Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness

Category: 

Description of App: 

Headspace is meditation made simple, a way of treating your head right. Using proven meditation and mindfulness techniques we’ll show you how to train your mind for a healthier, happier, more enjoyable life.

How it works

Starting with our free Take10 programme, we’ll teach you the basics of meditation in just 10 minutes a day.

If you enjoy Take10 and want to learn more, then you can choose to continue and get access to hundreds of hours of original meditations, including guided and unguided, ranging from 2 to 60 minutes.

“It’s kind of genius” Emma Watson

“Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food” The New York Times

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEpOF7vUymc

What you get

- Free access to Take10, Level 1 of the Foundation Course – learn the basics in 10 x 10 minute meditations
- Personalised progress page to track your stats
- Buddy system for you and your friends to motivate each other in your journey’s
- Rewards for regular meditation
- Reminders to keep you on track with your practice
- Options for you to continue your journey after Take10, with inspiring packs and one off sessions on a range of topics such stress, happiness and appreciation
- Ability to download sessions for offline use

What our users say

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for a product that has so profoundly changed my life. Having such an easy and guided way to meditate has kept me on track for several months now, and the changes are profound and too many to count." 
- Brandon, Headspace user

What's more, science is proving the benefits of meditation…

Research demonstrates that regular meditation can have a physical effect on the brain – actually causing areas associated with learning to grow, and the part generating stress responses to shrink.*

Hölzel, B. K. et al. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray
matter density. Neuroimaging, 191, 36-43.
.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Apple Watch Support: 

Not Known

Version: 

2.0.2

Free or Paid: 

Free

Device(s) App Was Tested On: 

iPhone

iOS Version: 

8.1.3

Accessibility Comments: 

This app is about 90% accessible and is quite usable in its current form, with only minimal need for improvement.

The few areas where it falls short are:
* Some buttons could be labeled better. For example, VoiceOver says "ButInfo Button" "ButBack Button" "ButXWhite button" etc. Also, several buttons all say the same thing, "ButInfo", and double tapping them will bring up a short explanation of the timeline, what is meant by "singles", or other information. These buttons need specific names which indicate the kind of information they provide.

* "What are these numbers I'm hearing?" As you swipe around the main screen, you'll encounter numbers 1 through 10. that is your Headspace timeline, in this case, a listing of the ten free foundation/getting started sessions that come with the app. As you complete sessions, you will notice that the number for your next session is replaced with the text "next session", so you always know where you are in the series.

* Some informational pages do not read, for example, the "the science" section is currently invisible to Voiceover, although it can be found online at:
https://www.headspace.com/science

With just a few improvements, the accessibility of this app could go from great to excellent!

From the developer: "At Headspace we’re way more than a meditation app. But it’s important to us that the Headspace journey is accessible in as many ways as possible."

So by all means, contact them to request accessibility tweaks!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeadspaceOfficial
Andy Puddicombe, the founder and meditation teacher can be reached on Twitter:

VoiceOver Performance: 

VoiceOver reads most page elements.

Button Labeling: 

Most buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability: 

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver, but the interface could be easier to navigate and use.

Other Comments: 

There are many other meditation and mindfulness apps, but I recommend you try Headspace first, especially if you are new to meditation. The free ten minutes for ten days foundation series that comes bundled with the app gently introduces concepts, and Andy Puddicombe is the best meditation teacher I've ever encountered, after sampling about a dozen. The production values for the sessions are extremely high. Headphones are recommended.

If, like me, you want to improve your life with meditation, but need lots of structure and guidance to get started, this app is for you!

Note: set your device's lock/unlock timer past the length of the meditation session you intend to practice, so VoiceOver doesn't rudely interrupt things and shatter your calm.

Developer's Twitter Username: 

@Get_Headspace