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Daily iPhone App: CARROT alarm clock uses mild forms of torture to wake you up

CARROT, the beloved personality in the popular CARROT task manager from Brian Mueller of Grailr, is now the star of an alarm clock app that berates you into waking up on time each day. The new CARROT alarm clock is a minimal app with a whole lotta personality. You get a glimpse of what you are in for when you first open the app and you are greeted with a curt "Hello, meat bag" as you're chastised for clicking on the wrong part of the screen.

CARROT Alarm is a basic alarm clock with a good-looking, gesture-based UI. It supports one alarm at a time. You set the time for the alarm by sliding your finger up and down the screen until you reach the correct time. As you drag your finger, the time changes in 15-minute increments. You can also tap directly above or below the time display in the center of the screen to adjust the time in 5-minute blocks. Tapping once on the time in the center will let you see the current time and a second tap will show you the alarm. This is handy if you need to set an alarm for 10 minutes from now and you are not sure of the exact time. After you select your time, you can turn the alarm on and off by dragging the big blue alarm button to the left or the right. When the alarm is on, the blue button turns into an alarm clock. It's an easy, visual way to tell whether the alarm is set.

Once the alarm is set, you leave the app open, place the phone down on your desk or nightstand and wait. When the alarm goes off, you are woken up by various pleasing sounds and music. Depending on how deep you sleep, you may have to turn up the volume on your phone as the audible part of the alarm is a bit subdued. Once you're aware of your surroundings, you can turn off the alarm by completing your daily chores, which require you to tap, pinch and / or shake your device. If you need some extra ZZZs, you can hit snooze and grab 10 minutes, but I'll warn you --- CARROT won't be happy. When that snooze alarm goes off, CARROT will yell at you, and your daily chores will be harder. The yelling is pretty tame, but it's definitely geared toward adults. There are no obscenities, but some of CARROT's angry wake-up chants, like "Death, Murder, Kill," for example, are not appropriate for children.

CARROT Alarm clock is an entertaining way to wake yourself up each morning or alert yourself during the day. It's the abusive drill sergeant that many of us need in our lives. The alarm music is a tad soft for my tastes (I always pick the obnoxious "Alarm" sound for my alerts), but not everyone needs a blaring alert to wake themselves up. The daily chores to turn off the alarm are challenging enough that they wake you up, and the fear of an angry CARROT makes you think twice about turning on that snooze. It's quite effective at waking you on time. You can check out CARROT Alarm in the iOS App Store. It costs US$0.99.