PipeUp! Voice Alarm is a great way to start the day
May 10, 2012 10:04 AM –
PipeUp! Voice Alarm is a unique Android alarm that uses high-quality voices to wake you with your choice of information, news, entertainment, calendar, and social media read aloud to you.
Price: Free Trial, In-app Purchases
Tested on: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Pros & Cons:
- A full featured alarm app that will let you wake up to not just sounds, but messages friends leave you, quotes, news, weather, and a host of other options!
- There are different voices you can choose from!
- The voices are all high-quality!
- While the app is free, you do have to pay via an in-app purchase to use the premium features after a free trial period.
PipeUp Voice Alarm is the alarm app for everyone who hates to wake up to jarring, annoying sounds.
There are no simple alarm sounds here – all of the options are voice based, and are a variety of messages. You can choose to hear news feeds in several different categories, you can choose to hear the weather and traffic reports, etc. All in your choice of several voices to choose from. You can even leave messages for friends who also use the app, that they’ll get as part of their alarm when they wake up the next morning.
I really like that you have a pretty good range of options for the types of things you’ll be read each morning. From a basic weekend/weekday mode, to feeds specific to sports, tech geeks, and even a word-lover alarm, that gives you various words and quotes of the day. It will also read your calendar, telling you all your upcoming appointments and important dates, and will read any text messages you’ve gotten in the last 8 hours. All of the themed alarm feeds have a range of podcasts from different sources, so you really get a nice section of information when you wake up.
The problem is that the voices are all fairly quiet – even with my volume turned up, it just wasn’t loud enough to wake me up. I’m one of those people who really does need that loud, obnoxious noise to wake up. And while the alarms all had a “start” sound, that was like a long gong type noise, it just wasn’t enough to jar me out of sleep. In fact, the podcasts were all interesting, but the sound of people talking was enough to make me consider going back to sleep.
On the alarm screen, I like that, once you wake up, you can skip around the app. It will play through in order if left alone, but if you wake up and want to jump down to a specific podcast or section, you can, easily. You can also share the feed you’re listening to, which is nice, hit snooze (no matter what kind of alarm it is, it needs a snooze so I was happy about this), and the ability to pause or repeat the feed – so if you’re listening to it while you get ready for work, you can pause while you jump in the shower, then resume when you get out.
I also like that you can customize your playlist, as well, if none of the long list it comes with suits your preferences exactly. You can add things like having it read emails to you, read Facebook updates, or choose from all the various feeds and podcasts that are found in the other pre-made alarms. So you really can customize this to read off all of the new information you really care about.
The only real complaint I had was that while the app is free to download, you only get access to all the features for a limited amount of time. To have all the features, including all the voices to choose from, you’ll have to upgrade through an in-app purchase. I didn’t see anything about that on the app download page, so it was a surprise when I loaded it up. To be fair, it popped up immediately upon launching it, so it wasn’t trying to hide anything, but it would have been nice to have that in the description up front.
Pipeup Alarm List
Pipeup Alarm Settings
I think this app has a lot of useful possibilities. I’m not sure I would want to use it as my only alarm, since I’m just one of those people who needs the loud jarring noise to get me up. However, I have a playlist ready to go to have it read off all the news and information I care about as I get up and get moving. It’s better than turning on the news, since this is all only stories you care about, plus your calendar, texts, email or other personal information.
Ease of Use:
I found the app very easy to setup and use. It is all pretty self-explanatory, and easy to go in and listen to an alarm feed to see what you think about it.
This is the kind of app you’ll only use once a day, but the odds are good you won’t be able to start your day without it.
Overall, the interface is very easy to use. Though it’s not as athletic, yet it does have convenient large buttons. The alarm setup page is similar to most other apps of its type, so you won’t have trouble navigating it. And the alarm page itself had big, simple buttons that make it easy to navigate when you’re half asleep.