Headspace: Meditation & Sleep

Last modified
Thursday, February 13, 2020

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.

Version

2.0.2

Free or Paid

Free

Apple Watch Support

Not Known

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: @andy_headspace

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

Recommendations

4 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Malthe 2 years 5 months ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Tikki on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hi,
has anyone else tried this app with Ios 7 running? I have the feeling that a lot of the app is missing on my iPhone. For example, the settings for setting reminders and stuff are nowhere to be found. I only have the main screen with the numbers, the progress screen and the buddies thing. It seems that the app is not optimized for iPhone 5, but for Ios 8. It may be a voiceover problem, but the description says it requires only Ios 6, so I'm a bit disappointed it doesn't run propperly for me.

Submitted by Jennifer Sutton on Friday, March 17, 2017

Chris: I hope you're still monitoring this post; your guidance was great! It confirmed what I was guessing was going on with the timeline, next session, unlabeled buttons, etc.

I'm going to try to work with the developer(s) to make improvements, so if anybody wants to join me (without bombarding them), that'd be great. I don't think the fixes would be hard, and it'd be nice not to be distracted by the app.'s oddities. After all, I'm trying to deal with my distractions by meditating. :)

I really like the content/approach.

Submitted by Chris Smart on Saturday, March 18, 2017

In reply to by Jennifer Sutton

Hi Jen! I'm actually trying to decide whether or not to renew my subscription. I still like the app a lot though.

Are you in touch with someone at Headspace, or did you provide accessibility feedback through an AppStore review? I should send them something as well - strength in numbers and all that.

When I do follow up, I intend to send email; I find it's easier and clearer than a lot of short tweets. I'd like to help them clean it up as easily as possible for everyone. I'll probably offer to show them a Skype demo. But I'm not going to get back to this for a week, at least.

Submitted by René Jaun on Monday, June 19, 2017

Hello All,
Well, they did create a lot of noise about their Headspace 3 launch.
Sadly, at least as far as my observations go, this new version became even more inaccessible than the previous one.
I only just spent about 20 minutes trying to select the "Restlessness" option in the "Brave" section (to be found under "Discover" > "Packs"). I kept failing.
Switching voiceover off, tapping on the screen where I suspect "Restlessness" to be, and then re-activating VoiceOver either gave me the "Anger" Pack or the "Change" pack (both of which, ironically enough, I might actually need after having wrestled with this app...).
Well, I am going to send a Tweet or two towards their Support Channel.
Best regards, and happy meditating everyone!

Submitted by anouk85 on Monday, April 16, 2018

Hi all,
Was recently looking for a good habitbuilding mindfulness app and came upon calm and headspace. Calm does not seem to be all that accessible at all and even though headspace seemed really accessible at first that changed when I tried to delve a bit deeper into th eapp. Trying to select a category does not seem to work at all with voicover just like with the duolingo app. I am trying to contact the developer later today through eamil about this after exploring how far this impacts the apps usefulness and encourage anyone else who would like to use this app to do hte seem. Its a real shame because the meditation teacher is really good...
Greetings, Anouk

Submitted by Malthe on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hi!
Headspace just rolled out a new update, and they've made huge VoiceOver improvements, it's the only thing in the release notes. I had a brief look this morning, and accessibility seems great. I'll check it out later tonight, just thought I'd let you guys know.

Best
Malthe

Submitted by René Jaun on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It did take them a while, but I too think that the app is now very accessible again. The category selection works well, and one can select from all available meditation packs with VoiceOver enabled. Time to thank the developers I think!

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Friday, April 20, 2018

Credit to the devs for improving this app. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Great news.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Monday, July 16, 2018

I can bring up the packs but there is no obvious way of playing a session. It has a bunch of greyed out buttons, icon play jumbo... But there is no way of actually playing the session. Am I missing something?

I am running ios12, but I can't imagine that makes a huge difference, does it?

Woudl someone mind checking the app for me.

All the best

@oliverkennett

Submitted by René Jaun on Monday, July 16, 2018

After you have selected a pack, Headspace takes some time to download the necessary audio and video content. You may even find a progress bar counting up the percentage. During this downloading phase, the button to play the episode is indeed grayed out.
May question to you thus would be: If you wait a few minutes, does the mentioned jumbo play button become clickable (not announced as dimmed out anymore)?
Hope it does. Best regards!

Submitted by Cliff on Monday, July 16, 2018

Yeah, answer is there already in the subject! :;) Took me a moment to figure out, but ever since cracking that one, I have had no problems using the main functions of the app.
Just find the grayed out play thing icon, and double tap and hold on it. Optionally, when you've first done a session on one pack, the active pack will be featured as the Next session thingy on the first tab. And there you can flick down via the rotor action menu to find e.g. Start day 2 of stress meditation. Just double tap then and you're placed on a screen that has a play button that works just right out of the box, with no grayed out crap! :)
Happy meditating, and take care! :)

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