Meditation Timer apps

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7 years 8 months ago #12483 by Tom Otvos
Very lightweight question here, and I thought we discussed this before but I cannot seem to find mention of it: what does everyone that times their sits use as a meditation timer? Personally, I have been using Insight Timer for a very long time (based on a recommendation by Jackson, if memory serves). It is quite a nice app, and they are attempting a bit of social networking as well by hooking up people meditating at the same time, or in your locale, etc. A bunch of Buddhist Geeks used it too.

My problem with IT is purely a technical one: it is an absolute PIG on CPU, that I am only noticing now that I am doing a lot more sitting for longer periods. In one sit of 45 minutes, it can drain my battery by 7-8%, which is absolutely stupid for a timer app. Just now, I sat with the built-in clock timer on the iPhone, and my battery went down 0%. Niente.

So, I am all set to simply write something for myself because, well, I can. I have an idea for the Last Meditation Timer anyone (or me, at least) would ever need, that is extremely simple but adds the truly useful things that the built-in clock timer does not do, and that IT used to do well but seemingly has lost its way. Before I do that, I wanted to canvas what other people use in case there is something great I am missing.

Maybe it will become the "awaketimer"...dunno. Depends on feedback, I suppose. But this battery madness has to stop.

-- tomo

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #12484 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Meditation Timer apps
Tom, I just use the Apple Clock app timer that comes with the iPhone. Not sure what I would need anything else. All I want is something to "ding" or "gong" or "quack" or whatever, when the time is up. All the other stuff, the CPU hogging stuff, the finding friends, the nice images and graphics and the special sounds - all of that is superfluous, at least IMHO.
Last edit: 7 years 8 months ago by Chris Marti.

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7 years 8 months ago #12486 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Meditation Timer apps
I use the insight timer. But all I do with it is have it ding after 30 or 40 minutes. I like the dings it offers. My iphone timer only has harsh loud sounds.

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7 years 8 months ago #12487 by Shargrol
Replied by Shargrol on topic Meditation Timer apps
I've been doing structured sits these days, so I could use the option of 25 minutes and 10 minutes and then 5 minutes. When I first started meditating, I also liked to do 20 minute sit, 10 minutes walking, 20 minute sit (maybe it was 15-5-15). Anyway I have yet to see a great timer with good functionality and good sounds... that was less expensive than hiring someone to ring a bell. :)

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7 years 8 months ago #12489 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Meditation Timer apps
Just FYI, you can download or create any timer ringtone you desire for your iPhone. No need to settle for what comes with. I have a whole series of nice Zen tones that I use.

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7 years 8 months ago #12490 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Meditation Timer apps
how you do that??????

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7 years 8 months ago #12492 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Meditation Timer apps
Regarding tones, Ona, you can convert sounds to ring tones pretty easily. Just Google it to find out. You can also, I think, do it in iTunes now. Haven't done it in a while.

As to the question of "what else do I need it to do", there are two useful enhancements beyond just a "bing" at the end. The first is interval timers, where you can have it make a sound at x minutes from the start, or y minutes from the end, or every z minutes. Doesn't have to be super elaborate but, depending on how you structure your sit it is useful. I know that at your level, Chris, that is really fluffy but I think most users of meditation timers are at lower stages of practice.

The second useful thing is to be able to overplay something from your music library. The main use here is to have, say, a 10m guided meditation to start with, and then you continue on with the rest of your session. Similar, someone here (I don't recall who) was listening to Tibetan throat singing a while back. It would be nice to be able to play/loop through that and still have a finite end point.

Those are the two major features that I would make use of. I don't need a lot of stored presets, I don't need a log, and I don't need a social network. And I DON'T need to have the countdown, by second, of my time. Minutes left is fine, thanks.

-- tomo

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7 years 8 months ago #12494 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Meditation Timer apps
I bow to your desires. You should have whatever features you want.

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7 years 8 months ago #12495 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Meditation Timer apps
I know a lot of people who do intervals. I did use an interval bell at one point as an experiment, having a bell go every 3 minutes, because I was sleepy. :D

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7 years 8 months ago #12502 by Eran
Replied by Eran on topic Meditation Timer apps
I use Equanimity. It's simple and has all the features I need. I like that it has an integrated journal so I can jot some notes after a session.

Re battery, do you allow the screen to go blank during a sit or do you make it stay on the whole time? I can see it being a bit of a drain if the screen remains at full brightness for 45 mins.

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #12505 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Meditation Timer apps

Eran wrote: I use Equanimity. It's simple and has all the features I need. I like that it has an integrated journal so I can jot some notes after a session.

Re battery, do you allow the screen to go blank during a sit or do you make it stay on the whole time? I can see it being a bit of a drain if the screen remains at full brightness for 45 mins.


I have tried locking the screen, to no benefit. My guess is that they are doing an unusual amount of network activity in the background.

ETA: Wow, 5 bucks for a timer app? Does it really go easy on battery?

-- tomo
Last edit: 7 years 8 months ago by Tom Otvos.

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7 years 8 months ago #12506 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Meditation Timer apps
No doubt reporting your meditative states and progress to the NSA and FBI.

:P
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ona Kiser, Laurel Carrington, every3rdthought

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7 years 8 months ago #12507 by Andy
Replied by Andy on topic Meditation Timer apps
I use Equanimity as well. I looked up the author's website online and he was giving out redemption codes for free at the time. There's an option to turn off the display to save on battery life. The timer will run in the background and chime intervals as well, so you could play something from your music library and have the timer running too.

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7 years 8 months ago #12511 by Constance
Replied by Constance on topic Meditation Timer apps
I shut down the computer because I do not want any intrusions like email beeps. I use a digital cooking timer, or more often no timer and just sit until I am interrupted.
The following user(s) said Thank You: every3rdthought

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7 years 8 months ago #12539 by Eran
Replied by Eran on topic Meditation Timer apps
I've had no issues with battery life. Like Andy said, I let the screen go blank and that seems to help.

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7 years 8 months ago #12545 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Meditation Timer apps
It pained me to do so, but I forked out the $5 for Equanimity. Very nice app, way too expensive for what it does, and I am a little surprised there is no option to personalize the ring tones. That said, I used it this morning and a sit that would purge 7-9% of battery using Insight Timer did not budge my battery indicator with Equanimity. Yay! I will stick with it for now since I bought it and see if there is anything about it I would want to change badly enough to write my own.

However, having an AwakeNetwork branded timer would be pretty sweet.

-- tomo

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7 years 1 month ago #17774 by Lost and Found
Not sure about how you feel about bumping this thread, but thought I would mention a really nice app for android phones:
insight meditation timer .
There's a free and a paid version, I think. It can do all kinds of neat things, like calculating the average time you spent meditating and keeping a log.

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7 years 1 month ago #17775 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Meditation Timer apps
Yes, that app was what started this thread (the iOS version, mind you). My issue was that it was a pig on battery life, and I found Equanimity to be far superior. Fast forward to today, and since I upgraded to iOS 7 I have been plagued with battery issues on my 4s, and recently I have begun to suspect...you guessed it...Equanimity. It seems like it keeps working in the background after my session is done, and I have seen better battery life if I explicitly stop the task after my session is done.

But Insight Timer has, apparently, a huge installed base, if a somewhat goofy interface.

-- tomo

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7 years 1 month ago #17781 by every3rdthought
Yeah I use a digital kitchen timer... glad to see I'm not the only one :) Or failing that (I forgot to bring it to the beach house where I'm staying at the moment) my phone alarm.

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7 years 1 month ago #17802 by Lost and Found
I've used it for quite some time, until I had to create an account to keep the function of the average meditation time.
Now I use an ordinary stopwatch for if I want to sit as long as I want, or a timer to count down if I want to sit for a predetermined amount of time.
Don't know about iOS, but for android there are more meditation timers available. I always check the permissions though, because I don't see why a live wallpaper (just a random example) needs to know my accounts or phone records.

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7 years 1 month ago #17804 by Derek
Replied by Derek on topic Meditation Timer apps
I'm a kitchen timer man myself, but I went through a period in the summer of 2012 of learning app development. I developed a meditation timer for Windows phone (which I no longer have). Meditation timers must, by their very nature acquire a wake lock, otherwise your phone would go to sleep and the timer would stop before it every got to zero. It's likely the wake lock that's draining the battery.

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