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Glimmer is a Great New Alarm Clock, Minus the Alarm Part

Alarms are probably one of the more under-appreciated functions of our modern devices, given that they let most of us wake up and get to work on time. We have come to love the now Google-owned Timely, which is packed with many great features along with a $0 price tag. Its latest competitor is Glimmer, an alarm clock that seeks to wake you up completely silently. 

The way Glimmer tries to pull you from slumber is by turning your device’s screen on and slowly brightening it over the course of 30 minutes. If you sleep with a spouse or sibling and don’t want to annoy them when you get up, you can simply angle your device’s screen away from them and let Glimmer do its thing in the morning.

For those of you skeptical about whether your phone or tablet’s screen could possibly end your hibernation, the app begins playing a bird’s sound toward the middle of the screen-on alarm. And if even that is not enough, it’ll bring out the big guns and hit you with a loud noise.

Rounding out the list of features is the ability to put your device in a “night mode” while you’re sleeping, which will cut down your brightness, turn off your sounds, and disconnect from the Internet. As daytime draws closer, night mode will intelligently turn off and let your phone synchronize your notifications to be viewed in the morning.

If you sleep in a dark cave like some of us DL staffers, this is quite literally the perfect alarm for you. And for free, there’s no reason for you not to check it out (other than if you’ll lose your job for not waking up).

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  • coolsilver

    Wow Timely was bought by Google? Hmm ok. I may give this a go anyway.

  • chris_johns

    This is actually a more natural way of waking up…they sell actual alarm clocks that are lamps that slowly brighten to wake you up…its a much more gentle way to wake up…theoretically youll be more awake and wake up fully a whole lot easier then an alarm waking you up instantly from the dead of sleep…my only question is will the screen of the phone get bright enough to cause this effect…im sure in a really dark room and if your in the direction it will but thats not always the case so the back up alarm is nice to see…ill try it

  • dizel123

    I can’t imagine why I’d try this. Hell, I don’t even know why I clicked on this article.

    • dizel666

      You don’t know why try this app, or click this article… do you even know why you spent time to comment ? Do you know your firstname ? 🙂 Seriously read the article, you will have answers.

  • Kanne367

    I downloaded the app and went to set up my alarm…and then decided I will probably delete since some of the features that I was interested in you have to make “donations” to use! Why not just make it a paid app? Just turned me off a bit that the developer was asking me to buy him coffee and beer to use parts of the app.

    • Glimmer developer

      Hello, I’m the developer of the app. Sorry if you are turned off. Enter kanne367 as unlock code (end of the setting screen). I prefer to give you the app so you can enjoy it, rather than have a bad opinion. Cheers 🙂

      • chris_johns

        the fact you commented here, im going to download and try the app now…always nice to see developers who pay attention to sites and communitys that actively speak about their products

    • Aaron Hearne

      I’m with you. It’s not a donation if it’s forced on us. Just rename it “take a gamble with this in-app purchase”

  • Disqus_n00b

    “Bedside Mode” is something Blackberry did really well back in the day, and Android still does not have this functionality built into the OS.

    • chris_johns

      this used to piss me off u could always tell when people were really sleepin and it was so annoying when u really needed to contact them about something lol

    • BobbyG

      Daydream kind of does it

  • I have been using this, got tired of the same dam sound everyday, nice to have a little bit of enjoyment waking up! – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.asicotrade.radioalarm&hl=en

  • I am quite well-disciplined with my alarm sounds. I put some soothing song (like Praxis’ Wake the Dead or even Forest Temle from theOcarina of Time) and gently awake with it. This app wouldn’t wok with me though, as I have to use eye protectors due to the neighbors’ lights penetrating my window at night…

    • chris_johns

      +1 for the ocarina of time reference

  • I don’t think the “use light instead of sound as alarm” will work. I roll around on my bed all night and there’s no guarantee I’ll be facing my phone screen when it’s time to wake up. Hence, the final sound alarm mode is what’s going to wake me up.

    Also, in the example given in the app description, the screen will be on for 30 minutes…! Brightness going from minimum to maximum. Won’t that be a huge battery drain?

    • Adam Elghor

      Do you not charge your phone at night?

      • No, Nexus 5 is easily lasting me 36-48 hours on a single charge. So, I don’t have to recharge it every day.

        • Glimmer developer

          Hello, it uses about 15% of my battery for a 30 mins alarm 🙂
          I’m the developer of the app. There is some behavior about the battery : When it’s time to wake up the screen, lets say at 7:30am for an alarm at 8am, if you have less than 20%, the alarm is postponed to 7:58am. So the screen will be open only 2 minutes. If the battery is at 25% and drain too fast, when it’s less than 10%, the alarm is accelerated to make you wake up earlier.

          • Nice to hear that you’ve implemented these cool if-else checks in the app. Really commendable. But in any case, I will end up with severely depleted battery. If at night, phone’s at 80%, it’ll be 60-63% by the time I wake up. And the other cases kick in when the battery is already low. I’m not trashing your app. Those who leave their phones on charge overnight, it might be very useful to them. It is just not for me.

        • ilovetechnology

          What’s the trick to get that kind of battery life? No LTE, sync off, only light usage, etc?

          • o.O

            Notice the no answer? It’s bc it’s BS. Unless you (like you said) basically stop your phone from being a smart phone by disabling everything you purchased the phone for or the name of your phone ends in the word MAXX you aren’t getting that battery life. Even if you severely underclock your phone to the point of being useless you most likely won’t get that battery life.

          • Most people like to sleep at night, you know. Check my answer to ilovetech above.

          • In case you don’t know, Nexus 5 has a great stand by time. Overnight while sleeping, when I keep wifi/data/sync/location off, Nexus 5 drops only 2% battery at most in 8 hours. Then during the day, my phone is on LTE for about 2 hours and wifi rest of the time. I keep sync mostly off and turn it on only for 10-15 minutes. I listen to podcast on LTE while walking to office, use Reddit Sync for ~30 minutes during lunch time and play some games after returning home at end of day. A few calls n text here n there.

    • chris_johns

      heres an idea…charge your phone at night like the rest of the world does

  • Wyveryx

    So if lights fail, it uses the alarm lol

  • Ben Murphy

    Meh, Timely is enough for me.

    • Stock alarm is enough for me.

    • C-Law

      Gentle Alarm is enough for me. Got it back in 2010 and it’s still more full featured than timely, just doesn’t look that great and isn’t free. It let’s me use my own sounds and let’s me set fade in time. I like timely and use it but I hate not being able to set a fade in time longer than 5 minutes, which doesn’t even seem like it takes 5 minutes anyway. Lack of custom tones is a bit of a bummer too