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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me find a better alarm


Dear Aunt TUAW,

Why do all iPhone alarm clock apps have to simulate an old and unattractive 7-segment display? Or the old, cheap, unattractive flip-clock display? I understand the gee-wiz factor of emulating these classic displays, but aren't we way past that point? I would love to see a simple, attractive and reliable alarm clock app for the iPhone without 7-segment or flip displays. Does such an app exist?

Thank you!

Your loving nephew,

Pete L.

My Darling Pete,

Auntie is right there with you on alarm clocks. Auntie is so over mornings. Just let her sleep in or bring the caffeine right to her, along with roses and a tasteful continental breakfast, as she rises to a well-designed iDevice app's summons.

After receiving your letter, Auntie set out on a hunt for beautiful clocks. Thanks to many of her electronic nephews and nieces, she tracked down the following suggestions that offer alternatives to the humdrum.

Emerald Observatory (US$0.99) offers a stunning clock that's full of astronomical information without sacrificing a clock or a daily alarm. Observatory was the single-most recommended application in Auntie's search. The presentation includes the phase of the moon, the current time, sunrise and sunset times and much more.

Night Stand HD ($1.99) offers some handsome analog displays as well as those 7-segment and flip presentations you're looking to skip.

Clockus ($0.99) puts a mechanical spin on 7-segment output with elements that flip and adjust to show the time.

Art Clock Van Gogh (free) provides a beautiful take on waking up. It has a criminally small audience (only nine ratings to date), and offers over 50 impressionist backgrounds.

Unfortunately, the highly recommended Pencil Clock from Paz Interactive seems to have disappeared from the store -- but the screen shots that Auntie has been able to track down show that it really had a fabulous and non-traditional take on time.

Hopefully one of these apps will strike your fancy and help you transition away from the boring 7-segment/flip-clock run-of-the-mill alarm apps.

Love & hugs,

Auntie T.

Thanks to gonzopancho, NienorGT, pTracker, josh_m, Consumer_NeXT, mssres, rosskimes, zyafa, LucasTizma, jeffmc, and everyone else who tweeted suggestions...

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