If you just bought a new iPad and have searched in vain for the built-in Apple Clock app, here's some bad news -- there isn't one. Apple just doesn't think the Clock app looks good on the big screen. Luckily for us, however, App Store developers don't share that belief. In fact, the developers of Night Stand for iPad show just exactly how to do it right.
Night Stand for iPad is so much more than a basic alarm clock. In addition to the time on the main, rather gorgeous, display, you can also see the date and current weather conditions. There are also four widgets that can be enabled at the bottom of the screen for Twitter, Facebook, RSS, and Weather.
Behind the main clock, Night Stand for iPad will play through your defined slideshow. It comes preinstalled with beautiful videos and has more available for purchase. Each movie series is $0.99, or you can buy all four series for $1.99. If you prefer a slideshow of still images, Night Stand for iPad also includes 3 beautiful images with more available for purchase. You can also have a slideshow of your own images if you prefer. The interval times for your slideshows can be anywhere from 1-60 minutes.
Sliding your finger up and down the main screen will adjust the screen brightness and flicking left and right will hide and show the clock display.
The Twitter and Facebook widgets let you view recent posts and status updates from their respective social networks. Tapping one of the posts will popup a built-in browser and displays how that post looks on the web. If you want to reply, like, or comment, you'll need to login to the social network in that browser. To the left of each of the widgets, you'll find the button that lets you tweet or post to Facebook.
The RSS widget is tied to Google Reeder and displays recent posts from your feed. Tapping on a post will also slide up the article in a nice, stripped-down, easy to read view. To view the article in safari, tap "Full Article".
The weather widget displays a 10 day forecast of the weather. Include with each day is the general weather (partly cloudy, clear, light rain, etc), the low and high tempertures, wind speed, and times for sunset and sunrise.
The alarm clock lets you add multiple alarms seth with custom repetitions, similar to the iPhone's alarm clock. Night Stand for iPad includes 9 alarm sounds, many of which are actually very load, alarming, and annoying. I mean, seriously, who wants to wake up every morning to the sound of a smoke alarm going off? (Immediately after typing that sentence, my husband piped up that he loves the annoying sounds for an alarm, so apparently some people do like them). Many people actually prefer waking up to music, so Night Stand allows you to add music stored on your iPad to wake up to. However, if you want to wake up to music, you have to make sure Night Stand is actually running on your iPad overnight. Otherwise, Night Stand will send a notification to wake you up instead.
In the alarm settings menu, you'll find the options to shuffle your selected music, the duration of snooze, and if you want the alarm sound or music that you chose to fade in over time, so as to not startle you awake. The durations range between 6 seconds to 30 minutes.
In addition to serving the purpose of waking you up in the morning, Night Stand for iPad also has a sleep timer so that you can listen to music while you fall asleep. The interval times range from 5 minutes to 23 hours and 55 minutes. Wow.
Night Stand is a gorgeous alarm clock for your iPad. I love how it isn't just a clock, but a host for all the things I like to check before rolling out of bed. I used to use my iPhone as my alarm clock, but with the discovery of Night Stand, my iPad will be playing that roll from now on instead.