App of the Week – Bedside – reviewed (inc video)

android app of the weekHi guys, it’s been a while since I posted an app of the week but I just couldn’t wait any longer.

This time I have an amazing little app which will save you a lot of time, effort and just general bedtime bother.

App: Bedside
Cost: ~ £1.21
Developer: Daniel Velazco

Don’t you hate it when it’s time to put your head down and catch up on some sleep only to have to mess around with your phone before you do so? Playing around with your volume, turning off ringtones and setting your alarm is not only annoying but it can also make you feel less tired than you were – not good for insomniacs I’m sure (not that I am one).

The problem is, I’ve always wanted to be able to be contacted from by my family in case of emergencies but I don’t want drunken calls from my friends at 3am. This has always been a predicament. Also, who really wants to receive and hear an SMS notification when you’re trying to sleep? An SMS can surely wait til morning can’t it? If it was important they’d call right?

Well, however you look at it, Bedside is the perfect solution.

Not only does bedside take the hassle out of ‘setting your phone up’ at night but it also allows you to customise who (if anyone) can contact you – and by what means too (phone/SMS).

By default, when Bedside is started it’ll mute your phone completely. This means you won’t hear any calls or SMS messages (or even e-mails for that matter) coming through. No sounds at all. That’s a great start but like I said earlier I like to know that my family can always contact me if they need to. This is where the whitelists come in.

A whitelist is a set of ‘safe’ numbers who can bypass the rules Bedside sets and get through to you if you want them to. I don’t know, you may want to make sure your girlfriend/boyfriend can always get hold of you but you don’t want your drunken friends to disturb your slumber. Adding names to one of the two whitelists allows this.

There is one whitelist for phone calls AND one for SMS messages – this is where Bedsqide differs from some of the other ‘call manager’ apps.

The calls configuration allows you to allow or disallow calls completely, enable/disable vibration for calls, set a custom volume to use for allowed calls and of course allow a whitelist of numbers to get through if you wish.

The SMS configuration allows you to completely allow or disallow SMS notifications, enable/disable vibrate, set a specific tone for SMS notifications and again, allow a whitelist.

“Great!” you might be saying “This is a cool app” – but wait; there’s more.

Not only does Bedside do these handy things but it also acts as a “desk stand” or “night stand”. This basically means your phone will display a large clock on-screen whilst the app is running. This allows you to use the phone as a bedside clock. The settings on the night clock can be fully customised – from font to text size and colour to an automatically adjusting brightness depending on the time of day (or night in this case). You can of course have the night clock turned off if you just want your phone’s screen to be off whilst you sleep but I’m sure a lot of people will find this useful.

Before you head off and download the app – there’s even more. You can customise more settings for the app and also the night clock. For example, you can get the night clock to display SMS notification symbols, the battery life, the next alarm you have active and you can even get it to speak the time. There are also 4 customisable shortcuts which you can program to launch an app of your choice.

I think however, the best feature I have found is the “auto start” and “auto close” settings of the app. The app will detect when the phone is plugged into power and also when it is disconnected. This means when you pop your phone into it’s dock to charge (like me) or plug it into your standard charger cable, Bedside will load automatically and start up how you have set it to. This means no messing around. I know that when I dock my phone it will mute the ringer (except for my whitelist people), disable any other notifications (e-mail SMS etc) and even thought I don’t tell the night clock to stay on permanently, I can quickly double check my alarm is set for the next day before the phone’s screen time-out kicks in.

When the morning comes, simple un-dock (or disconnect from the power) and Bedside closes itself automatically and you’re ready to start your new day.

I think the reason I love this app so much is because once it’s set up you don’t need to think about it anymore. It just works when you want it to and closes itself when you’re not using it – absolute genius.



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