SleepShare, available for iPhone and iPad through the Apple iTunes App Store, is an interesting take on social networks. While many social networks are the sort of addictive things that keep you awake at night, tapping and discovering, SleepShare aims to do the opposite. It wants you to get help from your friends to fall asleep, or if not get help then to at least share the whole bedtime experience with others.
It sounds strange, but in practice it is actually quite a charming experience that is oddly cathartic.
On a basic level, it is interesting to get a peek into other people’s night routines, but on a deeper level, it can really help if you are having trouble sleeping, as knowing that you are not the only one having problems really does help. The app uses a familiar interface to connect and chat with friends, with commenting, status sharing and giving friends a ‘Z’, all central to the experience.
In addition to all the usual social networking features, SleepShare also has a very clever trick up its sleeve. The app changes its design based on the time of day(or night). This fantastic feature is not only beautiful to look at, it is also really handy for getting a quick idea what the time is without having to focus enough to read the text on your phone. Tap a button, see the colour of the screen, and know how much longer you have until morning.
It is a great idea, and one that Facebook and others could do well to borrow from.
Here, straight from the developer, are the app’s best features:
• One-click sharing feature for posting bedtimes
• Instant sharing to Facebook
• Beautiful app design that changes based on the time of day
• Interact with friends by liking their post with a Z
• Profiles set to private so only you and your friends can see your posts
• Privately view sleep history from your profile
• Easy to use friend finder
The privacy function is very important, and the ability to view your sleep history is a great tool if you are attempting to master or change your sleep pattern, or even find out why you don’t seem to have one.
The app itself is strikingly modern in design, and with its ever-changing design it puts many of its contemporaries to shame. It actually works as a great complement to Facebook, and I can see users naturally switching over to this as they get into bed, leaving Facebook until the morning, all while interacting with the same group of friends. The ability to share content from SleepShare to Facebook just cements this idea.
Overall, this is an app that may seem a little off the wall, but is actually a superb social network that works as a great alternative to the mainstream services, especially in the dead of night.