Our nonstop, go-go-go culture doesn’t lend itself to moments of mindfulness. But even if you’re constantly on the go, these top 10 meditation apps make it easy to take a few minutes to reflect: on the bus, during your lunch break, or while you’re catching up on quiet time at home.
Meditation Apps for iOS
- The Smiling Mind
Developed by a team of psychologists, this app is modern meditation for children and adults. For the meditation novice (or those who find themselves easily distracted) this might be the best app to begin your journey into mindfulness.
- Relax with Andrew Johnson Lite
Highly recommended as a sleep aid by its users, the guided meditation in this app helps you do exactly what its name implies: Relax. Even clinical hypnotherapist Andrew Johnson’s instructions are calming, accompanied by a soft, slow keyboard.
For the more experienced meditator, this meditation timer is as simple and beautiful as they come. Set it anywhere between 1 to 60 minutes, and then, as the screen reminds you, just relax and focus on your breathing.
- Take a Break!
The guided meditations in this app come with plenty of options. Choose between a seven-minute work break or a 13-minute deep-stress reliever. Then select music, nature sounds, or silence to accompany the calm female voice that guides you through meditation. (The volume of the voice and the accompanying sounds can be adjusted separately.)
Called the “Spotify of Meditation,” this app allows you to mix and match thousands of different guided meditations and ambient sounds. You can even record your voice on the app to create and mix your own personal meditations.
Meditation Apps for Android
- Dharma Meditation Trainer
This silent meditation app encourages you to spend five minutes a day in quiet reflection. Offering philosophical quotes for use as mantras or meditation phrases, a solid week of meditation helps you move up through 10 levels of partially-guided meditation. Timer and sound options are customizable.
- Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep
Designed by Zodinplex, this app has 12 different recorded natural sounds that can be used for timed meditation or an alarm clock. The latter takes a bit of trouble to set up, though.
- Meditation Helper
For the no-frills meditation practitioner, this silent app is a handy customizable timer with optional bells at the start, end, or every 15 minutes of your meditation time. No pictures, no nature sounds, just the sweet song of silence.
- Relax Melodies: Sleep and Yoga
You might spend more time playing with this interactive app than you will meditating to it, but if you’re a music-oriented meditator it’s one of the best choices in free app offerings. Pre-loaded with 16 sounds, you can combine the tracks to personalize your zen style. Click piano, and then add an orchestra or the sound of rain. You can also download additional sounds and customize the timer for as much or as little time as you like.
Meditation Apps for iOS and Android
For the goal-oriented meditator, this app offers daily meditations to aid with focus, creativity, sleep, addiction, and more. Sign up for a free trial of 10-minute sessions for 10 days. Or pay a low monthly fee to access all 270 hours of guided mediation.
You’re not going to replace the shovel, the rake, or the garden hose with smartphone software. On the other hand, what these new gardening apps offer is a massive amount of gardening info at your fingertips—er, glove-tips. Put them to work to improve your gardening know-how and to get consistently better results.
With 15,000-plus pictures and information on more than 25,000 plants, this app is a virtual encyclopedia of gardening. Want the specifics on a plant’s sun exposure, water usage, growth rate, and bloom times? Comprehensive search tools make these facts easy to find. The app currently lacks information on tropicals and orchids, but we expect this to be remedied soon, as the developer periodically adds additional plants and images for free.
Price: $2.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and $4.99 for Android devices.
Grow Your Own
How do I know when my blueberries are going to be ripe? How can I keep aphids away from my roses? This handy app from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) provides essential advice for part-time farmers. Grow Your Own steps you through the growing process month-by-month, recommending the best times to plant, prune, weed, mulch, and harvest, depending on the crop. And if you need to buy seeds and supplies, the app’s “Buy Now” button links directly to the RHS Online Plant Shop. Hey, the app is free, and they’ve got to earn a living somehow.
Price: Free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Bugs in the Garden
Blast those infernal bugs! If you need help ID’ing the creepy crawlies devouring your daffodils, Bugs in the Garden can help. With more than 40 photos and illustrations of beetles, moths, aphids, caterpillars, grubs, and other common bugs, this app helps you spot troublesome and beneficial insects alike. It also includes tips on how to attract helpful bugs (like ladybugs) and send the bad ones packing.
Price: Free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch and Android devices.
If you’re a flower person, this app’s for you. There are three versions of FlowerPedia. The free “lite” version has 100 high-resolution flower photos and limited information on flowering plant families from around the globe. The iPhone edition is far more comprehensive: 2,800 flower images; a search tool for finding flowers by common name, Latin name, and country and state/province; and the ability to identify flowers by their anatomy. The $9.99 iPad version is the most beautiful of the trio, with larger, dazzling photos that turn your tablet into a coffee-table flower book.
Price: Free “lite” version; $4.99 for iPhone; $9.99 for iPad.
This visually appealing app is useful if you want our nearest celestial neighbor (i.e., the Moon) to guide your gardening practices. Lifeware Solutions’ Moon Gardening brings this ancient practice to modern times by offering time-tested growing tips, such as the best times to plant, prune, weed, and harvest crops based on the current Moon phase in your area. It’s a bit scant on details, though. For instance, Moon Gardening has too many links to outside sources on the topic, rather than providing the information itself. It’s fun to use, however, particularly if you’re curious about the Moon’s phases.
Price: $1.99 for iPad.
Garden Plan Pro
As gardening apps go, Growing Interactive’s Garden Plan Pro is a tad pricey, but its planting toolkit is much more comprehensive than most garden-variety guides. The app’s extensive design tools let you create a simple garden with single plants—or far more sophisticated projects with fruits and vegetables planted in multiple rows and/or squares. Garden Plan Pro has detailed growing information for more than 140 plants, and offers sage advice on how to rotate crops. The app takes a bit of practice to master, however, so be sure to watch the tutorial video before getting your hands dirty.
Price: $19.99 for iPad.