Wake Up to Your Mac: 10 Alarm Clock Apps

There are two things that you probably hate: being late, and your boring alarm clock. And there’s also one thing that you most likely love: Your Mac. Well then why not use your Mac as your own alarm clock, and wake up to your newest iTunes acquisitions?

Whether you want to wake up to the most recent episode of your favorite podcast, or you are simply looking for something to replace your old boring alarm clock, we have something for you.

Alarm Clock Pro

Alarm Clock Pro

Alarm Clock Pro

Alarm Clock Pro is an alarm app with a lot of features that go from emailing you to performing an Apple script once an alarm is set off. Although it’s a bit expensive, its price is justified by a stopwatch, time zone tool and a calendar to see all your active alarms.

Price: $19.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Koingo Software

iTunes Alarm

iTunes Alarm

iTunes Alarm

This is a free and simple app, though not as polished aesthetically. It can have multiple alarms that use music from iTunes through various options like shuffle, playlists and DJ. It also has an option to put your Mac to sleep on a timer.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Johnna Run

Alarm Clock

Alarm Clock

Alarm Clock

Alarm Clock is a simple free app that runs discretely in the menu bar  from where you can see your active alarms and set new ones or even use its included Stopwatch and Timer. When an alarm is set off it displays a neat window with the time and the buttons.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Robbie Hanson

iClock

iClock

iClock

iClock is a heavy app that replaces the Time and Date sections of the menu bar and allows you to set alarms and add tasks to the calendar from the menu bar. Although it is full of customizable features, it is far from simple and it can be confusing. Unlike most other alarm apps, this one comes with a bunch of preselected alarm sounds to choose from.

Price: $20
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Plum Amazing

TinyAlarm

TinyAlarm

TinyAlarm

TinyAlarm is a very simple app that sits in your menu bar, where you can easily set up alarms. TinyAlarm does not let you use any sounds other than the ones that come with the app. It has Growl integration that pops up when an alarm is set off and where you can snooze it or stop it. It probably won’t wake you up, but it’s good for reminders.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Pixelated Software

Timer

Timer

Apimac Timer

Like some of the other alarm apps available, Timer triples as a Stopwatch, Alarm Clock and Countdown clock.  Timer has a number of options that you can set up for when your alarm goes off, although some of these options are locked to the free users. It can even speak to you!

Price: Free version or Pro version for $24
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Apimac

Aurora

Aurora

Aurora

Aurora is probably the prettiest of all the alarm apps, but it’s also one of the most expensive. It’s graphical interface makes it easy to use and understand, and it uses iTunes playlists to wake you up. It can also put you to sleep (and your Mac) with it’s timer.

Price: $20
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Metaquark

Awaken

Awaken

Awaken

Awaken is seemingly a very simple app, but it has enough features to make even the most specific users happy. Although it doesn’t bring anything new, it does plenty and it does it well. It can wake you up to your iTunes music, its own sounds or launch whatever you tell it to launch. Awaken is probably the most convenient and complete app of its kind.

Price: $10 CAD – ~$10 USD
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: EmbraceWare

Minutes

Minutes

Minutes

Minutes is the only one of these apps that works as a widget, and it does it very well! Its interface is almost entirely graphical, but it’s very easy to understand and work with. It can also launch files and use iTunes music, as well as its own sounds. The only real inconvenience with Minutes is the lack of a snooze button, and repeated alarms.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Nitram Nunca

iRooster

iRooster

iRooster

iRooster is a simple app that let’s you set up alarms to iTunes playlists, however, it is the same price as Awaken, and compared to it, iRooster lacks a lot of functionality, like the ability to launch applications, put your Mac to sleep or run full screen.

Price: $9.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Chimp Software

Conclusion

There are a lot of options that can suit your needs when it comes to alarm clock applications; there are plenty of free apps that would satisfy most people, but if you need features that are more specific then you’ll need to spend a few bucks.

Awaken is a very simple, yet functional app and it isn’t very expensive, but the free version of Timer is also very good and has a lot of useful features. Luckily, most of the paid apps have free trials that you can use to determine whether you need the extra features that they offer or not.

Have fun trying them out, and let us know which you prefer in the comments!


  • syphadius

    I use Awaken and alarm clock depending on my need

  • MattD

    To be honest, when I wake up, I tend to direct my rage at whatever it is that woke me up. I certainly don’t want that to be my Mac. That would only end badly.

    • krol

      You can use a remote with Awaken to snooze or stop the alarm ))

  • Hansgerd Zappensuster

    Don’t forget Alarms by http://www.alarmsapp.com/
    Easy to use and brilliant interface.

    • http://thestrangulation.worpress.com Jorge Rodriguez

      Good suggestion! I had seen that before, don’t know why I missed it.

  • Nathan

    If all someone is looking for is a countdown application, I use an appreciate Menubar Countdown (http://capablehands.net/menubarcountdown). It has both its own popup window (which you don’t need to use) as well as Growl integration. It is free, simple and worth checking out.

  • http://arnaud.fortier.free.fr Arnaud Fortier

    There’s also iTaf : http://itaf.sourceforge.net/ I love it ;-)

  • http://westcoastdesignco.ca West Coast Design Co.

    $20 for an Alarm Clock, are you high? … ‘Alarm Clock’ by Robbie Hanson should be sufficient.

    • http://thestrangulation.worpress.com Jorge Rodriguez

      To be fair, iClock is much more than an alarm clock, and Aurora’s price is justified by its design.
      I found that Robbie Hanson app functional, but it lacks some features. Awaken is probably the best value you can get. It can do anything, it’s well designed and it’s also reasonably priced.

    • paine

      Last time I checked, Robbie stopped actively supporting his Alarm Clock 2(?) a long time ago and it needs some updating. Doesn’t play well with Snow Leopard or the latest iTunes (errors are rare, but how often can you afford to be late to work?)…

  • http://slightlyinsightful.com/ Ammon

    I love Awaken on both the Mac and on iOS. They’re both a terrific value, look great, and do their job well.

  • Neal O

    Another awaken fan here, both Mac and iOS. No experience of the others mind. Awaken works in that kind of ‘magical’ Apple way.

  • MJ

    I’m using a new one called Alarms (alarmsapp.com). New approach that I really like.

    • http://twitter.com/sulcalibur Suleiman Leadbitter

      I’ve been using Alarms just recently on trial. Pretty good app. I like the way it works with iCal so I can pull in my tasks from The Hit List and then give them a time slot. It needs to work quicker though on updating. ie if I drag a task to another day, I want it to update across iCal and THL straight away.

  • paine

    None of these will wake a Mac from sleep for more than a few seconds if sleep mode has its password enabled, at least not that I’ve found. I don’t know about other Mac users, but I can’t leave mine unlocked while I’m unconscious… Nothing that a little Caffeine can’t fix, though;)

  • iynque

    I’ve been using Aurora for months now and it frequently fails to go off. I’m not sure why. It’s nice when it does work and I get to wake up to music, but usually it’s my cell phone that wakes me up (though my cell phone alarms are wonky too). I should probably just buy an alarm clock, but…… blech.

    I just bought Awaken, so we’ll see if that works any better.

    • http://www.iynque.com iynque

      A week later and Awaken hasn’t failed to go off once, which is FAR more than Aurora could manage.

      …and the full-screen view is PRICELESS. I can’t see very far without my glasses, so getting up to look at the tiny system clock was a pain! Now the display takes full advantage of my laptop’s 17-inch display. :D

      …OH! and Awaken plays music via iTunes, so play-counts and the recently-played playlist stay updated. I’m usually too groggy to jump up and look up the name of a cool song that just played. Now I can just check the recently-played list when I get home from work!

  • http://twitter.com/sulcalibur Suleiman Leadbitter

    I used to use Minutes widget. It is really really decent and also Free! I now use Alarm Clock Pro which is a superb application for my needs. Highly recommended!

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  • Zoirusha

    just found this one http://www.robbiehanson.com/alarmclock/index.html. Works great! you can select any tune (or, in my case, podcast) from your iTunes library. You can also choose for it to start low on volume and increase as it goes. Terrific – and free. Thanks, Robbie!!!

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