Among the many features on your Android phone, perhaps one of the most useful is that it can be your alarm clock, whether it’s to wake you up in the morning or remind you to take the chicken out of the oven. There are two main types of alarm – one-time and recurring – both of which are available in the Clock app.

Alongside these, you might also want to use the Timer option that’s better suited to reminding you when the pasta's done.

So, how can you set up single or recurring alarms on your device? These are the simple steps to take.

Can I set an alarm using the Google Assistant?

Yes, so long as you have the Assistant on your phone and haven't disabled it. The Assistant makes it a breeze to set alarms and timers. If you’ve already set up the app, simply say ‘Ok, Google. Set an alarm for 7am tomorrow'. Or you could say 'Ok, Google. Set a timer for 10 minutes’ or whatever you want it to do and she should instantly oblige.

It’s well worth taking some time to learn how to use Google Assistant as she can do a lot more than just answer your questions about who starred in what or where you’ll find the nearest coffee shop.

How do I set a one-time alarm in Android?

If you prefer you can use the Clock app to set an alarm. Note that the interface will vary across Android phones as each manufacturer modifies Android as it sees fit. But the principles apply to almost every model.

Also remember that alarms will sound if your phone screen is off (in sleep mode) and even if the volume is set to silent or vibrate mode. There is a separate volume slider for the alarm volume, which you'll find in the Settings app under something like 'Sounds' or 'Volume'.

The alarm will not sound if you power off your phone completely. 

Open the Clock app then select the Alarm tab from the bottom of the screen. At the top of the main panel you should see an option to Add alarm. Tap this and you’ll be presented with a time in the top half of the screen, with various settings in the lower half. Scroll the hours up or down until you reach the one you want, then repeat the process with the minutes.

How to setup alarms on Android: Setting up the alarm

When you’ve got the time as you want it, tell the app which day you want the alarm. This is achieved by tapping on the calendar icon that sits just above the row of letters that represents each day. A small calendar window will open up, allowing you tap the day you’ll need the alarm. Tap Done once you’ve selected the date.

Underneath these you will find a field called Alarm name. Tap this and you can give this particular alert its own title, thus making sure you know what the insistent ringing actually indicates.

how to set alarms on Android: Further Settings

The final options that live beneath the name field allow you to change the Alarm sound, Vibration type and set how the Snooze feature will work. For example, tapping on the Alarm sound option opens a menu where you can tap Ringtone and allocate specific tunes for each individual alarm.

Each setting can be turned on or off, making it possible to have vibration-only alerts if you’re likely to be in a meeting or quiet place when the alarm is due to trigger. With everything set to your satisfaction, tap Save and your alarm will now be ready to go, with the details shown in the Alarm section of the Clock app.

How to set up a recurring alarm in Android

Should you wish the alarm to trigger on different days or the same ones each week, then this is easy to achieve. Follow the instructions above, but instead of tapping the calendar icon when setting the date, tap the letter or letters that represent the days you need the alarm instead. That’s it. Everything else is the same.

How to set alarms on Android

How to set up a timer on Android

If you just need a quick alarm that can tell you when the rice is ready to come off the hob or if you use the Pomodoro technique to do 20-minutes of uninterrupted concentration on tasks, the Timer feature is more appropriate than a full-blown alarm.

Open the Clock app and select the Timer tab from the bottom of the screen. Now, scroll the Hours, Minutes and Seconds to the values you require, and press Start to begin the countdown.   

How to set alarms on Android: Using the Timer

Immediately the timer will take over the screen, displaying the remaining time beneath a circle that also shows how long is left until you reach zero.