Parents' Guide to

Tap In: Meditation

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Live meditation platform has little info, limited use.

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What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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Live, scheduled, guided meditation might be a perfect fit for our phone-obsessed society, but due to sparse sessions and a lack of community and offline resources, this app fails to go far enough. The makers of Tap In: Meditation start well, creating a limited sense of community by making meditation sessions live. An on-screen number indicates the number of people who've “tapped in” with you, but you can't see, hear, or interact with them (or the instructor) in any way. That's to be expected perhaps, in a meditation session, but since sessions only occur five times a week—once a day on week days—an online forum related to the app could be useful for fostering a feeling of connection with other session attendees. The app's other obvious lack is its missing accommodation for people with hearing impairment. There are no captions or other kinds of text, and on-screen graphics are limited to a lava-lamp-like image of floating bubbles and a color gradient indicating when you should inhale and exhale. Guidance varies widely depending on the instructor, so the app's usefulness also varies widely. Sessions are wrapped up with thought-provoking questions which might be better asked before meditation instead of after, but it's nice there's a prompt that lets you “give gratitude” to the instructor.

The app's not bad, but its main problem is that if you miss the one daily session Monday-Friday, it's essentially useless. Yes, it's a nice idea, getting people to stop at the same time every day to relax and focus, but it's just not practical for many. Bottom line—if you can stop for ten minutes at the same time every day, Tap In: Meditation could work for you. It's nice to hear different voices and different approaches to relaxation, and it's nice to be able to learn more about instructors through Instagram and integrate your practice with Apple's Health app. However, if your time (or your kids' time) is limited, or if you want to learn more about meditation and practice it more than once a day on week days, you're better off downloading another relaxation app.

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