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I'm not getting background alarm music anymore, just the standard notification sound instead.
iOS 10 has an issue that causes updated apps to play the default notification sound instead of custom sounds. TalkingAlarm uses custom notification sounds to play background alarm music. Apple has been notified and is working on a fix. In the mean time, reboot your device (using "Slide to power off") and that will fix the problem.

I'm selecting music but getting an alert about iCloud.
If your device does not have internet access, TalkingAlarm can only play music that resides on the device. With Apple Music some (or many) songs will live only in the cloud. This alert is just advice - you can ignore it if you plan on having internet access when TalkingAlarm is playing music.

Tell me about EZWake.
EZWake can be set for any alarm. If set it will take the screen brightness from its current brightness level (usually very dark) to full-on bright white very slowly, starting five minutes before the alarm time. This can be very effective for starting a gentle wake-up in a dark room, especially with a large phone (or iPad) that is on edge facing the sleeper (we have a stand for that). If set it will start the alarm music at zero volume one minute before the alarm time and very slowly ramp up the volume until the alarm time. If HomeKit lighting devices are configured for the alarm, these will be very slowly brightness ramped over the same period as the screen brightness. EZWake brightness and volume can be turned on seperately for each alarm.

Tell me about Leave time.
Leave time begins after the alarm triggers to periodically remind you how much time is left before you have to leave. Leave time can be set individually for each alarm. If you do not cancel the alarm, alarm music will keep playing during the leave time period. If you do cancel the alarm (but keep TalkingAlarm running), TA will issue leave time remaining announcements every five minutes (and every minute during the last five minutes). At the leave time TA will go beserk with a very annoying klaxon until leave time is cancelled. Cancelling leave time requires a tap followed by a slide-to-cancel.

How does sleep music decide what to play?
If the iOS Music app is playing when TalkingAlarm is launched, that music will continue playing. Tapping the sleep play button will start the sleep timer (you need to turn on Sleep in TalkingAlarm settings to select the sleep duration). If the Music app is not playing when TA is launched, touch & hold on the Sleep play button will start the music you configured in the app's Sleep music settings.

How do I set up TalkingAlarm to trigger HomeKit actions?
First make sure that HomeKit is configured for your home. If you've been playing with HomeKit on other apps this is probably already done. If not, use an app capable of configuing HomeKit such as Elgato Eve (free) or Home - Smart Home Automation (not free). Once the device(s) or scene(s) you want to trigger with TalkingAlarm have been configured in HomeKit, go to the TA settings page for HomeKit. The page has three sections. The top section is contains the devices and/or scenes that will be triggered with an alarm. The second section contains the Lutron Caséta lighting devices that can be moved to the top section. Only these devices can have a slow brightness ramp-up with an alarm. The third/bottom section contains scenes that can be moved to the top section. Scenes will be triggered at full speed with an alarm (no slow ramp-up). To move a device or scene into the top section, or remove one from the top section, use the Edit button on the right end of the title bar at the top of the page. When you move a device from section two to the top section, or when you tap a device in the top section in edit mode, you get an opportunity to configure the action that will be triggered with the alarm - on/off or brightness level. Once this TA HomeKit settings configuration is complete, you can select HomeKit for any alarm in the alarm add or edit settings page.

Tell me about some features of the app
  • Swiping the screen in any direction while alarm music is playing will skip to the next song (if you selected a playlist or multiple songs).
  • You can set an alarm duration limit, after which the alarm will cancel itself.
  • Configurable display - you can choose the font, text color and background color or background photo. Each orientation (portrait and landscape) can be configured independently. Find this in Settings / Skin.
  • Fonts include a 7-segment LED-style font. In 12-hour time mode with ad-free purchased, this font expands the landscape time display to fill the entire screen.
  • Snooze restart: If you exit TalkingAlarm while snoozing, then restart the app before the snooze would have expired, snooze will restart automatically.
  • Snooze and Sleep now show a countdown of time remaining.
  • "Next appointment" can be announced with each time reminder during alarming. You can also choose to hear the time (minutes from now) until the appointment. Use Settings / Speech / Next appointment.
  • You can select a time announcement periodically during snoozing. Use Settings / Speech / During snooze.
  • Snooze nags will announce how long since the alarm started if snoozing exceeds 30 minutes.
  • Low battery warning announcement occurs at 10% charge (the iOS alert is at 20%) and can be disabled entirely. Use Speech settings.
  • Double-tap the clock screen for next appointment announcement.
  • Triple-tap the clock screen for weather announcement.
  • The volume slider allows separate adjustment of Sleep music volume (S) and Alarm music volume (A). Sleep volume is set from the Music app's current volume if it is playing when TA is launched. It is used for Sleep music and announcements while sleep music is playing. Changes to Alarm volume affect everything else: Alarm music and all announcements when Sleep music is not playing. Any changes you make to Alarm and Sleep volume are saved, and restored when TalkingAlarm is started. The volume slider is disabled when the screen is dimmed by long-touch. The system volume is saved when TalkingAlarm is entered and restored when TA exits or suspends, so TalkingAlarm should not affect the device volume outside of TalkingAlarm.
Why don't I see the settings button to access the settings?
The settings button is only shown in portrait orientation, and is disabled when the display is dimmed with press-and-hold (so you don't accidentally go to settings when you fwap for time in the middle of the night).

Why don't I see the button on the volume slider?
The volume slider is disabled when the display is dimmed with press-and-hold (same as the info button, above), and when volume is being ramped down (Sleep) or ramped up (EZWake).

Why don't I hear the weather?
You can triple-tap the clock display to hear the weather announcement at any time. If you don't hear the weather, then most likely the app cannot access the weather server. The weather settings screen displays a message if there is a problem accessing the weather server.

Why is TalkingAlarm asking to use my location?
The weather information announced with the alarm is based on your location. If you don't want TalkingAlarm to access your location you can enter a location manually in the app's Weather settings. If you have disallowed access the app will not be able to automatically find your location until you go to the device Settings / Privacy / Location Services and set TalkingAlarm to ON.

Why is TalkingAlarm asking to access my calendar?
"Your next appointment is at..." spoken with the alarm gets its data from your calendar. If you have disallowed access the app will not be able to announce your next appointment until you go to the device Settings / Privacy / Calendars and set TalkingAlarm to ON.

Which appointment gets announced with the alarm?
TalkingAlarm looks at your calendar and picks the next appointment within 24 hours which isn't already in progress. e.g. if the alarm is set for 7:00AM it will skip over an appointment that runs 6:30-7:30 (you're late for it already). It also ignores all-day and cancelled appointments. There is a setting to ignore appointments which don't have an alert (like a "hold this time slot" entry). If this announcement is annoying you can turn it off in the Speech Settings.

The ads are too bright at night. How can I make them go away?
You can use the app's Display / Brightness setting to fully dim the clock display (including the ads) at night, and they really aren't so bad when fully dimmed.

How do I dim the brightness of the display at night when I'm sleeping?
Touch and hold the touch (for more than 3/4 second) on the clock display. The display will dim to a level controlled by the brightness slider on the app's Display Settings screen. It will stay dimmed until the Alarm sounds, and will redim if you tap with Snooze enabled. Touch and hold again to toggle the brightness between the dimmed setting and normal brightness. The default skin for landscape orientation (green, skinny font on a black background) makes for the darkest display.

I tried the touch/hold brightness thing, but I still think the ads are too annoying.
In response to numerous requests you can now do an "In-App Purchase" of Ad-Free Forever. This option gets rid of the ads immediately and they stay gone when the app is updated. If you delete the app and later reinstall it or download it onto another device, you can restore Ad-Free Forever on those devices at no charge as long as you are using the same Apple ID as when you purchased Ad-Free Forever.

I want to use TalkingAlarm as my night time alarm clock, but I cannot always connect my phone to a charger all night.
You can go to the app's Display settings and set the Brightness slider to minimum. Go back to the main clock screen and touch & hold to dim the display. A fully charged iPhone will use about 50% to 80% (depending on the model) of it's battery in 8 hours of fully-dimmed time display.

Can I just lock the screen using the button on the top of the phone to save battery?
You can, but then you must use Background alarms (an app setting). At the alarm time you will get an alert, but will need to tap the alert and unlock the phone before the app's announcements and music are triggered. TalkingAlarm really works best as a bedside clock that is left running and open all night.

I want to use TalkingAlarm during the day to keep me from losing track of time, but without having to set a bunch of reminders.
TalkingAlarm can do this, but it needs to stay running which uses the battery and is a PITA when you use the phone for something else. We recommend another app, TalkingTime, which does this function in the background without using power, keeping your iPhone free for other uses.

How do I stop the annoying nags when I tap for Snooze?
There's a setting for that... and for other announcements on the Speech Settings page.

The settings button in the lower right corner goes away when I turn the device on it's side for the larger clock view.
Yes, it does (so you don't accidentally tap it when you are trying to shut off the alarm). Turn the device upright (portrait mode) to get to the settings button. The volume slider disappears in landscape orientation for the same reason.

How do I control all the functions without any buttons on the main clock display?
"Smart Tap". When you tap the screen, TalkingAlarm takes an action appropriate to what's going on:
  • If the alarm is sounding and snooze is enabled, a tap is like hitting the snooze button.
  • If Snooze is not enabled, or if the alarm is snoozing, a tap cancels the alarm.
  • Each of those actions has an accompanying announcement so you know what action was taken.
  • If the alarm is not sounding or snoozing, a tap triggers an announcement of the current time.
  • A touch/hold toggles the brightness between full-on and the app's brightness slider setting.
  • A double tap announces the time of the next calendar appointment.
  • A triple tap announces the weather.
That's great, but it's too easy for me to inadvertently cancel the alarm by tapping for the time while snoozing.
You can set the "Slide to cancel" switch in the app Settings and instead of a tap to cancel the alarm, a tap during snooze gives a time announcement and a "slide to cancel" control (like "slide to power off"). Your choice.

I want to record my mother screaming at me to "get your lazy butt out of bed" to encourage me to get up in the morning.
Umm, why? But you can do just that, or record any other voice, music or song. Your recording can be set to play at the start of the alarm and/or with each time reminder during alarming.

How do I set the app for 12 or 24 Hour mode?
TalkingAlarm respects the 12/24-hour setting of the device. If the device setting is changed, the app will change the next time it is started.

One tune is not long enough for my Sleep time, or for lazy listening to Alarm music in the morning.
You can select more than one song individually, or select an entire play list.

What is your Privacy Policy?
TalkingAlarm will not save or share your personal information on the device or remotely except as follows: TalkingAlarm accesses your calendar only to announce your next appointment time. TalkingAlarm sends your location to the weather provider to obtain weather data for that location, but sends no personal information with the request for weather data.

TalkingAlarm does collect data on feature usage to improve future releases of the app, but no personal data is collected and the feature useage data that is collected is aggregated and not shared with anyone.

TalkingAlarm uses data from the HomeKit API only within the app for the purpose of home automation.