App

Sit back, relax, and enjoy another app in the popular meditation series

Price: $2.99 / £2.29
Version: 1.2
Size: 99.5 MB
Developer: Franz Bruckhoff
Platform: iPhone/iPad

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Mindfulness is big business, and its a term that’s really come to the forefront of the minds of the health-conscious in the last couple of years. It’s no surprise that this popularity transfers to the App Store, with hundreds of apps for meditation, mindfulness and self-improvement. However, the apps produced by developer Franz Bruckhoff are some of the best. Marrying sound and imagery across apps like Away, Sunny, Windy, the approach to aural manipulation of the elements has gained these apps a massive following.

The latest is Flowing, which, you guessed it – focuses on water. The sounds of babbling brooks, flowing streams and small waterfalls come together to produce an app focused on the gentle flowing of nature. Accompanying these sounds, of which there are six, are beautifully crafted imagery featuring wildlife, from otters, to antelope – each of which employs a 3D parallax shift when you move the device.

Flowing is nicely integrated with the other apps in the series

Flowing is nicely integrated with the other apps in the series

But what really sets Flowing, and the other apps aside from other like-minded apps is the audio quality. Bruckhoff makes an apt comparison in that listening on a set of headphones provides an experience akin to a 3D film, but for the ears. This is achieved thanks to the audio’s recording via psychoacoustic microphones – the intention is the audio captured is what you’d hear in real life.

Flowing is really just an extension – the next step in Bruckhoff’s app-based relaxation journey, and the approach acknowledges this but interconnecting this app with previous ones. If you’re a fan of the other apps, their ‘scenes’ feature in the menu alongside Flowing’s own scenes, that way you only need to tap on, say, a scene from Windy, and it will automatically open that app and start playing. This quick switch option is certainly a deft touch.

Sliders allow you to create your own soundscape – includes nature sounds, rain, rain on tent(!), and music

Sliders allow you to create your own soundscape – includes nature sounds, rain, rain on tent(!), and music

The customization elements are decent too – Flowing is more than just rumbling rivers, it also contains music – composed by “Hollywood’s rising star composer” David Bawiec, and nature sounds. The level of each one can be altered to produce your own relaxation experience, and you can also set a desired length or sleep timer to listen to the soundscape for as long or short a time as you wish.

Finally, there’s guided meditation. Now this is the first time this has been done on these apps and unfortunately, it’s the weakest part of the app. Performed by another ‘rising star’, Lua Lisa, the guided meditation, which can be for a quick session of relaxation, or to help you fall into a deep sleep, is a little mismatched in tone compared to the rest of the app. The material itself is fine, but the delivery feels otherworldly and is set oddly in the mix, employing a high level of reverb, setting a tone the app doesn’t benefit from.

You can also choose from three sets of guided meditation

You can also choose from three sets of guided meditation

Guided meditation is tricky to get right, with some preferring some styles to others – outside of this feature, the app has a much wider appeal, and is still a solid purchase if you’re into mindfulness. And who knows, maybe we’re wrong and you’ll fall in love with the floating-on-air stylings of Lua Lisa.

Review: Flowing – Mindfulness and Meditation at its very best
A great addition to the series.
For
  • Sounds incredible
  • Artwork is a delight
  • App integration is great
Against
  • Guided meditation misses the mark a little
4.5Overall Score