Reviews: The Wake N Shake Alarm Clock App Will Wake Even Your Undead Friends!
I shook and shook and shook the thing, like a hyperactive child doing the Lambada in the middle of a wind tunnel...
Today's post is the first in a multi-part series of reviews. This series probably doesn't require much explanation because it will include reviews of things I decide I would like to review. From movies to cookware to food to apps to anything else, if I think you need to hear about it, I will review it for you! Today's review is of an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app called the Wake N Shake Alarm Clock.
I stumbled upon this app because I decided I wanted to get up earlier in the mornings now that summer is over and I have started back teaching. Trying to wake me up is a little bit like trying to rouse a sofa pillow into consciousness; it is simply not going to happen. I have attempted setting two alarms in the past, but I turned both off and went back to sleep. I also tried placing the alarm clock across the room, but I simply walked across the room, turned it off, and went back to bed. I finally even broke down and bought an alarm clock called Clocky that rolls off your tabletop and onto the floor.
The trouble with Clocky was he would roll onto my floor and then under my king-size bed, scaring all of my pets and coming to rest under the middle of the bed where I could not reach him. Then, with the alarm blaring and frightened animals skittering around me, I would use a yardstick to try and extract Clocky from his spider hole. The whole process would take about ten minutes. During that time, I would feel ridiculously aggravated. By the time I was done, I was so worn out and angry I would go back to bed out of sheer exhaustion. Clearly, I needed an alarm clock that could not possibly allow me to go back to sleep.
This past Saturday, I searched the iTunes Store on my iPhone, looking for a good alarm clock app. Since I use my phone for everything now, I thought I might as well use it to wake myself up. (On purpose, I mean. Not because it is two in the morning, and I wake up and start playing Words With Friends to make myself drowsy again. But then the glaring screen and excitement of trying to find a word to play against my dad revs me up and makes me unable to go back to sleep.)
Anyway, in my search, I saw the name Wake N Shake Alarm Clock, and the shake part caught my interest. Surely if I actually had to shake my phone to shut the alarm off, I would get up for good, right? Well, I decided to test the app to see.
I downloaded the app for $1.99, which seemed reasonable to me because if anyone could find a way to make me get up and stay up early in the morning, that would be worth a lot of money. I opened the app and saw a screen with a teddy bear icon in the middle, so I clicked the teddy bear. The screen then showed all the shake settings, from "cake" to "impossible." The highest and lowest settings were only available if you spent an additional $.99. I set it to "pure evil," the highest shake level available to me without spending extra money.
I fumbled with the app for a couple of minutes until I found the screen to set the tone of the alarm. There were many tones available, the most annoying of which was an evil laugh. If I had to hear that evil laugh, especially at 5:30 in the morning, it might make me so angry that I would dive through the front window, run down the street, and jump in the creek just to get away from it. I settled on a tone called "Spanish," which consisted of quiet guitar sounds and a Spanish-accented voice sweet-talking me into getting up. If I were groggy enough, the voice would sound like Antonio Banderas, who doesn't really do it for me, but whose voice I wouldn't mind having whispered, okay, yelled in my ear as I emerged from a restful slumber. I also noticed an option to make the iPhone vibrate when the alarm goes off and pay an additional $.99 to get a flashing strobe light.
Since it was going to be Sunday morning the next day, I didn't want to get up too early, so I set the alarm for 8 AM, turned the volume all the way up, and proceeded to go to sleep. Well, I went to sleep after I finished my marathon Matrix Trilogy viewing, party of one, in which I watched the love of my teenage years, Keanu Reeves, kick all the ass in the world. Keanu looked just as good in the movies as my 16-year-old self remembered him looking.
The following day I was jolted awake by a voice so loud it could have been Donald Trump standing next to my bed, talking in his regular speaking voice. "Wake up, my beautiful sleeping beauty, wake up! Rise and shine!" the voice yelled. The phone also vibrated like crazy, so it sounded like Antonio Banderas sweet-talking me from the middle of an F-5 tornado. My brain kicked on, and I remembered I had to shake the thing to get it to be quiet. I started shaking from where I lay, but the meter that told me how close I was to 100% in shaking power said only 53%. So, I sat up and kept shaking, which didn't work. I actually kneeled on my bed, shaking the damn iPhone until the meter read 100%, and turned the alarm off. I felt really awake, but I lay back down for a second and fell asleep for five minutes for good measure. Then I got up and walked on the treadmill, and did ab exercises. Miraculous!
I considered the venture somewhat successful, but I wanted to be totally awake to where I wouldn't even consider getting back in bed. So, last night, I paid $.99 to access the very highest level of shaking power and another $.99 to get the strobe light. Before bed, I set the alarm at the highest shake level, "impossible," turned on the vibration and the strobe light, and turned the volume all the way up. I left the Antonio Banderas voice on there because with a strobe light going, I thought it might feel like Antonio and I had taken a trip to Studio 54. Good times.
This morning I was awakened by a deafening racket that could probably, literally, wake the dead. I mean, if some corpses just happened to be lying on the ground in front of my bed, they would have become reanimated zombies just so they could get up and pound the iPhone out of existence because it was that terrible and annoying.
Antonio exploded from the phone with his sweet nothings: "Wake up my beautiful sleeping beauty!" he yelled like the guy who played McCoy on Law and Order screaming through a megaphone, only in that mesmerizing Spanish accent that, even at 350,000 dB, was still pretty darn attractive. That was my cue. I started shaking the thing, but the meter only went up to 24%. I tried sitting and even kneeling, but I could only get the meter up to 51%. I even got up out of bed and jumped up and down, shaking it, but it just would not turn off! Finally, I turned off the phone's power. Startled and breathing hard from the exertion, I sat on the bed.
And, what do you know! When the iPhone's power came back on, Antonio started screaming again, only this time, it seemed even louder than before. I shook and shook and shook the thing, like a hyperactive child doing the lambada in the middle of a wind tunnel.
The strobe light flashed around me, giving the whole party a real Saturday Night Fever vibe, which unfortunately did not come with John Travolta, because, if it had, I would have handed the thing to John and begged for his help in turning it off. Still, the meter never went above 58%. Finally, probably out of pity for my poor frightened pets and me, it turned itself off. Well, let me tell you, I got right up and went and did 45 minutes on the treadmill before work! I was so wide awake after that that I felt like I had just taken a baker's dozen of No-doz.
So, I give the Wake N Shake Alarm Clock app 4 out of 4 stars for raw wake-up power. I also give it 4 stars for bringing Antonio Banderas into my life. I promise you, if you have trouble waking up, this thing will beat you into submission. So download the app, and get your ass out of bed!
*Review originally posted in 2013