A new app has entered the Android market: doubleTwist Alarm is here. It’s the brand new app from makers of media management software doubleTwist. And boy, it’s gorgeous. Waking up has never felt so good. Not to mention, there’s a reward for if you download the app soon enough, but more on that later.
Designed by Sebastiaan de With, doubleTwist Alarm is the most intricately and meticulously designed Android app I’ve ever seen. It’s, quite frankly, stunning. The tiny moving mechanical clockwork parts alone are enough of a reason to pick up this app. But it’s so much more than just a pretty face.
For one thing, the app is smart. doubleTwist Alarm knows to wake you up to ensure you feel most refreshed. It uses sleep cycle technology to work this out – and can even suggest a time for you to go to sleep so you wake up ready to tackle the day head on. Following these suggestions, now that’s up to you.
It also integrates with the free doubleTwist Player, allowing you to wake up to your own music. However, there are also built-in wake up sounds if that’s more you thing.
It’s refreshing to see such an ambitious and greatly designed app on Android. The doubleTwist team seem to be at the forefront of quality and design in the Google Play world. This is not an easy task, as Android is known to be a challenge to develop for – there are many smartphones running the OS in different versions, dimensions, capabilities – and quality varies from device to device. Not to mention, as Ryan Hamrick pointed out here on The Industry, designing for their screens is another problem altogether. In a nutshell, it’s fragmented. This “Software Delay Tax” causes headaches for developers, as a bunch of users aren’t running the most recent OS release.
On top of this, the Android Human Interface Guidelines are prone to being changed dramatically without notice – so designers and developers often feel betrayed when they’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort developing an app, only to find that their UI is later rendered obsolete by Android’s own guidelines.
Sebastiaan neatly summed up his opinion with regards to the Android HIG and designing for the platform on twitter today:
As it stands, If you design a great app for Android and people say ‘hey, that looks like an Android app’, that means you’ve failed.
If you’re designing for Android, your app should feel unique. It should feel like your app, not like “an Android app”.
So, if you’re an Android user, pick up a copy of doubleTwist alarm and let us know what you think on twitter or in the comments section below. If you’re an Android designer or developer, I’d love to hear your opinions or stories about designing for the platform and the challenges it brings.
P.S. If you download the app soon enough, you’ll be entered for a chance to win an $1,100 wall clock! I know, right? $1,100 for a clock? Must be fancy!