Daily iPhone App: Wave Alarm lets you turn off your alarm with the wave of your hand

Wave Alarm has one feature that sets it apart from the myriad of other alarm clocks in the App Store. It lets you turn off your alarm by waving your hand at your phone. This may seem like a gimmick, but I found it to be extremely useful.

Wave Alarm is a no-frills alarm clock. It has a digital clock face with weather information that's pulled down using your location. The alarms are simple -- the app lets you set the time, select a sound, choose a snooze duration and give each alarm a custom name. There's no support for repeating alarms, which may be a drawback for those who need reminders everyday at the same time.

The app also lets you customize the motion detection so you can either activate snooze or disable the alarm by waving your hand over the phone. As you would expect, the app uses the front-facing camera to detect your motion, which means you must have the app open in the foreground for the motion to work. Fortunately, it's not a big deal if the app is sent to the background. You'll lose the motion control, but the alarm will still sound.

I've been using Wave Alarm for a few weeks now and find that it's perfect as a cooking timer in the kitchen or a project timer when I'm working at my desk. It's useful to be able turn off an alarm by waving your hand when you are in the middle of a messy recipe or an engaging project. You don't even have to move your eyes away from what you are doing, all you have to do is wave your hand at your phone.

As much as I like the motion control, the requirement to launch the app right before bed and keep it open all night prevented me from using Wave Alarm as a morning alarm clock. I'd often forget to launch the app and when I did remember, I would check my email in the middle of the night and then forget to re-launch the alarm clock. Though I don't use it at night, I do enjoy Wave Alarm for those quick daytime reminders.

Wave Alarm is available for free from the iOS app store. An in-app purchase of US$1.99 will remove the banner ads at the bottom.