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Introducing Cue Up

Think about music in a movie for a moment. You can often anticipate what’s about to happen from the musical cues. Cue Up is an app that lets you put musical cues on a schedule—to give your day a sound track and you a way to know what part of the day or night it is by the music you hear.

And it’s a little more than simply playlists on a schedule. Each cue in your day can have a prelude which leads into the cue, so you can anticipate what’s about to happen before it actually does. Let’s say you want to wake at 6am. You may create a cue and set the time for 6am, adding the music you want to play starting at 6am to the playlist. But you can also add songs to a prelude. These songs will play leading up to 6am, ending just in time for your cue. And if there’s a volume difference in whatever’s on the schedule before 6am and your 6am cue, Cue Up will use the prelude to gradually adjust the volume. Want to play music softly overnight then gradually ramp up the volume as it’s nearing your time to wake? This can do it for you which may help you better anticipate when it’s time to wake.

And about that alarm thing: an obnoxious beeping? Maybe some sort of not as obnoxious chimes? Nah. How about a voice that delivers your cue. Don’t you think you’d respond better to a voice than to beeps? Write your own custom messages to hear spoken for your cues.

We think its a great way to wake up. Think about this: rather than waiting until it’s actually time to wake up to set off an alarm to jolt you out of sleep, give yourself a musical heads up to what’s coming next—then wake to a voice delivering your cue. We’re not making any claims for how it will work for you. People are all different; but we use it ourselves and have enjoyed waking this way ever since we got the first prototype working and found we loved it.

We’d love to hear about how you use it and your experience with it!


Disclaimer: we haven’t done any studies on whether this is a better way to wake and we’re not making any claims that it is or that it will wake you or that our little app will improve your life in any way. We are sharing our experience and our experience using it ourselves is a good one. And we provide it free for you to try—which we think is the best way anyway. We hope you try it and find that your experience is great!

Cue Up — The Prelude

Most mornings I am not conscious of the prelude, but I’m up by the first syllable of my morning cue message. I think the prelude helps me prepare to wake. That is what my experience has been virtually every morning for months now as I’ve been developing Cue Up. Here’s what I’ve found that I enjoy: I fill my prelude with ~20 minutes of songs that are not in my overnight playlist. Generally, they fall into the New Age genre. I start with slower tempo and build the tempo with each song, but it’s still music you would be more likely to relax to than work out with. But it’s the same every morning, and always leads up to my cue to wake. Like Pavlov’s dog, I think the consistent sound may help me anticipate and prepare for what’s next. Feel free to let me know how you use Cue Up. Enjoy!

Cue Up — Sharing Cue Up

It happens almost every morning in our house. I like to get up well before everyone else. So what if you both want to use Cue Up, but you and your spouse plan to get up at different times? There are more than one way you can do this. But here are a couple that we like:

Share a single device: Set up an overnight cue with great music to sleep to. Then set up a cue for each of you. When the first to wake gets up, they can switch off their cue in the schedule. Cue Up will then revert back to the overnight playlist until it’s time for the second cue. Don’t forget to turn the first cue back on before you need it again!

Using two devices: Two devices can both be plugged in and set up to wait quietly until it’s time for their respective cues, or the one with the later cue can play music overnight while the one with the earlier cue waits quietly until it’s time to cue. Pillow or bone conducting speakers may also help isolate the sound enough that each is able to have their own cues without disturbing the other.

Also, try putting your name in your cue message. You probably pay more attention to your own name that others do. Try using different music for each of your preludes and playlists, and messages that are easy to tell the difference from one another. If they sound different, you and your spouse will have an easier time hearing your own cues.

Cue Up — Playback Control

Did you know that you can control playback for Cue Up through Control Center (swipe up from bottom)? Even if Cue Up is not currently playing you can start playback. It can take a few seconds after you tap ‘play’ in Control Center to start if the app was closed, but this lets you start playing your schedule without needing to unlock the device or switch to Cue Up. I find this a convenient way to listen to music in my car. I plug in my phone as soon as I get in, swipe up to bring up Control Center and hit ‘play’, and that’s it! I don’t even need to unlock and Cue Up plays the music and speaks cues as I’ve scheduled. It’s a very convenient way to listen to my music. To appear in Control Center, Cue Up must be the last app to use Control Center for playback control and Control Center must be enabled in Settings.

Mathbeat Scores: ‘Top Score’ and ‘Full Score’

Mathbeat keeps track of two high scores for each player, and a goal for each of these high scores. These are labeled as the ‘Top Score’ and the ‘Full Score’, and are based on how you’ve set things up.


The Top Score is the high score for any way you have the settings. Maybe you’ve decided to practice multiplication by 6. Perhaps you’ve decided to practice addition and subtraction. Perhaps you’ve selected all the operators. Regardless of your settings, the Top Score records your best—of any problem types over any range.

The Full Score is you high score for one particular special combination. ‘Full’ means all the operators, on all the range covered by Mathbeat. To play to beat your Full Score, make sure all the operators (+,-,×,÷) are selected, and both the top and bottom operand ranges are set 0 through 12. You can set this quickly by tapping the blue Full Range description: 0-12 +-×÷ 0-12 (on the Settings screen just under the “Best of All Operators, Full Range” title)

Mathbeat: How to get the math problems you want


Mathbeat allows you to select the types of math problems it gives you to solve by selecting the operators (+,-,×,÷) and the range for both operands (between 0 and 12).

Let’s say you want to work on your multiplication by 6 facts. Select only the ‘×’ to limit problems to multiplication, then adjust the top operand range to ‘6 through 6’. You can adjust the range numbers using the -+ buttons below each range number. The bottom range can be ‘0 through 12’. Hit ‘Done’ and Mathbeat will present you with problems like ‘6 × 4’, ‘6 × 0’, or ‘6 × 10’. The top (first) number will always be 6. The bottom number will be anything on the range from 0 through 12.


Multiplication by 6

Perhaps you want to practice addition and subtraction? Make sure the ‘+’ and ‘-’ operators are selected and the other two aren’t. Adjust your top and bottom operand ranges as desired. Note that Mathbeat will never give you a problem that has an answer less than zero. If it generates a subtraction problem with the top value less than the bottom, it will swap them to ensure the top value is always greater than or equal to the bottom value before it presents it to you to solve.


Addition and Subtraction with Answers on Range from 0 to 20

What about division? For division, you actually select the answer range. Answers will always be whole values (integers). Let’s say you’ve been working on multiplication facts for 6, and want to mix it up a bit by also including related division problems. Adjust the top range to be 6 through 6, and the bottom range as desired (perhaps 0 through 12). Now select both the ‘×’ and ‘÷’ operators, and make sure the other two are not selected. Hit ‘Done’ and now not only will you get problems like ‘6 × 5’, but you’ll also get problems like ’30 ÷ 5’ who’s answer is 6. It may be a bit trivial to only select a single value like 6 for the range of answers, but I hope you get the idea for how you can use it.


Multiplication and Division: 6 Facts Family

Want to play on the full range with all the operators? Go for it! Mathbeat keeps track of that high score separately, so you have a standard that you can always come back to and play against.


All Types, Full Range