There are a vast number of alarm clock apps available for every platform, most of which are tired variations on the same thing: choose a skin, set a wakeup sound/ method, and that’s about it.
Wakie is an iOS and Android alarm clock app with a difference. Forget custom audio files or complicated snooze functions, instead you’re called by another Wakie user, who chats, sings songs, ask you questions, or otherwise gets your day off to a much more interesting start.
If this idea makes you a little uncomfortable, then you’re not alone, but the app does include some important safeguards.
The calls are routed through Wakie, so the caller never gets to see your phone number or find out who you are.
Calls are automatically cut off after 60 seconds, too. There’s no time for your chat to get awkward, and even if it did, you can just hang up.
The developer also says the app “learns” who you like to connect with, so presumably will try to match you with your preferred gender/ age range, most of the time.
Alternatively, if you don’t need to receive a call, you can volunteer to make one yourself. Just click “Wake Someone Up” and you’ll be sent push notifications whenever someone needs a call. (You’ll need an internet connection to wake someone up, although not to be woken, as you’ll receive a regular phone call.)
There are some restrictions and issues. In particular, Wakie only works in a few countries at the moment: the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong and Singapore. More English language countries are due to be added soon, with further expansion to follow.
As the system relies on other people calling you, your alarm time won’t be as precise as with automated apps. The official FAQ says they could be out by plus or minus five minutes.
But the good news is that, if there’s no-one around to make your call, Wakie does have an automated system which steps in, makes the connection and plays you a pre-recorded message.
There’s no telling quite what sort of call you’re going to get with Wakie, and that’s probably the point. If you want complete safety then stick to your phone’s built-in alarm app; but if you’re happy to gamble with a random caller – who, even if they turn out to be an idiot, will still at least wake you up – then this is certainly a more interesting and personal way to start your day.