5 Free Apps for Getting Your Morning Started

Sleep better, get caught up on the news, beat traffic, and more.

The work day waits for nobody, least of all the non-morning people. These apps may not guarantee that you’ll get up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but they can help you ease into your day a little more easily.


1. Wake Up Refreshed

Nothing ruins a day like a poor night’s sleep. SleepBot (Android, iOS) uses your phone to listen to you as you sleep, noting periods of restlessness and snoring. Its built-in alarm wakes you up during a window of time that you specify, waiting until you’re already stirring in order to rouse you during a light sleep phase so that you don’t feel groggy.

2. Skim Your Schedule

Calendar apps are a dime a dozen, but Sunrise Calendar (Android, iOS) does an admirable job of playing nicely with other scheduling services–Google Calendar, Exchange, iCloud, Facebook, TripIt, and many more–in order to give you a thorough overview of how your day’s looking. Changing things around and creating new appointments is a snap as well: The app features a calendar-based keyboard for quick additions. Microsoft likes Sunrise so much that it recently bought it.

3. Check the Weather

For a nice overview of what Mother Nature’s up to, try AccuWeather (Android, iOS). The app can leverage your exact location via GPS to give you detailed weather information, with minute-by-minute rain forecasts that cover a span of two hours. You’ll know exactly how long you have until you can close your umbrella, in other words. There are plenty of videos onboard as well, if you’d prefer to get the forecast from a flesh-and-blood meteorologist.

4. Get Caught Up

SmartNews (Android, iOS) is a quick-loading, no-nonsense news app that serves up the latest headlines, customized to the kinds of articles you like to receive and saved so you can read them offline while on the go. If you just want to check out what’s happening without customizing anything, the app digs through more than 12 million articles each day to surface the top trending stories.

5. Stay One Step Ahead Of Traffic

Venerable classic Waze (Android, iOS) is a GPS app that pulls in data from other Waze users to intelligently route you around troublesome traffic tie-ups. It gets smarter the more you use it, too, learning your schedule to send you alerts when you normally leave for work in the morning or get set to sneak out of the office in the afternoon. You’ll get warnings about speed traps as well; nothing like starting the morning off with a ticket, eh?