The Bottom Line
While I'm not sure that tracking and graphing your meditation practice using consumer electronics is exactly consistent with the philosophy and aims of meditation, Equanimity is a well-designed app that should be useful for the beginning and advanced meditator alike.
- Well-designed, simple interface
- Integrated journal
- Useful tools to track your history and progress
- Tracking features can emphasize achivement or the past, which seem opposed to meditative goals
- Meditation timer and tracker
- Version reviewed: 2.1.3
- Price: US$4.99
- Requires iOS 3.1 or later
- Screen size native to iPhone and iPod touch; works with iPad, too
- Free version also available; removes journal, charts, and other tracking features
Guide Review - Equanimity iPhone App Review
Proving that there really is an iPhone app for everything is Equanimity, an app designed to help meditators practice meditation and track their sittings.
In keeping with its subject, Equanimity sports a calm, simple interface that focuses on mediation and nothing else. At launch, you're greeted with a circular meditation timer, a start button, and a settings button (to let you change the length of the meditation timed, how many chimes will mark and the beginning and end of the sitting), and a built-in journal.
In addition to timing meditation and letting you know when your sitting is finished, Equanimity also tracks and charts your time spent meditating. It offers metrics including how often you meditate, your longest consecutive-day streak, your total number of hours spent meditating, and your meditation on a monthly basis. In keeping with its minimal, slick interface, you access the tracking features by simply turning your iPhone or iPod touch on its side. When the device recognizes that it's been turned, the stats appear as if by magic.
While the app isn't long on features (though the ability to restart meditation where you left off if the app is interrupted by a phone call is terrific), that's a benefit, not a drawback. Meditation is about calm and focus, so an app designed for it ought to have the same values. Equanimity certainly does.
I'm relatively new to meditation, but as I understand it, the meditator isn't supposed to be focused on outcome or achievement, as much as on the present, the experience. To that end, it seems a bit contradictory to include the tracking features, since they emphasize outcome and assessing progress, rather than focusing on the act of meditation.
Be that as it may, I appreciate the stats. I find it useful to be able to see, at a glance, if I've been keeping up with my meditation schedule. I also strive to sit more than five consecutive days (my current best), so having those stats are useful, too.
With its appealing, focused interface and thoughtful inclusion (and exclusion) of features, Equanimity is one of my favorite iPhone apps and should be useful to meditators of all experience levels.