Roundup of apps that will make you wish you had a nightstand

On October 27, 2010

Desktop alarm clocks don’t have many features, take up a lot of space, can take some time to set, and are especially annoying in the morning. For these reasons it is a great idea to invest in a nightstand app for your iPhone, iPad, or iPhone Touch, so here a couple have been reviewed for you.

Nightstand: The Professional Alarm Clock ($1.99)

This app is loaded with lots of features to help you wake up in the morning and start your day. The alarm that you wake up to is easy to set and allows you to wake up to an actual alarm, a radio station of your choice, or a song from your music library. The actual clock is big and easy to read, but unfortunately you cannot view it in landscape mode. Nightstand: The Professional Alarm Clock also provides you with the weather, and even though it does not give you tons of information, it still gives enough for most people. This is viewed by switching from nighttime mode to daytime, and doing this opens up other features in addition to weather. From here you can listen to the radio or your iTunes library right through the app, and by selecting the “News and Internet” tab you can view visual bookmarks that you added which make it quick and easy to view your favorite sites in the morning right from within the app, without getting out of bed and without even opening up Safari. This app has a nice interface, but could use a small update. The backgrounds are not really visible, and making the buttons look a little newer and more updated, and maybe some other small visual tweaks, would make this app even better.

iHome + Sleep (free)

The main screen looks very nice, although the unnecessarily large black box with the time obscures the background. Aside from that you get the date and the weather, as well as the ability to control music from your music library. Here you will also find a slider, which you are supposed to slide when you go to sleep and wake up. This is an interesting feature and you slide it in order for it to provide you with sleep stats, such as how often you hit snooze and how many hours of sleep you get. iHome + Sleep also allows you to set alarms with the ability to wake up to a buzzer, your own music or the radio. You can adjust the snooze time, add vibration, and even set a sleep timer to fall asleep to music. And for this times when you need to do something before you sleep or right when you wake up, this app allows you to set reminders for you to view at both those times. You can also have multiple user accounts, and create messages to quickly post to twitter and facebook when you wake up and go to sleep, also choose your own custom background, and it is compatible with some iHome products. Unfortunately there is no landscape mode, but they say this feature is coming soon, along with the option to fade alarms in and out.

Kensington Nightstand (free)

A simple yet stunning interface, Kensington Nightstand looks great and provides you with the time and weather. It would be nice if the clock was a little bigger in portrait mode, but fortunately it supports landscape as well, which makes the clock a nice size. Here it also provides the date, current conditions and temperature, and the high and low temperatures. Tapping the weather brings up a five day forecast, and brightness can easily be adjusted by sliding your finger. The default appearance is the nicest in my opinion, but you have the options to make it look like a flip clock or digital clock if you prefer. One major downside is that there is no built in alarm clock. Instead it suggests that you set an alarm using the default clock app, the open this app and leave the alarm running in the background. Incorporating a feature filled alarm clock would be a much needed addition to this app.

Nightstand Central ($0.99)

The best looking app of them all, Nightstand Central also provides plenty of features and is absolutely worth the $0.99. The clock and backgrounds look amazing and the weather and date are integrated perfectly. It can be viewed in landscape mode as well, and a two-finger tap on the clock allows you to adjust its size and position on the screen. Alarms can be set with different sounds and snooze times, can be faded in, vibrate, and can be set to repeat on the days of your choice. You can set a sleep timer to fall asleep to music, and set wallpaper to change at a selected interval. Brightness can be adjusting by sliding with two fingers and shaking will activate the LED flashlight (if applicable) and activate snooze when the alarm goes off. Overall this is the nicest of the nightstand apps and is my personal favorite. With tons of features and a gorgeous interface, you can’t go wrong with this app.