Awaken is an alarm clock application for Mac OS X, that comes with more features than you may expect from such an application, and certainly beats other alternatives on the market. Before I came across Awaken, I used Alarm Clock, a free and simple application that did what it said on the tin: played music through my speakers at whatever time I wanted! I found the application to be somewhat unintuitive, and at times buggy, so I went on the hunt for a replacement and came across Awaken.
In a market where there are many free applications that do a simple job, you may wonder why you’d pay $10(CAD) for an alarm clock application, but when using it I felt that the interface was significantly more polished than other similar applications, and offered more options as a whole.
When setting a new alarm, you can name it and set it to occur more than once. This is a feature I didn’t find in many other free alternatives, and is great as I don’t have to remember to set my alarm when I leave my computer at night. You can choose to wake up to your iTunes music, a podcast of your choice or a selection of generic alarm sounds, although you can’t choose a single song, but only a playlist or your library as a whole. This would have been a nice additional feature to have if you want to wake up to a particular song – perhaps we’ll see that option in an update.
As well as choosing the music you want to wake up to, you can also choose to launch a file. This comes in handy if you’ve got some automated processes you run in the morning, that do things such as check your e-mail. Once you’ve set your alarm, or if Awaken is running in the background, you can sleep your Mac at night, as it will automatically be woken when the alarm plays. If you’re a long way from your screen, or don’t want to get out of bed to snooze or turn off the alarm, Awaken allows you to control the alarm with your Apple remote, and display the alarm in full screen mode if you tell it to when setting the alarm.
Ok, so your alarm is all set and ready to go, but what if you want to fall asleep to your music at night but don’t want to leave your Mac running? Awaken has a nice little feature that allows you to set a sleep timer and keep a playlist playing until the timer runs out. When the timer ends, you can choose to put your Mac to sleep. If you want to quickly set a timer for a certain amount of time and have a sound play when the time is up, you can also check out the Egg Timer function of Awaken, which does what it says on the tin and allows you to set a timer.
As well as being packed with different functions, Awaken will also make sure that an alarm goes off at the required time, even if iTunes isn’t responding for some reason. Instead of hearing your playlist or podcast, you’ll be woken by one of the generic alarm tones, but you can sleep easy knowing that one way or another, you’ll be woken up!
Awaken is certainly full of features, and if you’re looking for an alarm clock application with an intuitive and polished interface, I’d definitely recommend Awaken. It’s also extremely stable and responsive compared to other similar applications I’ve come across. You can download a trial of Awaken from the Embraceware website.