Wake Up to Radio Alarm Clock

If the iOS’ clock capabilities are too bland for your tastes, then you just might appreciate Radio Alarm Clock. This app is an all-in-one featuring a sleep timer, a shake-to-snooze option and has an old-timey antique display, among other features. It will also alert you that it’s time to wake up with nature sounds, radio stations or various other sounds of your choosing.

Can this flashy timepiece get you ready to take on the world in the morning? Find out more about it after the jump.

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Not Your Normal Timepiece

No one likes to hear an alarm going off. It usually means that a dream is being interrupted and that it’s time for the inevitable start of the workday. But if there’s a way for the experience of waking up to become more pleasant and more effective, we’re all for it. What Radio Alarm Clock contributes to this cause is option after option that will ease sleepers into bright-eyed and bushy-tailed morning people.

Radio Alarm Clock's normal view (left) and alarm-setting screen (right).

Radio Alarm Clock’s normal view (left) and alarm-setting screen (right).

For example, when you initially start setting up an alarm, one of the choices you’re given is how the sound begins. The Sound Fade In can take place 30 seconds to 5 minutes after your alarm goes off. What happens is that instead of your alarm blaring at peak volume, it will progressively get louder over the time established. You may wake up a little later, but you will also have the sound introduced more subtly.

You can have the alarm blare, though, if that is your preference. In fact, you are able to set the alarm volume so that it doesn’t exceed certain decibel levels and totally freak you out.

Two different views of when the alarm goes off.

Two different views of when the alarm goes off.

You can also control whether or not the alarm will go off with a vibration. Much like the noise level controls, it’s up to you whether you want your iPhone shaking and rattling on your nightstand.

If waking up is really a problem in the morning, selecting to have the alarm turn off by shaking it might be the forceful way to get the process started. Just determine how many shakes you want the iPhone to take before shutting off the alarm or going into snooze mode.

The Radio Within the Clock

Radio Alarm Clock boasts that it can broadcast more than 50,000 radio stations from around the globe. These stations can be listened to while you’re utilizing the sleep timer and can be the first thing you hear when your alarm goes off.

One perk that comes with having this many radio stations is that you are able to continue listening to them after your alarm goes off. The tuner option turns Radio Alarm Clock into an equivalent of iHeartRadio, OneTuner, TuneIn or the other streaming apps out there — well, except maybe those such as Pandora, Songza and Spotify.

Radio Alarm Clock scans for a station (left) chosen from its lists (right).

Radio Alarm Clock scans for a station (left) chosen from its lists (right).

If you can’t find a station, Radio Alarm Clock says that you can add it by typing in the URL. A few attempts made during this write-up found that promise didn’t really prove true, though maybe there are specific links required. (The ones used were the general URLs for the stations.)

Stations can be searched by country and within the USA you can search by state. There are also rankings for the top 100 stations and a direct link to a list of SHOUTcast stations. Add anything you find in your quest for musical happiness to your favorites for future listening or for alarm and sleep timer purposes. Speaking of that …

Nighttime Tunes

If you need some sounds to soothe you into a slumber, Radio Alarm Clock features a sleep timer. This handy functionality will play sounds as you are trying to fall asleep. The nocturnal noise can be one of the nature sounds provided in the app, a radio station, MP3 files found on your phone or you can record your own nighttime soundtrack.

How long the sleep timer will be needed will vary from person to person. Thankfully, you can set your sleep timer for as short as one minute or as long as 23 hours and 59 minutes.

Change the length of your sleep timer.

Change the length of your sleep timer.

An additional decision that comes with the sleep timer is whether or not the sound you’re listening to stops or fades out. Choosing to have it end will abruptly cut the volume when the clock runs out on the sleep timer.

The fading option will soften the sounds and music anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes before the timer is to shut off, easing the transition from to a soft noise-filled to a noise-free zone.

Time to Get This App?

Radio Alarm Clock consolidates features found on your iPhone and from a few free apps into an all-in-one resource to manage your sleep schedule. For the most part, things work as they’re supposed to. The alarms go off. The radio usually plays and plays for as long as you want it to and at the noise level that you set for it. The biggest perk was the sleep timer, mainly because this reviewer hasn’t come across other apps that control sound in this fashion.

What was a little disappointing was how difficult it was to add stations not found in the already-extensive list. It’s not clear what URLs the app is looking for specifically, so it makes it a challenge to upload a station you love for alarm purposes. The alarm seems to also selectively decide when it’s going to play sounds or not, especially when the phone is in silent mode. Yes an alarm will go off, but it may be a vibrating one rather than sounds, or you may get lucky and get both.

You can probably stick with the music and alarm options found in the iOS, but the merging of the two in the sleep timer makes the purchase worth it if you need something to help you fall asleep.


Summary

All-in-one clock, sleep timer and radio tuner.

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