Waking up in the early morning is not exactly one of my forte and I could use all the help I can get in doing so. Unfortunately, the default alarms that come with Windows Mobile just doesn’t do its job well. Whether you are a WM2003 or a WM6 user, your complaints might sound similar to mine. With Wizcode’s Pocket Alarm, those days of waking up late will soon be a thing of the past.
Currently at v2.18, this software was stable and posed no problems during my use. It comes in 2 downloaded CAB flavors, one with MP3 support and the other without. If you prefer the desktop installer option, there is one available as well. Purchasing this software will set you back by $14.95 but if that means you will never miss the morning alarm anymore, it sure sounds like a good investment.
No problems here. It took a bit longer than normal but this could be due to the rather large filesize. Considering that this software would be working from sleep mode, it would be best to install it on the Main Memory instead. I tried installing it on the Storage Card and faced no problems with the software when my device was in standby mode so it might work for you too. Like always, do try it out before using it for critical alarms. You don’t want to be late for that job interview because you decided to test the software on the same morning now would you
What I like about this program is the depth of tweaking that you can do with the software. This might be daunting for first-time users, just as it was for me, but you’ll learn to appreciate it. For those who want a simple solution for their alarm clock, you will be pleased to know that you do not even have to touch the ‘Settings’ page to get it to work properly. However, if you would like to tweak it, here are some of the more useful features I found:
- Choose any audio file (of the supported format) as your alarm tone. Handles WAV, MP3 and OGG.
- Select to play the whole sound file used in the alarm or you can choose to only play a certain portion of it.
- Announce the time as the alarm goes off so you know exactly what time it is without having to look at your bright PDA screen in the dark room.
- Customize how the sound escalates. Do you want it to go from 10% volume to 50% in 30 seconds? Done!
- Make it more difficult to hit the snooze button. You have to really be awake to switch off the alarm (Caution: Do not use if you are sleeping with someone else).
- Automatically delete an alarm after it goes off.
- Use the system volume for your alarms or set your own.
- Press different hardware buttons to snooze for a different amount of time. Press ‘Rec’ if you want to snooze for 5 mins and the camera button if you extend your stay in DreamLand for 15 mins.
There are whole host of other settings that you can play around with but these are the ones that strike me the most.
So how does the software fare during the testing phase? Let’s just say, if you used the right file to wake you up (I chose a very loud music which my sister listens to that irritates the hell out of me), you’ll have no excuse to miss that morning alarm. In fact, it was so effective in waking me up, there are now times that I actually wake up before the alarm to shut it off because I do not want to hear it
Setting up a new alarm is relatively straightforward as you can see from the screen above. You can choose a date specific time for the alarm to go off or on which day of the week, similar to the option found in the default Clock program of Windows Mobile. You then choose what time the alarm should go off or in how much time (sort of like a countdown) you want it to sound. Write a message as to what that alarm is for and choose your audio file. A unique feature here is, by clicking the paperclip icon, you can choose which program to execute when the alarm goes off, as seen below.
Choose whether you want the alarm to be automatically deleted after it goes off and decide if you wanna track your alarms by putting it on your Today screen. Once set, just tap the Tick and you are all set.
On your Today screen, if you have selected to show the alarm there, you will see a summary of all your alarms and when they will go off. Pretty useful for those quick glances to see when is your next alarm rather than launching the program.
When your alarm does go off, depending on the settings that you choose on how difficult it is to turn it off, you would get a variety of different screens. For the default option, you will get the screen below. For other options, you might be asked mathematical questions such as ‘4+2=?’ before the alarm stops. Pretty cool if you have the tendency of always hitting the snooze button (like me :P).
- A lot of settings to suit every need.
- Allows using of MP3 and OGG files as alarm tones.
- Set as many alarms as you want.
- Automatically delete alarms as they go off.
- Multiple options for snoozing.
- Lack of English manual
- Takes a while to enter program
All in all, Wizcode’s Pocket Alarm should definitely be one of the softwares you have on your PDA if you are going to be using it as an alarm clock extensively. Its wealth of settings allows you to set the perfect alarm (if there ever is such a thing). For those looking for a manual in English, I am told by the developers that is still in the works but should be out soon.