Rise Alarm Clock is lovely to behold and effective at waking you up

Some developers throw in a minimalist, gesture-based UI because it is trendy, while others use this style of interface because it works with their app. An excellent example of the latter scenario is Rise, a new alarm clock from Simplebots.

Rise is a basic alarm clock. It only does one alarm at a time and doesn't have any fancy bells or whistles that turn your alarm into a challenge. It does one thing and does it well. When Rise opens, it takes over your entire screen, including the menu bar. You still have access to your notification slider, but every other distraction is hidden from view. Rise can pull this off because you really only need your alarm and some music to relax you when it's time to go to sleep.

In the middle of the app is a simple alarm timer that you adjust by sliding your finger up or down your screen until your reach the correct time of day. To fine tune the alarm, all you have to do is tap on the screen above the timer to wake up later or tap below to awake earlier. It's an intuitive way to set an alarm and much faster than dialing in the time using a wheel.

Once you pick the right time, you can turn the alarm on/off by swiping your fingers to the left or right. When you turn on your alarm, the app displays the amount of time until the alarm is scheduled to go off and a + and - button to adjust the alarm clock in five-minute increments. At the bottom is a volume slider, a repeating alarm toggle and your background music settings. The background music option lets you compile a playlist of songs that'll send you peacefully off to sleep. This music is optional and you can turn it off whenever you choose.

The app is filled with thoughtful design elements such as a gradient background that changes color as you adjust the clock and a small clock that shows the actual time at the top of the alarm. The alarm sounds are unique and vibrant enough to wake you from a deep sleep. All on-screen elements are easy to tap and simple to understand. You don't have to think about setting the alarm, you just tap, swipe and you are ready for bed. Trust me, you'll appreciate this simplicity when you are drop dead tired and need to set an alarm.

Rise Alarm Clock is available for $1.99 in the iOS App Store.