I use my iPhone as an alarm clock. Millions of us do. But it’s not foolproof.
The problem I have with the iPhone alarm is the Stop and Snooze buttons. They are too similat, and in my sleep-addled haze, I often hit the wrong one when the alarm goes off.
Thankfully, there are third-party apps that can help with that. I came across one recently that I just had to test, and although it worked really well, it was one of the worst app experiences I have ever had.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I present to you a truly divisive app. An app that will always wake you up, but one that may also drive you mad in the process.
The app is called Barcode Alarm Clock.
Wakey Wakey, Rise and Shine!
I know what you are thinking. How bad can it be? Well, stay tuned because I’m about to tell you exactly how bad (and how good) this app really is.
It was designed for heavy sleepers. If you have a habit of sleeping through your alarm clock or you hit Snooze too many times, then Barcode Alarm Clock may be exactly what you need.
This app lets you set alarms to wake you up, but there’s a catch. Once triggered, the alarm can only be silenced when you scan a preselected barcode on an item already in your house.
The developer suggests you use the barcode on your toothpaste because this forces you to get up, find your toothpaste, and scan the barcode to stop the alarm from annoying you.
It’s genius, yet pure evil at the same time.
How To Use Barcode Alarm Clock
To get started, you need to create an alarm. You choose a time and decide what days you want it to apply to. You can give your alarm a name, and choose a volume level.
Once you have that taken care of, it’s time to choose the sound that you want to be woken by. The app has a selection of annoying algorithmic noises that are each about as obnoxious as the next, but you can also choose a song from Apple Music if you prefer.
For those of us who need it, there’s a “Don’t Wake My Spouse” option that, once enabled, allows you to silence the alarm for a few seconds while you scramble around to find the barcode you need.
But, this doesn’t disable the alarm. It’s a temporary stay of execution. It will return if you don’t find that barcode when the timer runs out.
Next, you have to scan the all-important barcode. It can be anything you want. A book, a can of deodorant, a cereal box, or whatever you think will force you to get up and out of bed in the morning.
The last two alarm options are designed to encourage you to get a good night’s sleep. The Bedtime Reminder is like Apple’s Sleep function. You can set notifications to remind you about your desired bedtime.
Then there is the Bedtime Enforcer. It’s an insidious tool that will detect if your iPhone is moving after your bedtime and will nag you to put it down and go to sleep.
How Well Does it Work?
Barcode Alarm Clock does exactly what it says it will. The alarms are loud and annoying, and they don’t turn off until you scan that barcode.
Now, maybe you think you can cheat and disable the alarm before it goes off or mute your iPhone to prevent the alarm from bothering you.
You can try, but the mute switch has no effect, and alarms can be locked so that there is no way to turn them off until they have been triggered and disabled with the barcode.
Pricing and Availability
Both are available on the App Store.
This app is not for me. I don’t need it. I’m actually quite a light sleeper, and this is absolutely not the way I want to wake up in the morning.
The alarms built into iOS have their issues, but I’m not sure my nerves could take a full week of this. Could yours?