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Tap In: Meditation

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Tap In: Meditation App Poster Image
Live meditation platform has little info, limited use.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Not created for learning purposes, however kids can learn how to reduce stress and anxiety by taking ten minutes a day for relaxation and deep breathing. 

Ease of Play

Joining group meditation sessions is easy, but they only happen once a day at a set time, and only on weekdays. 

Violence
Sex
Consumerism

Links to meditation instructors' Instagram feeds could expose users to ads for products or services.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tap In: Meditation is a health and fitness app that guides users through live meditation. Meditation guidance occurs only through audio. Users have to sign in weekdays at three pm Eastern time for a live 10-minute session; the app doesn't record or save anything related to meditation sessions and is otherwise inactive. The app contains links to teachers' Instagram accounts and/or emails. Because the app is designed for users over 18, and therefore doesn't fall under the laws around children's online privacy, it's best for teens. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

TAP IN: MEDITATION is designed to help users take 10 minutes a day to relax through deep breathing. Every week day at three p.m. Eastern time, users can “tap in” to join live group meditation sessions guided by a range of different teachers. An on-screen graphic helps users control the rhythm of their breathing while teachers provide audio instructions regarding relaxation and visualization. At the end of meditation sessions, users can send “gratitude” to teachers by swiping the screen and can find out more about teachers through built-in links to teachers' emails and/or Instagram accounts. The app is completely live, records nothing of meditation sessions, and contains no offline information or meditation techniques. It does, however, integrate with Apple's Health app. 

Is it any good?

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the benefits of meditation in any form or using an app like Tap In: Meditation. Why is it important to unplug at least once a day and take time to breathe? 

  • Think about how to build meditation into your family's routine. Can you think of a fun way for you and your kids to make meditation "together" time?

  • Discuss how technology affects meditation practice. Do phone apps make it easier or harder to make time for relaxation? 

App details

For kids who love meditation and health

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