Tap That App
Night Stand for iPadTurn your iPad into an eye-catching alarm clock, with widgets for weather, social media, and Google Reader RSS feeds.
Welcome to Tap that App, I'm Jason Parker and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. Those who own iPads know that Apple's tablet great for quick access to the Internet and e-mail and offers tons of apps and games to make it even more useful. But what about the times when you're not actively using your iPad? This week we're showing off a handy app that's perfect for when your iPad is charging and propped up with a stand--either at home or at the office. It's called Night Stand for iPad, and it's main function is to show you time, date, and weather information, and you can set alarms to use it as your primary alarm clock. But there is plenty more here to make Night Stand worth your money. The app displays the time, date and weather info in an easy to read font. You can adjust the clock to display in either black or white and small or large sizes, and you can choose which side of the screen you want the clock to display on. But what makes this app more interesting is that you can display calming videos as your desktop background and view info from popular social sites. Tabs across the bottom of the screen include Twitter, Facebook, RSS, and Weather. Touch the Twitter tab to sign into your account and from there you'll see all the latest tweets from people you follow in a window at the bottom. You can swipe horizontally to see earlier tweets. The same is true for Facebook. Just sign in and authorize, and you'll be able to view the latest statuses for your friends and family. If you have something to say, you can touch a button on the left to bring up a window to post a new tweet or Facebook status. With the RSS tab, you can display the latest feeds from your Google Reader account. If a particular headline catches your interest, you can tap the headline and read the full story in a browser window. Perhaps the most useful feature as you wake up in the morning, the daily weather is shown under the Weather tab, giving you a forecast for the next few days. Just like the other windows, you can swipe to see more info--in this case, you'll see an extended forecast. Aside from all the info you can quickly get with only a few taps on your iPad screen, Night Stand for iPad has some cool aesthetic options that make it more than just a bland-looking clock. You have the option to show slideshows of images using provided shots or images from your library, and they have that slow zoom, Ken Burns effect. But you also can show animated movies as backgrounds. You get a few demo movies to see what the animations are like, but you can buy movie packs of 10 movies for 99 cents, or spend a dollar 99 for all four offered movie packs. Whether your using images or movies as your background, you can quickly change what you see by hitting the settings button, then adding and subtracting movies and images from your slideshow. When you're satisfied with your choices, just hit Start Slideshow. A nice interface feature here is that you can adjust the brightness for both the clock and your slideshow by touching and dragging on screen--great for when you want to tone it down at bedtime. Overall, Night Stand for iPad is a neat app to have for when your iPad sits charging. It's great for setting alarms, but it's especially cool for getting quick updates from your favorite social sites. With all these features for $1.99 at the iTunes App Store, it's easy to recommend anyone to tap this app. That's it for this weeks show, if you have any suggestions, send them to Tap That App at cnet.com. I'm Jason Parker and we'll see you next time.