Tuesday, September 24, 2013

For the first time in a while, I've found a new app that is worthy of a review. The app is "Bedside (Night Clock)". The name pretty well describes the basic use case --a clock app to use on the nightstand.

  • It has the basics covered--large, dimmable digital clock. It also has an extensive list of options for customization.
  • A very nice one of those custom settings is the option to have the app automatically set silent mode when the clock is activated, and turn off silent mode as soon as the app loses focus. This seems to work perfectly.
  • The absolutely compelling feature is that it allows for a whitelist of phone numbers that will ring through. This is a total must-have for any parent.
  • Regarding the dimming...it has a dim setting, but as I have found with most app dimming, it does not go far enough[1]. My standard for dimming is that, if lying in bed with the clock at the edge of my peripheral vision--I should not be aware that it is on. It should be just bright enough that to read it with night vision. Unfortunately, the built-in dimming does not achieve that standard. However, by cranking down the transparency on the font, and playing with the color mix, I was able to achieve my goal perfectly.
  • Another nice touch, that every app to which it is relevant should have, is the option to override the system rotation setting. I force it to always go landscape, even though my system setting is no rotation.
  • Icing on the cake, it has a setting to brighten automatically come morning, a very thoughtful little touch.
  • Finally, as noted, it has a host of preferences, none of which seemed relevant to my use case, but may be to yours.
All in all, I think this is one of those apps I may well still be using 4 years from now.

[1] I believe that is due to a built-in Android limitation of minmum 10% brightness.

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