Wake Alarm review: Slap around -- and flip off -- your iPhone for a better night's sleep

Wake Alarm is a gorgeous new alarm clock for iPhone that features a beautiful, gesture-filled interface and three different alarm styles: Slap & Flip, Shake, and Swipe. That's right, you must physically slap, flip, or shake your iPhone in order to turn off the alarm or trigger snooze.

With the Slap & Flip mode, you simply slap your iPhone (at the front-facing camera) for snooze, or flip it over to turn off. If you're a heavy sleeper who needs something more, the Shake mode requires you to physically shake your iPhone until the Shake Bar is filled up. And if you prefer something more basic, with Swipe mode, you just swipe up to turn off and swipe down to snooze.

The main screen for Wake alarm is simply a big circle with the time in the center. To set an alarm, you spin the circle. It will automatically cycle through minutes, but tapping the hour in the time will switch to changing the hour. As you move your finger along the circle, the time associated with that location on a clock will be selected. Tapping am/pm will alternate between the two options.

The arrow at the bottom of the alarm creation screen will give access to 12 built-in alarm sounds and the ability to save as a recurring alarm by tapping on the days of the week. Unfortunately, Wake Alarm does not support custom alarm sounds from your music library.

Although it's not the fault of Wake Alarm but of the limitation of iOS SDK, it's important to note that in order for Wake Alarm to work properly, you must leave it running onscreen and charging overnight. Otherwise, you will only receive a notification when your alarm goes off and the built-in gesture-based features to turn off or snooze the alarm will not work.

The good

  • Beautiful design
  • Simple gesture-based UI for setting and interacting with alarms
  • Spin the dial to easily set alarms
  • Create up to 8 repeatable alarms
  • Swipe down to view alarms and pull down to switch them on/off
  • Personalize with 12 exclusive built-in alarm sounds ranging from nice and calm to simply outrageous
  • SLAP & FLIP mode transforms your iPhone into an old-school alarm clock using a virtual Snooze Button; Slap to Snooze or Flip your iPhone to turn off the alarm
  • SHAKE mode forces you to physically shake your phone until the Shake Bar is filled up
  • Choose from 3 difficulty settings in Shake mode
  • Set recurring alarms for any day of the week
  • Progressive alarm sounds that get louder gradually

The bad

  • No custom alarm sounds -- can't use music library

The bottom line

If you're in the market for a new alarm clock and love gesture-based apps, definitely take a look at Wake Alarm. It's beautiful.