iOS Alarm Improvements

How to change the ringtone on iOS’s “bedtime schedule” alarm?

In one of the more recent OS upgrades, apple added a bedtime schedule feature. Pretty sweet! I remember setting it up, picking a ringtone – excited about the new options like birds chirping, and natural sounds.

A couple of months later, I was trying to show my partner how to set it up. And I couldn’t figure out how to change the ringtone again. After googling it, I felt stupid:  how did I miss the “Options” link? If I had missed it, probably many others have. 

Key Problem

Changing the ringtone for other alarms is inconsistent with how you do it for the “bedtime schedule” alarm. For “other” alarms, you click edit, then pick which one you want to edit (this is an unnecessary step already). Then you see the edit options. Et Voila: the sound choice is right there.

For the “Bedtime schedule” alarm, if you do the same thing, the options are nowhere in sight. There’s no button to go to options either. *frustration*

At this point, users like me may give up, or start clicking around everywhere to find where the heck the sound can be changed. I even clicked on the bedtime tab, looking for one of these: 

Hint: I didn’t find it.

Sidenote: Why are bedtime schedule alarm sounds not available for “other alarms”? Weird/Annoying 🙁


Here’s how I would change these two overlapping sections to reduce confusion and unnecessary navigation layers:

Edit 1

Remove the ‘Edit’ link at the top left. Instead, edit an alarm by tapping anywhere on the alarm (except the toggle).

Edit 2

Remove Bedtime tab – it’s related to alarms so this simplifies the interface.

Edit 3

showing third edit.
Moved “Analysis” from Bedtime tab to the front page under the bedtime section, and renamed it “Sleep History”. It’s more descriptive and discoverable.

Edit 4

Removed “Options” in the top left corner of the bedtime section.
Instead, I put the “Wake Up” section from options (with the alarm sound) in the edit screen, one tap from the alarms home page. There’s a link to the rest of the options, renamed bedtime options to be more descriptive. These options are not as often accessed (my assumption).

Other minor edits

  • Added alarm icon to the left of “Other alarms” to be consistent with the icon next to bedtime header.
  • Added Volume slider in “Other Alarms” edit section, to stay consistent between two alarm types, and to make it more discoverable.
  • Renamed “Alarm” to Alarms because there are multiple alarms.

Final Words

Since I created this prototype to focus on interactions, some of the UI elements/colors are off from Apple’s specifications.

Further Improvements

  • What does snooze toggle mean? Maybe to enable snooze? Not sure, but I would add a description.
  • Ability to add more than one bedtime schedule. (assuming this is a need for some people).
  • Add a swipe right to delete an alarm on the home page.

Testing needed to answer these Qs

  • Is right-swipe to delete discoverable enough?
  • Would the swipe-delete cause frustration because of accidental deletes? Since I removed the edit button, deleting is only available when you tap to edit.
  • Does removing edit make editing less discoverable and cause frustration?

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