December 1, 2020

Cyber Monday 2020 – 50% OFF

It's that time of the Year again, and sleep remains as important as ever. Sleeping well during the pandemic can be challenging, yet it can be an essential source of healing and much-needed recuperation. For this Year's Cyber Monday, Pillow's Premium Features will be available at a 50% discount for a year.

Those who upgrade now will also benefit from the features of our upcoming big update that will be Pillow v4.0. It's our biggest update yet, and it is right around the corner.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone! With a lot of love from our team at Neybox.

August 9, 2018

Automatic Sleep Tracking for the Apple Watch.

Introducing Pillow v.3.6


Sleep tracking should be as easy and effortless as possible. With Pillow v.3.6 we’re (finally) introducing automatic sleep tracking using the Apple Watch. This is a very big update that took a lot of time and effort to make sure it works as expected and at the same time feels like a natural addition to Pillow’s existing features.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s new in this version:

Automatic sleep tracking with the Apple Watch

Automatic sleep tracking means that Pillow no longer requires you to press any buttons to track your sleep. If you have an Apple Watch, simply enable Pillow’s “Automatic” mode once and just wear your Apple Watch during sleep. As long as Pillow’s Automatic mode is enabled Pillow will automatically detect and analyze your sleep every day. You can open Pillow anytime during the day to check your sleep analysis, set your mood or add notes to that sleep session.

One thing that’s worth noting is that Alarms and Audio recordings are currently not possible in Automatic mode due to the way Apple Watch and watchOS works. However, we’ll keep looking for ways to bring this functionality.

“Manual” mode is still there

If, for whatever reason, you don’t like Automatic mode or you want to use your iPhone or iPad to track your sleep, you can turn off Automatic mode and switch back to Manual mode. Every single feature available in manual mode is still there and it’s not going away. Manual mode is still a very popular way to track sleep with Pillow and we’ve got great new features coming up for those who want to use Pillow in that mode.

Introducing the Sleep Diary view



Since the very first version of Pillow, when you launch the app, you are taken directly to the Alarm Setup view where you see a picker that you can use to set up your wake-up time. That’s great if you want to use Pillow in manual mode. However, it doesn’t make sense when you when Automatic mode is on. We also felt that Pillow was always missing a view where you can easily get a quick and meaningful summary of your sleep every day. Those two problems led us to create what we call the “Sleep Diary“ view.

The Sleep Diary gives a quick and visual overview of what matters when you want to get an idea of how well you slept last night: Two concentric rings, one for the Time Asleep and the other for your Sleep Quality for that day, and a list of all the detected sleep sessions in a condensed and simplified form. Tapping on each one of the detected sessions takes you to the detail view where you can get in-depth information about that night.

The Sleep Diary is only accessible if you enable Automatic mode both from the iPhone and the Apple Watch. However, we’re working on a major redesign of Pillow that will provide access to that view in both Automatic and Manual modes.

The Sleep calendar



An important part of the Sleep Diary view is the Sleep Calendar. Tapping on the calendar icon on the top right corner displays a monthly calendar that lets you access previous days. If Pillow has detected one or more sessions for that day, you’ll see a little purple dot. Tapping on a day that doesn’t have any sleep sessions detected, will take you to that day and Pillow will automatically try to detect any sessions, provided that you did wear your Apple Watch during sleep. That’s a great way to detect sessions in the past, and you can go as far back in time as you want!

Sleep reports via Rich notifications




You can select to receive a notification when Pillow detects a sleep session or schedule that notification to appear after a specific time. Pillow uses rich notifications so that you can view your sleep report and sleep stage diagram without having to open the app.

Merging and expanding sessions



Last but not least, this update gives even more flexibility in the way you can handle detected sleep sessions. Pillow's edit session dialog now allows you to increase the duration of your sleep session by adding time at the beginning or end of the sleep session or merge two sleep sessions as long as they are less than six hours apart.

What’s next

Now that Automatic sleep tracking mode is done we’ll be working full speed in our next major version, Pillow v.4.0 that will bring many new features and a complete redesign that will make Pillow a lot easier and intuitive to use. Subscribe to our mailing list if you want to receive news and updates about any upcoming features and updates.

Pillow is available for free on the App Store and the new Automatic Sleep tracking features come as a free upgrade to all existing users. Enjoy!

March 16, 2018

World Sleep Day 2018

It’s World Sleep Day today, and it goes without saying that this is a special date for Pillow. For us, it’s first and foremost an excellent opportunity to ask one simple question: How does sleep affect my life? Sadly, it’s not a question that gets asked often enough, although it’s surprisingly easy to answer with all the technology and resources that is available out there.

So we urge you to ask yourself this simple question and if by any change you’d like to use Pillow to help you find the answer we’re offering all our Premium Features at a 40% discount just for today.

November 28, 2017

Pillow v.2.0: Bigger, better, faster, stronger.


We’ve been kind of silent during the last few weeks, as we were preparing a major update for Pillow. So, after some painstaking effort, the second version of Pillow is finally here and we’re excited to share with you its new features!

In a nutshell, it’s a rather big update including many popular feature requests, adaptations for the latest devices and iOS 8 HealthKit integration and a brand new iPad version. Let’s dive into some more details about each one.


As of version 2, Pillow is a Universal app supporting natively both iPhone/iPod and iPad. Adapting the app for iPad presented quite a few challenges: We had to redesign certain aspects of the interface and mainly the daily statistics screen in order to exploit the bigger screen real estate and perform a variety of adjustments in our other views to make things appear and work smoothly. The incorporation of iCloud gave us an “easy”1 way to sync sleep data between the devices so that users owning both devices can do the recording on iPhone which is easier to accommodate on the bed and browse through their statistics on the iPad, enjoying the larger screen.


Yes, finally Pillow supports HealthKit and interacts with Apple’s Health app. We have already described our intentions regarding HealthKit integration in a previous post and especially how we wanted to include and visualise more aspects of a person’s health and well-being and relate them to sleep efficiency. So, apart from feeding the Health app with the sleep duration data, we incorporated ten more data sources that can be viewed in comparison to sleep quality without needing to leave the app. These sources include: heart rate, systolic blood pressure, caffeine intake, dietary calories, blood alcohol content, weight, steps, cycling distance and Nike Fuel. Every one of these metrics is firmly believed, by current sleep research, to be closely associated with sleep efficiency and be a potential contributing factor or a result of sleep disorder. In that perspective we found it very useful for a person to be able to immediately and easily see and assess this kind of information. We must note that all HealthKit derived data remain on the device and are not stored or shared with any kind of external service or the iCloud, in order to ensure absolute data privacy.

iPhone 6 and 6+

Pillow interface is now also supporting the larger iPhones in native resolution. Since we’re very proud for Pillow’s design we got very frustrated seeing our app in the blown-up compatibility mode and we were truly eager to make things right.

Apart from these major changes, we’ve included a number of smaller yet significant upgrades to the app like the fact that we now offer the opportunity to continue an interrupted sleep session when the interruption is less than 10 minutes.

A short glimpse to what’s next

With the introduction of the iPad version and the HealthKit integration, we believe that Pillow is now one of the most complete sleep tracking apps on iOS. But there are a lot more things in our table for the near future:

  1. Snooze Lab expansion: Snooze Lab is one of our favourite features and it’s clear from the feedback we get that a lot of our users love it. We constantly update it with new facts and everyday tips that can make your sleep routine a bit better and we’ve found out that users find it especially useful. In our plans for the near future is turning it into a fully personalised tool, assessing more available data (such as the ones coming from HealthKit) and providing, in collaboration with sleep experts, of tailored advice regarding sleep health.
  2. Sleep tracking improvement: Proper and accurate sleep tracking is an absolute priority for us and we keep improving and fine-tuning our algorithm in every iteration. User feedback has been extremely valuable in that respect and we will be continuously releasing small (and probably silent) updates in order to better support certain cases such as memory mattresses and CPAP devices.
  3. HealthKit: As we explained above we have already taken the first step in HealthKit integration, but we certainly have a few thins in store. So, one of the first things to come is the separation of “Time in Bed” and “Time Asleep” in the data sent to the Apple’s Health app. It’s a popular request from the users, although it presents certain challenges in the technical level. Still, we feel confident that the respective update will hit the store by the middle of December.
  4. Localisation: We envision to bring support for more languages to Pillow, making it more accessible to people without knowledge of English. Due to the fact the the content of the app (and especially that of the Snooze Lab) is large, we expect to gradually start rolling out new languages at the beginning of 2015, incorporating certain major European and Asian languages.

Celebrating our new update, we are releasing Pillow Premium (offered as an in-app purchase) at a 40% discount and now costs only $2.99 for a very limited time! The download and basic use of the app remains free of course.

As always we would very much like you to try Pillow and send us your feedback, positive or negative. Your opinions and remarks are massively helping us to build a better app.

Sleep well!

1 The quotes are in place deliberately since taming iCloud from a developer’s perspective is a true nightmare, but that’s an issue for another post.

September 3, 2017

Pillow and iOS 8: HealthKit


One of the new features of iOS 8, and perhaps the one most prominently promoted, is HealthKit. HealthKit, along with Health app, mark Apple’s attempt to bridge the largely disjoint lumps of information about our health that we track every day through our mobile devices or wearables. While there are dozens of great apps for keeping track of our health and fitness status, there is no concise way for them to efficiently communicate and exchange information. Since health and fitness are depending on many factors that are related to and influence one another, having just scattered pieces of information without an easy way to relate them, offers just a fraction of the potential value for to the end-user.

The story so far

When we started building Pillow, our sleep tracking app, we realised that just assessing one’s sleep patterns and quality is simply not enough: we should also provide users with an easy and automated way to correlate sleep with other aspects of their lives and that way help them make more informed decisions on how to improve their sleep quality by adapting their lifestyle. Sleep quality and patterns are deeply linked to many aspects of human life: age, sex, body weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, daily physical activity to name just a few. So, how could we get that kind of information?

A solution would be, of course, to ask the user for it. We could do it, but the drawbacks were many and quite serious: it would cause frustration, require extra effort (imagine switching between three or four apps in order to see and re-input your daily activity to Pillow), effectively ruin the design of the app by adding many extra screens and settings options and could even be considered suspicious in terms of privacy or security.

Since asking the user was out of the equation, our next effort was to find a service that could provide this kind of information to us. The good news is that there are certain services for that purpose. A number of large fitness networks such as RunKeeper as well as Human API already provide ways to interconnect multiple apps, serving as data exchange hubs between them. The bad news, is that to our experience only very few people tend to connect apps there and also that due to the not many developers have apps that support this type of connection.

Despite that, we attempted to make a first step towards this direction by integrating RunKeeper and the M7 processor in the last generation of Apple devices, allowing us to present sleep quality in relation to a user’s daily physical activity. The feedback from our users confirmed that this is indeed something helping people to better relate their exercise to the quality of their sleep and improve their daily routine. Also, we are constantly receiving requests to integrate other apps, wearables and smart devices. But adapting a bunch of different and heterogeneous APIs is a difficult and slow process. The sad fact is that the effort required to properly incorporate even just a couple of the most popular devices or apps is too much for a small team like us.

The road ahead

This is where HealthKit comes into play, serving as the glue between all the different pools of health information residing on our phones. There are two distinct purposes that HealthKit promises to fulfil: the first one is to gather a large variety of users’ health and fitness data to one spot (namely the Health app) while the second, and far more important, is to serve these data to apps, allowing the exchange of related data. Being an Apple service this has certain very strong benefits for both developers and consumers:

1) The adoption of HealthKit promises to be faster and more extensive than any third-party service, since it will built-in and active on iOS 8 from day one.

2) Developers will have a consistent, uniform, native and properly documented way to access a large variety of health data coming from heterogeneous resources, without having to delve into dozens of different APIs to incorporate in their app.

3) Being a native Apple technology developers will quickly incorporate it to their apps in order to gain a competitive advantage. Furthermore, the large amount of iOS users promises that most of the manufacturers in the wearables market will very quickly support it as well.

4) The users will have the ability to easily control data access permissions for all apps in a single point, strengthening the feeling of trust and privacy.

For Pillow we do have ambitious plans for our iOS 8 release. Having a secure and centralised pool of health related information, derived from multiple sources and accessible in a consistent way will give us the opportunity not only to calibrate sleep tracking more appropriately but also to tailor our sleep suggestions and tips to the user’s habits and health condition. And this goes the other way around as well: we will have the ability to export our data to the Health app and make them useful to other apps. We believe that this kind of integration will massively benefit users by increasing the value of the apps they already use and give them a more holistic overview of their health and what they can do to improve it.

January 23, 2017

Pillow v.3.1: Heart rate analysis, Apple Watch and more

The first big update for Pillow in 2017 has arrived packed with many improvements, fixes, and much-requested features. Here’s a quick look at what’s in this version:

Heart rate analysis during sleep

Pillow’s advanced sleep tracking and analysis algorithm takes another leading step forward by introducing heart rate analysis during sleep time. Being the first of its kind to provide this kind of depth and accuracy, Pillow now displays a detailed graph of the heart rate during each sleep session. The heart rate graph is overlaid on top of the sleep analysis chart to provide unprecedented insight into the changes in the heart rate during each sleep stage. Tapping on the graph, it is possible to view individual heart rate values and review high, low and average values for the entire sleep session as well as the same values for each stage of sleep.

To do that, Pillow uses heart rate data from Apple Health as they are gathered by wearable devices such as the Apple Watch, provided that the user has given explicit permission to Pillow to use those data. Also, Pillow on the Apple Watch has been updated to include the heart rate chart during sleep along with the sleep analysis chart.

The integration of Heart Rate analysis from wearable devices marks the step towards the realization of a greater vision that we have for Pillow. To connect with a wide variety of services and smart appliances that share relevant data and functionality with Pillow so that it may become the heart of the sleep monitoring and improvement experience.

A radically updated Apple Watch app

The release of Pillow of the Apple Watch and the subsequent release of Apple Watch OS 3.0 combined with valuable feedback from our users lead to so many changes and improvements that we practically re-wrote the entire app. Firstly, Pillow for the Apple Watch is now a lot easier to use requiring fewer steps to start and stop a sleep session and the entire UI has been cleaned up to load faster and be more informative. We’ve also made significant improvements in the way sleep session data is synced at the end of the session and we’ve added a completely new heart rate analysis view in the statistics.

Of course we’re still at the beginning. We have so many more updates and ideas for Pillow on the Apple Watch, some of which also depend on the evolution of the watchOS itself. A lot of people ask us why Pillow on the Apple Watch doesn’t perform automatic sleep tracking. Pillow’s algorithm uses motion data recorded from the Apple Watch to perform sleep analysis and this data can only be obtained if the user explicitly starts a session from the Apple Watch as required by watchOS 3. Other apps that claim to automatically detect sleep start and stop times don’t use motion data which, based on our research and tests, leads to wildly inaccurate sleep analysis.

We are very optimistic about the future of the Apple Watch and watchOS as we closely monitor any enhancement and improvement that becomes available to third-party apps like Pillow. Automatic sleep tracking, use of haptic feedback for the alarm, audio recording using the Apple Watch are features that we definitely want to implement once those technical obstacles are overcome.

Time to sleep and better detailed sleep statistics

Knowing how much time it took to fall asleep each night is valuable information and may explain various decisions and choices that may have affected sleep quality. This is why now Pillow comes an updated sleep analysis view to accommodate precisely this kind of information. In addition, we’ve made a number of updates in the detailed statistics views so that it is now easier to compare Time asleep vs. Time in Bed on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

More options and customisations

Pillow v.3.1 comes with many more improvements and enhancements including the much requested ability to customise the level of the alarm volume and the duration of the sleep aid sounds. Last but not least we’ve updated Snooze lab with more insights, tips and improvements that we hope that you will enjoy.

Automatic sleep tracking on the Apple Watch and the future

Pillow on the Apple watch uses motion and heart rate data recorded from the Apple Watch to perform sleep analysis. However, motion data can only be obtained if the user explicitly starts a session from the Apple Watch as required by watchOS. Automatic sleep tracking on the Apple Watch is currently possible using heart rate data only, which based on our research, can lead to very inaccurate sleep analysis. That said, we are working on ways to use heart rate data in other interesting ways including automatic sleep start and stop time detection. Hopefully, the ongoing evolution of the Apple Watch will lift many of the currently imposed restrictions and we promise we'll do our best to make Pillow as frictionless to use as possible!

Pillow v.3.1 is available on the App Store as free download with an one-time in-app purchase to unlock all the Premium Features.

January 7, 2016

Infographic: Why sleep is so important?

The importance of sleeping well is often overlooked. Despite the fact that sleep science and still in its infancy, we have a plethora of studies, surveys and discoveries demonstrating just how sleep can affect our everyday lives on a surprising level. Below is an infographic containing some of the most important facts and figures about sleep that we have gathered as part of our ongoing research for Pillow, our sleep tracking app.

Infographic: Why sleep is so important? By Pillow Sleep tracking app

November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday Deal: Pillow’s Premium features at 60% Discount.


It's that Cyber Monday of the year and we are offering Pillow at a great big discount. Enjoy and sleep well!

Click here to get it now

October 20, 2015

Introducing: Getting started with Pillow

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.49.44

It's been over 18 months since the release of Pillow and we are already preparing the v.3.0 with many new features that will take Pillow to whole new level. All this progress wouldn't have been possible without the invaluable feedback that we have gathered from our amazing users that took the time to share their ideas and suggestions on how to make Pillow even better.

Pillow has been praised for its clean and simple user interface but it remains a large app with many features. This is why some of our users have suggested a quick and simple guide around Pillow's basic and most frequent tasks. Today we are introducing a new section on our website: "Getting started with Pillow". This section includes short videos that answer simple questions such as how to start a sleep session, how to start a power nap, how to view last night's statistics, how to listen to your audio recordings and many more.

And this is just the beginning. We'll be adding more videos in this section as the time progresses and we gather more feedback from you. As always, we are open to more suggestions and ideas, even for this new section itself. Visit our "Support & Feedback Center" to let us know. We'll be more than happy to hear from you.

April 15, 2015

Pillow v.2.2, a closer look

Our latest and greatest update for Pillow (v.2.2) is finally public. This version comes with several new features and changes that we believe are worth the time to explore and explain a little further.

12 hour format.


The most requested feature by our users right from the beginning was the option to display time in 12 hour format. Although it might seem trivial, this time format has lot of quirks mainly because the ‘am’/‘pm’ indicator is not the same around the world and it’s length varies and the time shows up in lots of places inside Pillow.

The best part is that you don’t have to do anything to switch between 12 and 24 time format. Pillow automatically detects the format you have selected for your device and adjusts accordingly. [screenshot of the two time format options]

Snooze Lab Insights: Discover your optimal bed time


Version 2.2 of Pillow introduces a new Snooze Lab item which we call Insights. Insights let you discover more about your sleep by analysing data from your sleep sessions.

The first in the series of Snooze Lab insights is about your Optimal bed time: Pillow analyses your sleep sessions and determines around what time you are most likely to sleep better based on the relationship between and the beginning of each sleep session and its quality.

What’s more, you can optionally allow Pillow to display a notification on your iOS device 30 minutes earlier, so that you can start preparing for bed time.

A change in the way the sleep session stops


One of the biggest changes you are going to notice is in the way Pillow lets you stop a sleep session. We had to replace the “Swipe to stop” method, as required by Apple’s review team, to avoid confusion with the "Swipe to unlock functionality" on iOS.

So we decided to replace it with a ‘Stop’ button that you have to press and hold for a few seconds to avoid accidental termination of the session.

The v.8.3 bug

This update of Pillow also happened to coincide with the update of iOS to version v.8.3 which introduced a nasty bug that made Pillow freeze and become unresponsive. We want to thank all of you for your patience and support during the time it took to resolve this issue and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

As always this is a free update for all of our users. If you like Pillow please consider writing a short review on the App Store. It will really help other users discover Pillow as well.

Copyright © Neybox Digital Ltd.