<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/alarm.jpg” />The iPhone’s native clock app certainly leaves something to be desired, and the iPad didn’t even ship with one. Now that apps can run in the background with iOS 4 – already available for iPhones, and coming soon to the iPad – there are quite a few free alarm clock apps that will come in handy. The iPad’s large screen also makes for an ideal nightstand clock, and there are a few apps that take full advantage of that.
For the time being, until iOS 4 is made available to iPad users, be sure to launch the app before you go to sleep if you want to use your iPad as an alarm clock.
The free version of the iPhone and iPad app, Nightstand Central displays the time, date and weather of the location of your choice. The alarm can be set to the sound of church bells, a traditional alarm clock and a dial up modem, amongst a few other sounds.
Nightstand Central has a snooze feature, and also gives you a variety of wallpapers to choose from, although one of the darker wallpapers will make more sense if you’ll be keeping the iPad or iPhone by your bed.
Alarm Clock HD Free
If graphics are of no interest to you, the aptly named iPad-only app Alarm Clock will do the trick. There are no bells and whistles with a large digital clock filling the screen. You can also choose to display your location’s weather and the day of the week.
Alarm Clock’s additional features include a snooze option and a small selection of free sounds including a cuckoo, old clock and school bell, amongst others.
Waku Free is a quirky alarm clock app for the iPad and iPhone that sets itself apart from the rest of the apps with its unique graphics. Waku is also a cut above the rest of the free apps because it allows you to use the music on your iPad as the sounds you’ll wake up to. That said, their own hilarious sound effects might help get your day started on the right note.
And don’t be put off by the bright screen – it actually has a switch that allows you to dim the lights and get some shuteye.
If the one and only green colour in the free version of Alarm Clock doesn’t appeal to you, give goodNite a try. The free iPhone and iPad app allows you to change the background, font and font colour. You can also choose to use a photo of your own choice as a background.
Alarm sounds include a dog barking, morning birds and a rooster, amongst a few others. The app, like Waku Free, sets itself apart by allowing you to use a any one of your iPod’s playlists.
Night Stand Lite
Night Stand Lite, not to be confused with Nightstand Central, is another minimalist iPad and iPhone alarm clock with two choices in the app’s appearance. You can select the digital clock, with the colours of your choice, or set it to display 6 clocks set to 6 different timezones.
While it has no snooze option, you can choose which days you want the alarm to be repeated, and can wake up to a small selection of sounds from birds to glass breaking. Although waking up to the sound of glass breaking doesn’t really sound all that pleasant.
Ambient Alarm, an iPad only app, takes a slightly different approach, and includes some unique features, although some of them seem to take things a little far.
The background constantly changes colour, so if you’re a light sleeper this isn’t the app for you. Others may find it soothing and it will help them sleep. The feature that seems unnecessary is that you can shake your iPad to stop the alarm. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do when I first wake up is attempt to do anything that involves shaking a $500 gadget. That said, Ambient Alarm does also allow you to wake up to songs from your iPod music selection.
What’s your favourite iPhone or iPad alarm clock app? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Shutterstock