April 2, 2013

A Dock That Turns an iPhone Into a Snoozing Alarm Clock

Roy Furchgott  /  New York Times

Getting Smart About Personal Technology

One advantage to sizable old bedside clocks was that it was easy to take a groggy swing at the snooze button and hit it.

If you use your phone as an alarm clock, though, you may have to pick it up, focus on the screen and unlock it before you can tap the snooze button. It hardly gives the satisfaction of a sleepy swipe at an offending timepiece.

But the Snooze alarm dock from Distil Union, a combination of a $40 phone stand and free app, turns an iPhone into a bedside clock capable of taking a drowsy whack.

The design is simple but brilliant. It's just a three-sided block, hollow in the center, so it looks a bit like a "C" from the end. The iPhone 4 or 5 slides into a groove to become the fourth side. The recess is big enough to fit the phone even when it is in a slim case.

The Snooze app turns the phone into a large-display clock that can be dimmed or brightened by sliding a finger across the screen. Alarms are set much the same way as with the phone's standard alarm app.

When the alarm goes off, you can slap the thick rubber top to silence it for one to 40 minutes. It can be set to snooze once, or repeatedly until you swipe your finger across the "Slide to Turn Off Alarm" button that appears on the screen during the alarm.

The stand is available in a combination of maple wood with white or black rubber accents, or all black or white in a soft-touch painted finish. It's a little bulky to carry for travel (a collapsible version, please?), but it has a Scandinavian modern appearance that might look at home on any end table.

The Snooze stand is available through Amazon.com and BiteMyApple.co.