Gentle Wakeup – Sleep & Alarm Clock with Sunrise - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

I started programming when I was a teenager. I was always fascinated by Jump & Run games so I programmed my own game. It ran on a PC with a resolution of 320x240 and was great fun to play.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

The idea of the app is to turn a smartphone or tablet into a professional wake-up light. This requires a lot of hardware access like adjusting the system brightness, system volume, turning on the flashlight, etc. Also, some security issues were difficult to handle because a wake-up light must appear in front of the lock screen without requiring to unlock the device. In fact, security issues are the reason why there is no iOS version of the app. Apple does not allow to start an app in the morning.

Dr. Alexander Rieger released his first PC game in the year 1991 for DOS operating system. In 1999, an image editor was released with many photo effects for Windows computers. It has won several awards during those years ( He was very late with buying his first smartphone and developing apps. But in 2012, he released his first iOS app “Dress Guide” which matches tie colors to shirt colors. It reached second place in the lifestyle category in the app store. Since then, many apps have been developed: Lifestyle utilities, quiz games, and over 1000 photo effects ( The iOS app “Color Shine” reached overall rank #1 in the App Store. The most successful iOS app is “Paint my Wall” where you can take a photo of your living room and virtually paint the wall in another color.
Since 2016 he also started to develop for Android. Gentle Wakeup is his most successful Android app.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

I use standard apps like Gmail, Camera, and WhatsApp the most and check the weather forecast with WeatherPro. But since I am always missing some features, I am often starting to program my own version. For example, in Gentle Wakeup, the weather forecast will show you simple symbols for the weather, wind, and humidity. I do not need hundreds of measurement data for the weather. All I want to know is if the weather gets nice and what to wear. My app gives you suggestions on what clothes to choose for the felt temperature and whether you need sun cream or sunglasses for UV protection.

How long have you been working on this app?

I have been working on this app for over 5 years. Every day, about 10,000 people wake up with my app and enjoy a better morning. This motivates me to continue to improve people’s life.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

I am not an early bird, more like a night owl. I can work longer in the evening but I cannot wake up quickly in the morning. A friend of mine suggested trying out a physical wake-up light and the first time I tried it I was really amazed at how awake I felt when opening my eyes. Many people feel dizzy when the alarm rings because they are ripped out of a deep sleep phase. But the light will start 20 minutes before your wake-up time and signal the brain that the day will start. You will leave any deep sleep phase before your alarm rings.

Same with the alarm sound. A high beeping actually indicates to your brain that there is something wrong like in the Stone Age when we had to listen to dangerous animals or enemies. But my app plays chirping birds which increase gently in volume. The perfect and most natural way to wake up to. So basically, it was my personal need but the most successful apps are the ones which you use by yourself.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

Many apps on the market focus on extreme wake-ups and measuring the sleep phases of the user. These are all not natural wake-up methods and can even lead to sleep issues. The best sleep is if you do not need to think about it. Some apps try to detect your light sleep phase but they are not 100% accurate and even worse, they may wake you up 20 minutes too early!

The wake-up light gently takes you out of any deep sleep phase so you always wake up perfectly on time. It even works in the summertime but you need good curtains to darken your room. In fact, most rooms are not dark enough at night which can be the cause of many sleeping issues. The app may also help people with sleeping issues. You can fall asleep by sunset with natural sounds, by meditation, or by following a breathing pattern to calm down. Or just take a quick power nap. Or suppress disturbing noises such as a barking dog at night with the sound of ocean waves.

There are many features included in Gentle Wakeup you would normally find in separate apps. Besides waking up gently, it will take care of your morning routine. Starting with a weather forecast with recommendations for the appropriate clothing, you can enjoy countdowns of your favorite events, such as upcoming birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries of a couple. You can view the number of years, months, days, or even hours, minutes, and seconds.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

A brand-new feature is to integrate free workout videos into your morning routine. Start with an easy workout like stretching in bed for 5 minutes and increase your fitness level to a 20-minute full-body workout. Regular training improves your fitness, muscles, weight, defenses, and lets you start the day with a good feeling. I hope this will motivate many of those who are currently not doing any sports to improve their health.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

Rate the app with 5 stars in the play store. It has helped already over half a million people to wake-up in a better way. All features are free to use in their basic configuration.

I am a single developer without any team assistance. The more people spread the word the better I can develop great new features for the app. Talk about it on Reddit, Quora, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Tell them how it changed your morning. You can also use the sharing function inside the app.

Gentle Wakeup – Sleep & Alarm Clock with Sunrise

About App:

Wake up gently and relaxed every day
Slowly increasing light and sound in the morning will help you out of any deep sleep and let your body prepare for waking up.

Fall asleep faster
Slowly decreasing light and natural sound in the evening will lull you to sleep. A sleep aid slows down your breathing.

Sleep better through the night Soothing sounds from nature or home at a low volume will help you to stay asleep.

✓ Alarm clock: Fully functional free alarm clock with repeat alarms and snooze function.
✓ True sunrise: The device changes colors from red to yellow like a real sunrise.
✓ Gentle sounds: Wake up with different natural sounds, instrumental music, or your own favorite sounds.
✓ Big nightstand clock: A sleep clock that shows digital time and wake-up time at night and can play sleep music to help you get to sleep faster.
✓ Power napping: Take a power nap during the day and wake up refreshed and with new energy after 20 min.
✓ Sleep timer: Easily fall asleep in the evening with a sunset and decreasingly gentle sounds (ASMR).
✓ Sleep aid: Helps to slow down your breathing to get you asleep faster and more relaxed. Set a timer for the speed that you wish to decrease from.
✓ Sleeping sounds: Sleep better with background sounds! Choose from sounds like rain, wind, crickets, or white noise. It also supports all sleep cycles like light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep.
✓ Weather and clothes: The weather forecast with clothing symbols that always recommends the right clothing for today\'s weather. For rain, snow, sun, and hot or cold – this app will recommend the right clothes to wear.
✓ Beautiful Countdowns: Count the number of days, weeks, and even minutes until your next holiday, birthday party, or any other event you need to remember. Choose from over 100 beautifully designed counters and share them with your friends.
✓ Individual wake up: Get woken up without disturbing your partner.
✓ Easy and intuitive: All main features can be accessed by icons directly on the main screen.
✓ Soft torch light: Use the soft light to find something in the night without waking up anyone else while you find what you need.
✓ Portrait and landscape: Your device can be placed in portrait or landscape mode on your nightstand or bedside table.
✓ Autostart: The app can start automatically even if you close it. No additional battery consumption.
✓ Skip next alarm: Skip a repeating alarm in case you need to wake up earlier. Now you will be at no risk of forgetting to turn the alarm on again.
✓ Custom repeat options: Repeat alarms every second Monday, every second day, or set specific calendar days to coincide with your work shifts.
✓ Guided Meditation: Fall asleep with guided relaxation and guided sleep meditation (English). Wake up with mindfulness.
✓ Pulsed brightness: Useful for the deaf or for those with impaired hearing.

Prevent sleep disorders
Gentle sleep sounds and light may help with sleeping disorders caused by any cause such as stress, jet lag, depression, migraine, headache, motivation, tinnitus, insomnia, burn-out, autism, PTSD, anxiety disorder, ADHD, mental disorder. Please note that the app is not a medical product and sleep disorders should always be diagnosed by a doctor. But it may help you to sleep without having to use sleeping pills.

You will have complete control over the wake-up process
Start the sunrise 20 minutes before your desired wake-up time and define your wanted brightness level at the end of the alarm. Slowly increase the volume of the sound of birds twittering and add a device vibration as a backup 5 min after wake-up time. Enjoy a nice morning summary including the weather forecast before you get out of bed.

Start waking up with increasing light and you will never want to wake up by harsh sounds again.

Categories: Lifestyle

Date: April 12, 2021

Developer: Dr. Alexander Rieger

About developer: Dr. Alexander Rieger released his first PC game in the year 1991 for DOS ope ... Read more



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