iPhone Just switched to iOS from Android, need advice for an alarm app

bvz

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2005
64
90
Hello,

I just got an iPhone 11 after years of using Android.

One thing I am missing is that the alarm app on Android will tell you how many hours till the alarm goes off when you set it.

For example, if I set an alarm for 9 am, a small popup will show for a moment that says "alarm set for 7 hours and 47 minutes from now". This is super useful for those times I set an alarm and accidentally set it for 9 pm, or set it for weekdays only but I expected it to run on a Saturday. In these cases after I set the alarm it will say something like "alarm set for 19 hours and 47 minutes from now", or "alarm set for 2 days and 7 hours and 47 minutes from now". These are clues that I mis-set the alarm (and it is something that I do from time to time).

I'm wondering whether there are any iOS alarm apps that have this same feature.

Thanks!
 

Mr.Blacky

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Jul 31, 2016
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I don't really know if there are such apps, but there is a fairly big AM or PM displayed next to the set wake up time. Also there is a AM/PM picker while setting the time, so I can't really imagine you would set the wrong time by accident. 🤔
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
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Baltimore, Maryland
I don't really know if there are such apps, but there is a fairly big AM or PM displayed next to the set wake up time. Also there is a AM/PM picker while setting the time, so I can't really imagine you would set the wrong time by accident. 🤔
It happens enough that there's a jailbreak tweak that asks if you meant to set an alarm for PM.

An iOS timer set in the Clock app shows the countdown on the lockscreen. You can only have one timer running.

I don't know of an app but perhaps someone knows of one that has a widget.
 

Mr.Blacky

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Jul 31, 2016
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Austria
It happens enough that there's a jailbreak tweak that asks if you meant to set an alarm for PM.

An iOS timer set in the Clock app shows the countdown on the lockscreen. You can only have one timer running.

I don't know of an app but perhaps someone knows of one that has a widget.
Okay, but still can't imagine it. I mean, you are able to choose the correct number from 1-12 (0-59) to set the time, but then you fail to choose between 1-2 (AM/PM)? Or maybe I'm just hyper-carefully? 🤷‍♂️
 
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bvz

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2005
64
90
Okay, but still can't imagine it. I mean, you are able to choose the correct number from 1-12 (0-59) to set the time, but then you fail to choose between 1-2 (AM/PM)? Or maybe I'm just hyper-carefully? 🤷‍♂️
It doesn’t happen a lot. Perhaps once or twice a year. But it does happen occasionally. Most often when I’m rushed or under a lot of stress.

When I’m trying to get up early for a flight or an appointment, having that little double check message is a godsend. It’s just a very thoughtful little detail.
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
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If you use bedtime I think that it shows you this sort of information.
Well it shows you the hours between going to bed and waking up.

It is not exactly the same but it might be temporary workaround until you find something else.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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There's a difference between a countdown timer and an alarm.

It happens the standard countdown timer in Apple's Clock app does as you describe.

I understand that once you have a feature to which you've become accustomed, you want to continue having the feature. We are "shaped by our tools." In the Apple universe, these tools have shaped my behavior:

Most typically, I set alarms with Siri, "Hey Siri, wake me at 9:00 AM." Siri confirms, "OK, I've set an alarm for 9:00 AM." I can also ask Siri what alarms are set. I think this is exactly what you seek - you just need to use Siri rather than pick up your phone and fiddle with the Alarm app. Of course, remembering to use Siri requires some effort at habit-creation.

I limit my use of Alarm to wake-up alarms - those are set, by habit, just before I go to bed. I have multiple pre-set alarm times in the Clock app, so when I forget to ask Siri (and do things the old-fashioned way) usually it's a matter of switching-on a pre-existing time - very easy to see whether it's an AM or PM time.

I'm also enough of a creature of habit that I re-use most alarm times. As the Alarm app remembers all those alarms (until I delete some due to clutter), it's pretty easy to choose the pre-set I need (when I'm not using Siri).

I use countdown timers far more frequently than alarms - setting a countdown duration (whether when cooking, or needing to return to work after a meal) tends to be easier than mentally calculating, "I started lunch at 12:05, so I need to set my alarm to 1:00..." My Apple Watch maintains a list of recent countdown durations, so it's very easy to use the same 58-minute countdown daily (an alarm two minutes prior to return-to-work time). I find it a bit faster to tap the Timer complication on my Watch and tap again on the desired preset/Recent than to say, "Hey Siri, set a countdown for 58 minutes," and wait for confirmation.

I create recurring Calendar events when I require routine reminder alarms/notifications (daily work schedule, bi-weekly visits from the housecleaners, trash/recycling pickup schedule, etc.). A major advantage to Calendar event reminders/alarms is you can have multiple reminders for the same event (remind me a day before, then remind me again an hour before it's time to depart). As preset, recurring events, there's then no need to remember to set an alarm at all.
 
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bvz

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2005
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90
I’ll give Siri try. The problem of course is that my wife goes to bed before I do. That means I can’t be talking to my phone, at least not in the bedroom. I don’t want to be waking her up.

This isn’t a showstopper, I was just hoping that there would be an app that had a feature more like this. I’ll try the app that was mentioned above.

I never really used Google assistant when I had my android either. But part of the reason was I didn’t like the idea of sending voice information to Google. Now that I have an iPhone I guess I might be a little more inclined to use Siri, simply because Apple does seem to have a much better privacy policy.
 

Pockets81

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2017
12
7
There’s an app called nightstand that I’ve been using forever it seems like...it has what I think you’re looking for, you do have to have the app open and running through the previous night though for it to work but you can dim it out so it’s not bright
 

bvz

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2005
64
90
There’s an app called nightstand that I’ve been using forever it seems like...it has what I think you’re looking for, you do have to have the app open and running through the previous night though for it to work but you can dim it out so it’s not bright
Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.
 
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Vlad Soare

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2019
180
72
Bucharest, Romania
If you add the 'Up Next' widget to the Today View you'll see the alarm there. It will read 'Alarm tomorrow at 9.00 AM', so it will be pretty obvious if you've mistakenly set it for another day. In fact, I believe it will not appear at all in the widget if it's set for another day.
 
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Aftermath747

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Sep 16, 2015
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There’s an app called Sleep Cycle that will warn you if you set the alarm for PM instead of AM. Also lets you choose a wake-up window instead of a specific time, if you prefer.
 

bvz

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2005
64
90
There’s an app called Sleep Cycle that will warn you if you set the alarm for PM instead of AM. Also lets you choose a wake-up window instead of a specific time, if you prefer.
Thanks. I'll check that out as well.
 

bvz

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2005
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90
This is built in to the default clock app (someone mentioned this previously, but here's a screenshot). Super easy to use.

Thanks for that. Useful.

It, unfortunately, doesn't address my specific use case. The only times I had use for this particular feature on Android was for exceptional cases... i.e. when I have to get up early for a flight, etc.

In those cases I'm usually frazzled, throwing together last minute changes to a presentation or particular portfolio piece, and more likely to make a bone headed mistake like setting the wrong AM or PM setting, or setting the alarm for the wrong day. That's when this little bit of extra assurance is very welcome.

I've looked at a few of the downloadable apps on the app store (and some of the ones mentioned here). The weird thing is that they all seem to only work if you keep them active. If you don't, apparently they won't activate the alarm? That seems weird to me, and also a bit fragile. I rely on my alarms and I can’t risk accidentally closing an app leading to me missing my flight. Maybe I’m misunderstanding this.

The built in clock app seems to be the best solution so far. I’ll just have to be super vigilant about the setting of the alarm (and I know I’ll get it wrong... but setting it with Siri seems like a fairly robust solution for that).

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
 

bvz

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2005
64
90
Just pick up the phone and say "Hey Siri, wake me up tomorrow at 9 AM". This way you'll definitely not mess anything up. :)
That’s my plan.

Downside is that I will often have to get up out of bed and tiptoe out of the room to do it because my wife is already asleep.

Or I’ll have to type it into Siri.

Either way works.

I’m still a little baffled as to why the alarm app situation is so terrible on iOS. Even if they want to minimize background apps for battery purposes, there should be a mechanism for an app to schedule its own wake up time with the system so that it can do its own thing as needed.

While I generally like my new iPhone a lot, there are a couple of places where I bump into some surprisingly backwards design. Not enough to regret switching mind you, but unexpected to be sure.
 

Vlad Soare

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2019
180
72
Bucharest, Romania
I used to be an Android user for several years. Although I loved how iPhones looked and felt, and the temptation to get one was hard to resist, I hesitated for a long time, because I perceived iOS to be dumber than Android. A lot of features I was using in Android were either unavailable in iOS, or dumbed down. Kind of how you feel now about the clock app.
But then I learned that iOS has its own ways of doing things, and realized that if I embraced them and got used to them I could be even quicker and more productive than I was with Android, despite the apparent lack of features. Now that I've gotten used to iOS and found a workflow that suits me, I don't miss anything from Android anymore.
 
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bransoj

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2013
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I've not researched it loads but i suspect this is the kind of thing you could do via the Shortcuts app. Create one to set the alarm and have a confirmation box pop up that says "are you sure you want to set an alarm for hh:mm?"

Quick google suggests there are a number of alarm setting type shortcuts out there but you might need to dig through to find one that suits.

This may be the sort of thing, just needs the confirmation window adding in :-
 
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dan.tebeau

macrumors member
Jun 1, 2015
30
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Just setup a reoccurring alarm. I have my work alarm that goes off daily M-F @ 6am. Don’t have to set it daily, it automatically goes off. You can skip weekends, customize to certain days with repeat (select day).