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Night Stand.. The Alarm clock with a difference

August 30, 2011

Night stand is basically an alarm clock app for the IOS platform. After having listened to the team’s presentation, I was doubtful of how much really an alarm clock could do, and tried out the app on my Ipad. But as I began to use the app, I could relate more to the presenter’s point of view.

There are three main points I’d like to reiterate from their presentation.

1. The pre-built sounds and pictures were aesthetically pleasing. Especially the bird chirping sounds and the fireplace sound effects were brilliant. I would love to wake up to sounds like that everyday. An issue that I found was that when the app runs under a locked screen, the alarm clock doesn’t switch on the screen but just the sound. I think it would be better to involve the screen light too in the quest to wake us up.

2. The UI seems too cluttered with a lot of info. And this is something I really don’t want to look into as soon as I wake up. There are too many tabs with RSS feeds, Facebook and  twitter feeds. And on top of it the app not only shows the weather now, but the forecast for the next few days too which again takes a lot of space.

3. The app is a bit unstable at times. It crashed once when I was using it, and this repels me a bit from depending on it too much to wake me up.

Some of the other points that I would like to add on :

1. Switching off the alarm clock  seems to be difficult at times. The icon to switch it off is really small, and this might frustrate you a lot when you wake up. And after reading some reviews, I found that many people faced this same problem.

2. The UI design seems a bit confusing. They seem to be caught in between an alarm clock app and a news reader app.  And so I feel that they’ve not achieved their potential in either of the areas. For example, if they want it to be a primary news reader app, I don’t know why they have the big time window which uselessly occupies one fourth of the screen, leaving lesser space for the feeds. If they want it to be an alarm clock, I wouldn’t really want to stare into so much info as soon as I wake up. Or maybe they could integrate both, but in separate screens rather than on a single screen.

I personally think that since they started this app out as an alarm clock and have made it pretty good, they could concentrate more on this sector and make it even better. I prefer not to have to read so much when waking up. Rather with the great voice synthesis technology nowadays, the clock could greet us with minimal info with voice. For example, the clock could greet me with something like ‘Good Morning Aravindh. Temperature now is.., weather expected to..And maybe add on a joke, interesting fact or important news headlines that could be customised to the user’s preferences’, as soon as I turn the alarm off. Especially while waking up, I would prefer the info to be crisp and short and being a lazy bug I would prefer if someone told me the info rather than me reading it.

3. When I was searching through the app store, I found many apps with a variant of the name ‘night stand’, some of which were free and had a higher user rating. This again shows the original ‘Night Stand’ guys, the reason to innovate fast and in a more focused manner.

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8 Comments
  1. >> I would prefer if someone told me the info rather than me reading it.

    😀 I totally agree, it would be really wonderful if the clock could read out the time: sometimes i wake up in the middle of the night and have to pry open my eyes just to see how much time left i have left for sleep.

  2. Yup, i agree that they should be focusing more on its original purpose – as an alarm clock. There isn’t much point trying to be a jack of all trades when it can be a master of…an alarm clock. If it was the best alarm clock app out there, i have no doubt it would prove to be more successful than its current state.

    What i meant by being the “best alarm clock” is that its functionality be focused around the alarm clock feature. Yours and the presentation group’s suggestion on the voice feature is one way.

    Here’s another idea: When the user snoozes the app, the app can send an email/sms to inform a list of person(s) asking them to call the app user. Imagine you have an important meeting the next day and worry that you might not wake up even after the alarm sounded. Having a bunch of friends spamming your phone will act as extra alarms. The best part about this is that they are aware of your state and will do anything necessary to wake you up. How about that.

  3. Actually, I quite agree with you that they seem to be caught between an alarm and a reader app. What I personally feel is that they should try to focus on one instead of trying to integrate multiple things together. If i have a lot of feeds and notifications from the different social media sites, I will probably end up laying in bed, reading all these stuff in the iPad, which essentially defeats the purpose of being an alarm clock.

    However, I do feel that the design is aesthetically very pleasing. Allowing you to customise the wallpaper, song play lists, alarm tones, are all plus points for this app.

    I like the idea of the clock greeting you when you wake up as well 🙂

  4. Do u guys agree that we are relying too much on our phone nowadays? Our phone is like a one of all gadget that is not only a phone but also an alarm clock and a feeds device. Don’t you all feel that we will be lost if ever lose our phone? We will be “out of touch with the world” and cannot wake up.

    • Zhan Yingbo permalink

      Yes. I totally agree that we really depends too much on our phone and we will depend more on them in future. We will adapt to the “phone dependent life”. Although I am not sure what will happen if one day I live without phone, I believe that we will find something to take over. Maybe some old things, like books or some new things, we do not know now.

  5. I think the basic idea of this app is let you get information conveniently. We already have phones, tablets, etc. so that you can get what you want on the go. But what about when you just get up? It is hard to find a device that directly shows what you want. Normally you need to turn on your computer to view your emails, etc. But this application conveys us an innovative idea to combine an alarm clock with some information sources so that you can get information in the fastest way.

    I agree that it doesn’t do that well, but it is prospective. 🙂

    • Sai permalink

      Yup, I agree with you. The purpose is to make it easy for the user to check the things he usually does first thing in the morning. The app is not designed to be a great all in application but rather something which can make a persons morning more productive.

  6. Vincent permalink

    One question I have about the app is that does it crash even if no one touches it? I think that the app can still function as an alarm clock even if the app crashes while the user is using, provided it doesn’t go ‘boom’ in the middle of the night without anyone touching it. I usually kept my ipad beside my bed as I use it for bedtime reading. Thus I feel that if I am using this app and it provide feeds for me, I can make use that to check on stuff before I go to sleep. 🙂

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