And then there's Wakie. Part alarm, part social network, Wakie is a community-based alarm clock, where members of that community will call you to wake you up in the morning. That's right: Instead of an alarm, your phone will ring, with an anonymous stranger on the other end who is supposedly ready to coax you out of bed.
...am I the only one that thinks this is super weird and awkward
Here's how it works: Set an alarm just as you would in any other app before going to bed, and you'll get a call from someone within five minutes of your desired wakeup time the next morning. On the flip side, you can wake other people up, too. Just tap the center button to connect to a "sleepy"--someone who needs a wake-up call.
Wakie hides both of your phone numbers and limits your calls to one minute, but it's not completely anonymous--you can see the other person's country of origin during the call, but not that person's name, profile, or photo. You can, however, leave a note in the Community section if you want to try to hunt down someone you've chatted with. You've been warned--the Community board reads a lot like Craigslist's "Missed Connections" section, but sometimes users want to chat about other random topics of, ahem, varied levels of appropriateness.
Once you install the app, you're asked to connect via Facebook and link your phone number. That's how Wakie vets its community to try to keep it friendly--while others won't know who is calling whom, the Wakie developers can keep tabs on all interactions.
Considering that I can barely mutter a quick "good morning" to my boyfriend every day through my grogginess (I'm pretty much useless for the first 20 minutes that I'm awake), the thought of talking to a stranger when I'm not 100 percent focused horrifies me. But, maybe that's because I'm jaded and used to living with a partner. If I lived alone, or if I was traveling, or on opposite schedules with my S.O., then I could maybe get on board with this whole "chit-chat with a stranger to help you wake up" phenomenon. Maybe. As long as it didn't get creepy.
That was actually a big concern of mine before I started testing the app. Let's be real, here, Wakie has the potential to get really gross, really fast, since it's all anonymous. To its credit, though, I only had one call approach the "ick" line, so I simply hung up. You're not obligated to chat for the entire minute, and you can drop the Wakie team a note if you want to report any bad behavior.
Like I said, most of my interactions with Wakie users were surprisingly tame. I helped someone in Japan practice English, learned that someone in the U.K. was prepping for a job interview, and talked about the Italian countryside. Another dude from the U.K. trolled me a bit, and then of course there was the "sleepy" who got a little fresh when I called to wake him up. (Side note about the app's demographic: All of my chats were with men, and Wakie supposedly randomizes the calls...)
So, if you want to give Wakie a try, it's an interesting little social experiment that can add something different to your morning routine. As for me, I'll stick with my iPhone's stock alarm clock.
Wakie is available for free in the App Store.