Zen Timer is a cute little app designed for such activities as Reiki, yoga, and meditation. What are the advantages over a simple countdown timer or alarm clock? Zen Timer has an array of interesting customization options, and the advantage of a collection of sounds that are much more peaceful than your typical alarm.
The first option on the main screen is the most basic function, to choose the length of time you need. The options following this are where the app really starts to show its uniqueness – the next thing to do is to select what kind of ending-bell you want to use. There are six separate bells to choose from. The quality of them all is very high, and even through the speaker of a phone they sound great. You have the option of up to three rings for the ending bell.
After this is the very cool option to choose a bell to begin your session with. Again, you can choose what bell you want to use and how many times you want it to ring, but you also get to set a delay on it. This allows you to have a space of time from when you set it up and when you actually start your session, so you have a bit of a gap to get settled and ready for your session before the bell rings to signify the start of your meditation.
There are a number of other nice features, like the ability to have the bell ring at set intervals, which is nice if you just like the sound of the actual bells. You are also provided with a journal as well as a record of statistics. This lets you track your sessions – the average length, specific lengths of particular sessions, the number of sessions over a certain number of days, and so on. At the end of each session, you’ll be given the option to add an entry to your journal. If you choose to do so, that entry will be synced with that session’s statistics, and both stats and the journal itself can be exported.
Sadly, Zen Journal is not as stable as it could be. It works perfectly most of the time, but occasionally seems to get thrown off by a text message or a phone call. Also, if you stop the session manually, the statistics are not recorded, which is a bit annoying. On the whole, though, the app is constructed quite well. The bells sounds great, and if you spend time on meditation, you’ll probably find it quite useful.