By Ken Burkhalter on Mon, 01/11/2010
We travel around the world a lot, and with time zone shifts and exhaustive days a good alarm clock is a critical accessory to have. Due to baggage space restrictions, we have had to carry as many "Swiss Army knife" (multi-function) devices as possible. The iPhone has become our electronic Swiss Army knife, providing a traveler's delight of functionality from Alarm Clock to fight tracking to tide charting.
For over a year I have sought out a good alarm Ap that provided the things I considered essential, namely...
· Selection of fonts including BIG for my old eyes without glasses
· Background choices (to optimize time readability and minimize clutter for the old eyes)
· Multiple Screen Dimming Levels
· Canned and iPod sound choices
· Simple setup without going thru multiple screens every time
· ALARM TIME showing on the clock screen (not just a icon symbol as with time changes we have all too often set a PM rather than AM alarm by accident)
· Portrait and Landscape modes
Despite buying, and trying, five (5) alarm Aps and closely scrutinizing over 25 other alarm Aps in the iTunes store, I have never been able to find a single Ap that filled all these needs.....until the new year (2010) rolled around and Alarm Clock! Music Theme Clocks by GoldenPlum appeared in the Ap Store.
It not only provided everything on my wish list, but more, including a Flashlite function and a real bonus of "proximity sensing" as well as a battery percentage indicator. The battery charge state is always displayed in the lower right hand corner of the clock screen. This gives you significant "peace of mind" if you are leaving the clock on all night without a charger attached. Additional battery charge preservation is provided by using the iPhone's prox-sensor which turns off the screen backlight if you place the phone face down on a surface. This allows you to have the alarm function, even if your phone is not plugged into a power source, by significantly reducing the major battery drain source... the back-light.
Testing this capability overnight, my iPhone went from a 100% charge level to an 82% level. Without this feature I experience a charge drop into the 15-30% range, or even lower which results in total shutdown of the phone.
Further after exhaustive testing under a variety of conditions, the Ap has faithfully fired off every time for me. No other alarm Ap I have used before has been that reliable, missing either firing off the alarm or worse terminating in the middle of the night, thus taking away even the clock function.
Kudos to the GlodenPlum design team, and an Ap that is well done. This is the first Ap for which I have submitted a 5-Star rating.