a try.

1Alarm is a free app that you can find here in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: 1Alarm

2
loading...
0
loading...
20
loading...
0
loading...

Comments

There are 45 comments. Sign in to comment

seemack says:

Thanks!

(1Alarm-dev)

Nice to see the app featuring here. I remember the days beta testing this. Awesome effort seemack!

HM02 says:

Idgi. If it doesn't run in the background or under the lockscreen, what's the point of using it? You have to keep your screen on and the app open the whole time for it to work? I don't see how it's an OS limitation if the normal alarm clock works in the background.

diktea says:

Exactly, what is the use of that alarm, if it cannot ring when the phone is locked. Other alarm apps did ring with lockscreen and works in the background. Do you mean to say, will not work when the phone is switched off????

That shouldn't be a problem. Once an alarm is set the OS will alarm you whether its running or not. I use an app called Nap alarm. Not only do i NOT allow it to run in the back i back out of it once i set it and it fires up every single time. I expect this app to do the same

seemack says:

Hey Krayzie,

I'll take a look at the app you mentioned. For my part, two of my requirements when creating this was that it play music from my media library and be able to snooze when the device was moved. I tried for a good while but could never get them both to work from underneath the lockscreen. It's definitely something I would prefer to have and will do it as soon as I find out it's possible.

 

 

Chris (1Alarm dev)

Are the three capacitive Windows buttons permanently lit?

creativem31 says:

OS limitation.  You're not able to change / play with them.

seemack says:

Unfortunately yes. There is a way to turn them off by putting the phone into a low-power mode but, as I recall, it is a bit of a pain so I never bother. I'll post the link for how to do it here if I manage to dig it up again.

Chris (1Alarm dev)

numetheus says:

What is the point of this app when the built in alarms app has a lot of the same features and also runs in the background?

seemack says:

Hey numetheus,

The main reason this app came to be was my dislike for the column strategy of entering times that all of the OS's use. I figured there was a more accurate method and this is what I came up with. My first design was a simple numpad where the numbers were always visible but it wasn't very nice looking. After a few iterations, I came up with this and find it to be nicer looking and even quicker than the numpad since you just have to slide your finger to select a digit. Ironically, an old colleague let me know that google has since implemented the numpad version.

The other point is that I like simplicity over customization capability. Setting an alarm time is so easy that I have no problem setting it once I open the app. The fact that it is a sticky setting means I rarely have to set it anyway.

I'll never claim that it's for everyone but it's still by far my favourite alarm on the marketplace : )
Chris (1Alarm dev)

creativem31 says:

It looks like in order to get around some of the Windows Phone OS limitations, hes using in-app timers to fire off the alarms.  Thing with this is that WP8 doesn't let you continually run these in the background properly.  The tombstoning wont allow the timer to actually do anything...

Gesture number pad is fun though.  And I like the clean design.  Make use of the Windows Phone alarm scheduler for alarms and allow more than one (the max is 7 for an app to use the OS scheduler) and it will be really good!

marstodd says:

That's cool, but what exactly are the limitations he is getting around by using timers?

creativem31 says:

Well if you want to create a timer for a short napping period, you need to do it that way.  If you wanted the timer to work to the second under the lock screen, there is no way to do it.  You could schedule an alarm and disguise it as a timer but those are triggered by the system any time inside the minute it is due to go off... So can be up to 59 seconds late.

Hes not really getting around too much :-)  But I feel for the guy not being able to do it how he wants.

It should really use the alarm scheduler though, as these would work fine for all but the most accurate of timing tasks !

seemack says:

You are pretty much bang-on! I tried using the WP scheduled alarm but the problem is that it doesn't let you pick a song from your media library, just the crappy ringtones included in the OS. Having my music for an alarm ended up being more important to me than having the app run under the lockscreen : ) 

It's been a while since I looked at it but, if I recall correctly, I also wasn't able to implement the shake-to-snooze functionality using scheduled alarms.

Thanks for the comments about the design. It's something that I worked on for a while and I think it's pretty unique in the marketplace.

Chris (1Alarm dev)

sym1a1a says:

You do know that with the default alarm on WP you can create your own ringtones and use them for your alarm sound, the only real problem I had with the phones default alarm was that it plays so soft ( volume wise ) its been like that on all WP that I have owned, focus, 900, 920, and now the 1020, its just to quite to wake me in the am

chodenode says:

What stand is that in the top picture?

That's the 3D printed one that guy was selling for stupid money. Search the site, there was a review of it.

It is definitely not a limitation of the Windows Phone OS. I know that because I also developed an alarm app specialized for Powernapping, which is published in the store since yesterday. The app is called "powernAPP" and uses voice commands to set the set the timer with just one single tap. (sry for advertising...)

BTT: I like the gestures to select the time in the 1Alarm app. Good idea!

Thank you! I have been using a few nap apps and neither one of them run in the background. Definately not an OS limitation.

link68759 says:

I discussed this at length with the dev. The limitation of the OS is apparently that you cannot access the media library from under the lock screen. If there were some way to import the song into 1alarm's isolated store, there wouldn't be a problem.

seemack says:

Hey Link!

I looked into that prior to releasing the app but there's no way to bring a media file over to the app's isolated storage : (

crash1989 says:

There is a way to download audio files to the isolated storage from a web service or whatever but even after that the Alarm class wont accept the isostore URI and the app needs to be running in the background. 
correct me if I am wrong

seemack says:

That is correct. The alarm on WP can only play an mp3 that is packaged with the app or ringtones on the device. I looked into using the ringtones since a user could put their mp3s in the ringtones folder but I found that they can only be 40sec long. Hopefully that will change in the next version.

 

 

GCN says:

Interesting, I found the time setting interface awkward and I would much prefer the standard setting method.

KotsarikosG says:

Stupid alarm clock....
I think the"ding"very best in this category

sym1a1a says:

I currently use "Alarm Clock" by LarssonTech, and it most definetly runs under lockscreen, I wouldnt use an alarm clock app that requried me to keep it on all night, this might cause screen burn on a phone with AMOLED display

seemack says:

Does it let you choose your own mp3's for the alarm sound? That's the main reason I had to implement things the way I did.

Your point about burn-in is very true and is why I have the screen fade to black after a minute or so.

Thanks,
Chris (1Alarm dev)

sym1a1a says:

Hi Chris, yes, you can choose your own mp3s from your music collection, the review didn't mention the fade to black feature that I recall but its good you were able to add that I wish you the best of luck with your app

seemack says:

Excellent! I'll have to look into that.

Chris

quytam says:

WP8 limitations sucks !!!

seemack says:

Totally agree : )

link68759 says:

I have been using this for a while, and I like the app.

My only issues are if I'm really tired, nudging the phone causes it to snooze too easily, and also if you miss the song, it doesn't play on repeat so you had better have a backup alarm.

I don't think playing on repeat is necessarily the solution- it should wait a few minutes and then play the song again, otherwise my brain will permanently tune it out.

I've discussed various possible improvements with the developer, but I gather he must be busy with life because they haven't come about yet.

For example, I've said that he could add tracks of silence length 1min, 5min, 30min to the isolated storage. Then all he has to do is create a playlist; if you want to wake up in an hour, play the 30 minute track twice and then the user selected song. I believe if he implemented this, it would allow it to run in the background AND under the lockscreen. It's not like the app is any more prone to failure this way (if the user pauses it), because as is the windows button is ready to minimize the app at any point in the night...

I also suggested that for the time being he add a standard alarm beep to the isolated store that plays as a failsafe. If the app is minimized or the phone is locked, a standard alarm beep should play at the specified time.

I hope he takes my ideas and continues to develop this app. If not, well I guess I could use my ideas as a good first project for starting to be a developer.

seemack says:

haha well that's how I started this project : )

It's weird that the alarm sound doesn't repeat on your device. I'm pretty sure I set that explicitly. It does on my device but I'll double-check that.

I haven't forgotten about your other feedback either : ) The failsafe sound has been in the books for a while and I really like your tracks of silence idea. I just haven't been able to investigate it yet. I'm planning to put a few days on 1Alarm over the xmas holidays though.

Chris

seemack says:

Woot, made it on WPCentral! Thanks for reviewing my app! 

I'll reply to the comments in this thread but a common comment seems to be that it must run above the lockscreen. It's true that you can set an alarm to ring beneath the lockscreen but you can only choose from the system sounds for that particular notification. I wanted to wake up to my own music (media on my device) and I couldn't get the device to reliably start music under the lock screen so the current implementation was the result. It would definitely be better if it did run under the lockscreen and I'll implement it as soon as I find out it's possible!

 

Cheers

- 1alarm dev

phonypaul says:

I use alarm clock by pilot pocket software. It has the most important features - auto dimming and a huuuge snooze button.

seemack says:

With a motion-activated snooze, you don't even need a snooze button : )

phonypaul says:

When I am sleepy motion activation is not a good idea ;):)

Seriously Microsoft should do something to there API

phonypaul says:

Oh, it is coming in 2018. Maybe.

jabtano says:

Clean app for sure..going to use this tonight..

seemack says:

Thanks Jabtano! Don't forget to set your device volume too ; )

seemack says:

I don't imagine anyone is following this thread but, for anyone requesting that the app work under the lockscreen, it isn't possible due to the fact that I need access to the motion sensor for shake-to-snooze. Unfortunately, 3rd party apps are not allowed to access the sensors while under the lockscreen.

Perhaps I'll create a "lockscreen" edition of 1alarm..