I downloaded a meditation app called “Take a Break” created by Meditation Oasis. I discovered it by searching the keywords “meditation” and “free” in the App Store on the iPad. By the way, the searched returned 292 results.
In looking over these various meditation apps, the Mediation Oasis is the one that caught my attention first- so I downloaded it.
Once downloaded and installed on my iPad, I found the app simple to understand and use. It seems ironic, but some of the “stress reducing meditation” apps create more stress through complex operations, and too many choices.
The primary screen had a pensive background scene of water and blue colors. Although some people will want more background choices, I find that this doesn’t matter, really, because the idea is to reduce outside stimulation from senses like sight. By the way, the free version contains ads at the top of the screen, common among free apps.
The upper portion of the screen incorporates various controls for the mediation selection, background sounds, play and pause, and volume. Since this app has only two meditation selections and two background sounds it’s easy to decide. It was also nice to be able to adjust the volume on both the meditation itself and the background sound through a slider for each.
The middle portion of the screen had a quote in large type, “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it,” author unknown. To the right of this quote are five buttons: more apps, support, visit website, twitter and Facebook.
Let’s quickly explore each of these buttons. The “more apps” button brings a popup of the various other apps that are available from Meditation Oasis. At the very top of the popup is the word “done.” At first I was puzzled by what I thought was the title of this screen. Then I realized this was also a button to hide the popup. I discovered that by clicking on it. A little odd.
When I pressed the next button, “support” another popup screen appears with a blue background and the word “Done.” Unfortunately, this screen never populated and I needed support to get support. I finally got the screen after several minutes of waiting. Apparently, this button is attempting to launch a web page. Therefore, this could be a website issue, or a network issue, rather than an app problem. The support gave general tips for operation of the app and simple troubleshooting information: Good enough for this app.
The other three buttons are self-explanatory. Clicking the “visit website” button took me to a miniature popup screen of their website, which is clean and has a nice layout. The Twitter and Facebook buttons allow you to follow and “like” them on Facebook.
The lower part of the screen has a “learn more” button, an ad for their newest app release, and instructions for using this app.
I also downloaded the Android version to my Smartphone to check out this one as well. This version is not as slick as the Apple one. Meaning, features such as the ability to select background music or sounds is not included on this version. It does give you a choice of music or no music. However, the ability to adjust the volume for both the meditation and background are not on this app, which is big disappointment. Otherwise, the meditations are the same.
According to their website, the developers of this app, Mary Maddux, MS, HTP, and Richard Maddux have more than 30 years of meditation practice, and teaching. Their experience is evident in this work. Mary is a mediation author and Richard is the music composer and performer. If you go to the website they have many podcast versions of their meditations.
Overall this app is easy to use and navigate; the two meditations, in a pleasant female voice, have a good pace and tone. But, I enjoyed being able to set the type and volume of background sounds on the iPad version. One of the important things I look for in a meditation is whether I can listen to the mediation repeatedly. Some, either the background or the meditation itself get tiresome.
I give this free mediation app four out of five points. The issue with the “support” and “visit website” buttons were somewhat bothersome but you may rarely use them.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Developer: Meditation Oasis