There is absolutely no shortage of alarm clocks for the iPhone, but I have recently tried and really like Talking Weather Alarm. Yes, it wakes you up to a variety of alarm sounds or anything from your playlist, but it also reads the local weather forecast to you and gives you a smattering of news headlines. The app has a light price tag of just US$0.99.
Talking Weather Alarm is far preferable to those sometimes flaky hotel wake-up calls and the other iPhone alarms that get you out of bed but don't do as good a job of keeping you informed.
The app has a variety of colors and clock faces, and it works in either landscape or portrait view. Leaving the app running all night can suck your battery, so it's a good idea to have your iPhone plugged in and charging. The weather info comes from Yahoo!, and uses location services to figure out where you are. News sources include providers from the US, the UK, Germany and France. The app comes with a variety of sounds (40) for alarms. They will ring even if your iPhone is running something else. If you want to use your own music, leave Talking Weather Alarm in the foreground.
No app is perfect, and here are some of my suggestions for improvement. First, Yahoo! Weather is pretty inaccurate in my testing. The developer says he will add more sources for getting the weather. There are plenty of news providers and categories, like business and sports, but you can only choose one. I'd like to get brief news headlines, maybe some baseball news and some tech news. As of now, that is not possible. The computerized voice is certainly adequate, but like all similar apps, it suffers from some pronunciations that it has trouble parsing. If you touch the weather symbol on the app home screen, you will get a nice forecast, but it isn't wide enough to properly display temperatures above 99.
Even with the caveats, this is a great little alarm app that will certainly improve. I still really like Night Stand for the iPad, but Talking Weather Alarm is great for both travel and sitting right next to your bed at home. If you want to try it, there is a free version that won't let you choose your own music or change clock colors. You may have your own favorite alarm clock app, so feel free to share it with us in the comments.