I often use my Android phone and dock as an alarm clock on my nightstand, and I know that upon getting the iPad, I thought it could make a very cool one as well. The iPad though, coming with iOS, doesn’t have a built in alarm clock app like Android phones do. With all that screen real estate though, I’ve always wanted something that could serve the same purpose for me. Now, I’ve found it with an app called Nightstand Central for iPad. Nightstand Central does just what it sounds like, and does it well. From clock to weather to dark undertones, Nightstand Central gives you the info you want when you fall asleep or wake up in a beautiful and convenient way.
Nightstand Central basically does everything you could basically expect of an alarm clock app, and probably more. Its more obvious features include its big flip-style clock, and its very clear weather display. While I (and more specifically my dock) prefer landscape mode, it will operate in portrait orientation as well. If you have an iPad with cell/GPS it will use these to automatically locate you for your weather, but even if you don’t you can manually set it up. Once you do, the weather and clock are designed really well. Everything looks clean and neat, but we’ll talk more on that in a minute. The one weather feature that would be appreciated is maybe a 5 or 7 day forecast with highs and lows, but who knows what they may come up with in an update! In addition to time and weather, the app features an alarm clock, making it a real all in one nightstand app.
Not only does Nightstand Central take care of everything above that you’d want it to, but it looks pretty good doing it as well. You an choose from a ton of backgrounds (and in the paid version you can use your own photos as well). All the background appear to have a decent resolution, making them look very nice, and blend well with the clock and simple text to look really nice next to your bed. As mentioned, you can display the app in portrait or landscape mode, landscape being displayed above and portrait below, both looking great. The best part about the design though is one, simple tweak. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted with a simple drag of your finger, up or down. This is great for being able to have it dim enough to let you sleep, but take a quick swipe up and see whatever info you’re looking for.
While Nightstand Central’s free version looks great and does quite a bit, some features are reserved for the paid upgrade, which can be had for $1.99 through in-app purchase. Music alarms, which can include podcasts, books, etc, a built in flashlight, wallpapers made from YOUR photos, ad removal, wallpaper cycling, and custom positioning and size of the flip clock are all features reserved for those paying for the app. While these features are nice, they certainly aren’t a requirement for most, hence the existence of this review, but if you are interested in any of those extras it may be worth looking in to. Below you can see the settings menu as well as the non-intrusive way to but the full app if you choose.
Nightstand Central is a great looking app with more features than you might expect. From weather to time, alarms to music, Nightstand Central can do most anything you’d want. While some of the apps more complicated features are reserved for the paid version, the most useful ones are available for free, and it works great all on its own. So what do you think? Will you be downloading this app, or do you use another? Also, are the paid features enough to get you to pay $1.99 for them, or will you (like me) be sticking with the free version? Let us know in the comments!
NIghtstand Central (iTunes link)