There are many good reasons to ditch your stock alarm clock and wake up with an alternative alarm clock app on your Android phone instead.
Timers4Me comes with an alarm clock (in addition to a stopwatch and countdown timer), but not a very good one. My favorite alarm clock app for now is Alarms Solo.
But that may change, because MRKAlarm looks very promising. If the app matures and the bugs get ironed out it may become the default alarm clock on my phone.
MRKAlarm is free, and it doesn't have any ads. It has a PayPal donation link hidden in its About screen, but that doesn't work on my phone so for now I have a good excuse for not donating until it gets fixed ;)
It has a simple user interface, lots of options, and some features that you won't find elsewhere.
You can choose between the alarm tones in SD card/media/audio/alarms folder (if you added any in there), but it won't use Androids built-in alarm sounds (not on my phone anyway). On the bright side, you can choose any mp3 as an alarm tone, and it doesn't stop there. You can select multiple songs to wake you up with a playlist.
What makes the app unique is its calendar integration. You can set an alarm for every weekday, and then open the calendar tab to auto-disable the alarm on public holidays, days marked as vacation, etc. Instead of shutting off the alarm you can also make it ring later on holidays.
When the alarm rings it wakes up your screen and pops a large snooze button and a small shut up button. A "slide to stop" option to avoid dismissing an alarm by accident would be nice to have, but it's not a dealbreaker. Of course you can set your own snooze interval in the alarm settings. The alarm doesn't need to start at full force, because you can make the volume increase gradually over a period up to a minute.
Nice touch: you can set quiet hours and choose what should happen during that time. You can either silence the app, make it shake instead or scream, or play the alarms at a lower volume. And you can tell the app to sound an alarm when your battery level drops below a critical value.
Things to fix
Update: most issues are fixed in new versions.
MRKAlarm only uses sounds from your SD card.
MRKAlarm is not ready to replace Alarms Solo on my phone yet, but it has lots of potential. With a few more options, tricks and tweaks and it could easily become the best alarm clock app on the Android Market. Take it for a test drive to see for yourself.
• MRKAlarm in the Android Market
• MRK Alarm on xda (forum discussion, do post your ideas)
• Alarms Solo