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Carrot Alarm for iOS review: A great app for chronic snoozers

If you have trouble getting up in the morning, check out Carrot Alarm. Not just a great-looking alarm app, this "sentient" alarm clock actually gets mad at you for hitting the snooze button.

Jason_Parker.jpg
Jason Parker
Jason_Parker.jpg

Jason Parker

Senior Editor / Reviews - Software

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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3 min read

Carrot Alarm is a hilarious alarm clock for your iPhone that sometimes sings to you when it wakes you up, gets mad at you when you sleep in, and forces you to complete silly minigames in order to turn it off. Developed by the same people who made Carrot To-Do List (the to-do list with an attitude), Carrot Alarm is a fun addition to the otherwise mundane alarm clock app category.

Carrot Alarm (iOS)
8.1

Carrot Alarm for iOS

The Good

<b>Carrot Alarm</b> makes waking up to your alarm fun with silly songs, funny minigames, and a sensitive "sentient" AI that just might get mad at you.

The Bad

Setting the alarm clock precisely is harder than it should be.

The Bottom Line

If you battle the urge to keep hitting the snooze button, Carrot Alarm delivers more fun and more features than other alarm apps.

Like any alarm clock, you first need to set the alarm for when you want to get up. Carrot Alarm sports an elegant minimalist interface requiring only that you swipe your finger vertically to adjust your wake-up time. Once you're time is set, simply touch and drag Carrot (the onscreen representation of a camera eye) to the right into the on position before you go to sleep.

A minimalist alarm clock with an attitude (pictures)

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When it comes time to wake up, that's where the fun begins. Carrot will play silly original music for you, sing to you (the AI has a female voice), and the volume will slowly get louder and louder. To turn off the alarm, you need to touch and drag what Carrot calls her "ocular sensor" upward to the off position, then perform a number of silly "chores" with gestures. You'll get directives such as "Clean out the lab monkey cages (shake device)," or "pinch to grant sentience to a toaster (pinch the ocular sensor)." In my testing each alarm had three or four directives before it would turn off.

One thing you don't want to do is make Carrot mad (or maybe you do) by dragging downward to snooze. You can control how many minutes it will snooze for in the settings. Right after I hit snooze, Carrot said, "You're going to have a bad time," but kept quiet during the snooze time. When the alarm went off again, Carrot's robotic voice repeated, "You're ugly and you smell" over and over while I tried to complete the chores to stop the alarm from going off (and to stop my coworkers from laughing at me).

Carrot Alarm rewards you when you wake up on time with points that make you level up like in a role-playing game. At the completion of each level you get small and silly rewards like new songs, new chores to complete, added snooze time, strobelike effects (using your iPhone flash), and others. While none of the rewards have any real world uses, the new alarm sounds and songs might at least make you laugh at the beginning of your day.

I only have one gripe with this otherwise creatively made alarm clock, and it has to do with setting the alarm. The vertical swipe changes the alarm in 15-minute increments, and I thought it was pretty limiting. But after a couple of hours with the app, I accidentally realized a tap either above or below, lets you adjust in 5-minute increments. I'm glad I was able to figure it out, but to me that says it's not very intuitive.

Still, Carrot Alarm is a unique alarm clock app that made me laugh with its cheesy humor and seems like it would be a fun way to get up in the morning. Though the sense of humor probably won't appeal to everyone, if you're tired of hearing the same old alarm every morning, this app will give you something new every day and might make getting up a little easier. Just don't make Carrot mad.

Carrot Alarm (iOS)
8.1

Carrot Alarm for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 7Features 8Interface 8Performance 9