For most, an alarm with a tone to wake you up in the morning will probably be enough but if you're looking for something different, Talking Alarm may be for you. It does what it says on the tin -- talks to you. It's really that simple. There are a few options to choose from such as the having the alarm include the local weather forecast and an RSS feed of your choosing.

Talking Alarm Home tab view

You can choose from a male or female voice to talk to you. To set up your alarm, just tap the Set Alarm icon along the bottom, then start filling in what you want. You can set it to recur on specific, just tap the Recurrence toggle more options will show, select Custom to choose specific days. After that is the Talk Only toggle. If all you want the alarm to do is talk and dictate the weather, calendar events and RSS feed, then toggle this on, otherwise, you can set a ringtone. You don't have to have the app speak the weather, calendar events and RSS feed, you can choose which one you want by toggling them on. There is also a space for you to add a note. If you do add a note, this will also be read out.

Talking Alarm Set Alarm

You can set multiple alarms, just tap Set Alarm each time you want to set one. You can then see your list of alarms by selecting View Alarms along the bottom. One thing to note is that if you plan to add the weather and RSS feed to the alarm, you have to set these up in the app Settings before creating your alarm. To get to the app settings swipe down from the top and tap Settings. You need to Set Location if you want to add the weather. And you need too add the RSS feed URL in the Set RSS feeds' Source field. There are other options you can set in there too like whether you want a male or female voice as your alarm.

Talking Alarm Settings

Along the bottom you'll find a total of four options. The other two are Home and News. Home is pretty much the display clock. It shows the time, weather, calendar events and the time and day of the next alarm. News shows you your RSS feed so you can quickly read through it. On this page, there are media buttons that allows you replay your alarm for the day.

Talking Alarm alarms view

It's not a bad app and does the job it says it does. I've found it to be hit and miss with RSS feeds though. The CrackBerry RSS feed works fine, however the BlackBerry Blog RSS feed doesn't. The developer is aware of this and has been looking for a fix. Talking Alarm uses the media volume for playback, so you have to make sure you have the volume set up high, otherwise it you won't hear it. The calendar can sometimes include entries for the next day, not always useful, as I wake up a bit confused with schedule or what day it is. Talking Alarm is headless, so at the very least you don't need to have it open once your have set up your alarm(s).

The Good

  • Headless
  • Choose of male or female voice
  • Has the option to add weather, calendar events and RSS feed

The Bad

  • Uses media volume so you need to make sure your volume is turned up to hear it
  • Will sometimes include calendar appointments for the following day

The bottom line

Like other apps, that are new...ish, tweaks and refinements would help to make it even better, especially with the RSS feeds but if you're not going to add one, the alarm works pretty well. And the developer is open to feedback anyway. It's something different to wake up to each morning (or when I need it). You have to play about with different RSS feeds, if you want to use the feature. Talking Alarm on the whole is a pretty decent app that I have found myself using it as my regular alarm. It could probably be cleaned up a bit in terms of making sure everything is seamless but it just the job it sets out to do.

Talking Alarm is available for all BlackBerry 10 smartphones and costs $1.99.

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