If, like us, you simply dread the mornings and the alarm that goes with them, you’ll be looking for some easier way to get up. You’d like to be cajoled and teased out of sleep rather than jolted from slumber like a plane hitting turbulence.
We’ve had the same digital alarm clock for ages, a red evil eye staring at us through the night, just waiting for its moment in the early AM when it can BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP us out of Johnny Depp’s arms into the cruel world. We hadn’t been looking for an alternative or anything, but then we came upon the CARROT Alarm app. This cute, modern yet somewhat bipolar wake-up mechanism takes the humble alarm clock to a whole new level. Ready to give it a try, we followed the instructions and laid us down to sleep.
How it works
You may be thinking at this stage “Why do I honestly need to be told how to work an alarm clock?” But you see, CARROT is so much more than just a clock. First you set the time at which you’d like to be awakened by stroking the iPad screen in a familiar fashion, scrolling through the times rapid-fire. Once you’ve settled on the ideal time, it takes you through an example of what you might expect to hear in the morning.
The screen then goes dark, save a few itty-bitty stars surrounding the CARROT clock with a pulsating blue center. Oh yes, and at the bottom of the screen there’s a T-MINUS countdown.
When the morning comes and the time arrives, the “alarm” begins in a soothing manner, then amps up with a noticeable increase in volume designed to make you slowly aware of its presence. It is at this stage that you can choose to WAKE UP or SNOOZE. Be careful what you do next.
WAKE UP leads to some words of encouragement and iPad calisthenics that might require you to rotate or shake your device. Not only are you waking up, but you’re getting a few tasks at the same time worth points that are awarded at the end of your mini-test. It gets your brain going.
SNOOZE is a whole different ball of wax. The moment you decide that you’d like a few more minutes in bed, that cool blue center turns an angry red, a la HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The new time for your alarm is now in red. In fact, the entire screen of your iPad is painted in a hue that radiates disappointment, but you’re the boss so it’ll leave you alone … for now.
Keep snoozing after that at your own peril. The messages get increasingly ominous every time, with noises like a nuclear reactor in trouble. The longer you snooze, the more abuse you’ll attract, and when you finally do decide to wake up, you’ll be given more chores than if you’d just arisen at the beginning, plus a voice scolding you for being late.
It might be understandable at this stage to yell, “Why would I pay money for such a verbal assault on the senses?!” But then this is just the kind of app that will appeal to people with a sense of humor who know they need that little something extra to get them going in the morning.
When we tried it
On the first night we set the alarm, and then we hit the HOME button on the iPad, only for a little note to pop up at the top of the screen reminding us to keep the volume on and not to power down the iPad. The next morning CARROT woke us up and we chose WAKE UP immediately, for which we received accolades. We were a little bleary when it came to our brief number of chores, but CARROT seemed so happy that we’d responded to its alarm, it wasn’t too fussed on our execution.
The morning after that we had a bit of difficulty. In reaching for the iPad to accept the wake-up alarm, we mistakenly swiped in the wrong direction and got the snooze instead. CARROT instantly turned on us, chastised us, and went into a 10-minute huff. We went to WAKE UP soon after, but the damage had been done. The electronic fishwife began, and we found ourselves trying to take extra care with our chores to cheer it up. We would keep the iPad in a better position next time so it didn’t happen again.
This app won’t be for everyone, but for those to whom it appeals, it will certainly make waking up in the morning a whole different experience. Will people become bored of the morning “chores” and the funny little messages? Possibly, but when the alternative is the cold, unfriendly beeping of a standard alarm clock, CARROT may just stay the distance.
- Cost: $1.99
- Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
- Three stars