Meditime 1.1: The Siri Update

I am happy today to announce the release of the first major update to Meditime!

There are two major changes in this, and I’m going to start with the one that isn’t mentioned in the title: animations! After some tinkering, the opening/closing circle with the start/stop of the timer is now much smoother, and I went ahead and reused it in the transition to and from the new Settings page, as well.

The second new animation plays behind the timer as it runs, a slow up-and-down motion to help you focus on your breathing.

(A video would’ve been more clear here, but frankly, I don’t feel like embedding videos on this site is worth the effort.)

It’s a five-second inhale, five-second exhale cycle, giving you a total of 6 breaths per minute, which is a nice, calming rate. Not a huge addition, but one I am very proud of.

The other big change is the new Settings page; rather than just the privacy policy, I wanted a place to hide a bit more of the complexity that adding new features requires.

Starting from the bottom, I’ve added the ability to change the granularity of timer adjustments, and switched the default from 1 second to 5 seconds. If you really do need that timer running for 33 seconds precisely, you still have the ability to set that, but if you prefer round numbers and didn’t enjoy trying to swipe just right to make that happen, the new 5 second or 30 second increment options make that a lot easier.

Finally, the big change: Siri support!

The obvious parts are the new ‘Add to Siri’ buttons there, to start the stopwatch and end the current session. It’s pretty handy — thanks to Siri’s integration with the HomePod or AirPods, you can now make your interactions with the app an entirely hands-free experience.

Less obvious is the fact that the app is also linked into the Siri Shortcuts system. Every time you start a timer or stopwatch, and every time you end the session, that’s fed to the system as a potential suggestion for Siri to show you. And it links in with the Shortcuts app, as well, so you can add meditation to your “good night” Shortcut routine. (Or “good morning,” or anything else you’d like!)

Every time you set and run a timer, that gets handed to the Shortcuts system, and you can pick those up via the Shortcuts App or through the Settings > Siri & Search, where you can set custom Siri Shortcuts. They work just as well as the two provided in the app’s settings page, but provide a larger range of customization, for the power users out there.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the new update! If you don’t have the app, not to pressure you or anything, but you’ve already read this far, it’s only $0.99, and I’d quite appreciate your patronage.



I’m quite happy to announce that I now have another app available on the App Store!1 Before you click, I’ll warn you, this one isn’t free, but the App Store has always encouraged trying a variety of business models, and “paid up front” was next on my list;2 $0.99 seemed a fair asking price for a lightweight utility.

The core concept of Meditime came from a podcast I was listening to.3 The idea is this: why do all the meditation apps have to be guided meditation, or come with ten million different settings, or decide what you should be listening to while you meditate? The point of the whole thing is to clear your mind, after all, and personally I’ve never had any luck with doing that while somebody is talking at me, and the lovely sound of water in a creek mostly just makes me feel like I need to use the restroom.

So, as with my previous app, having found nothing that I actually liked, I muttered “fine, I’ll do it myself” and opened Xcode.

The result is what I honestly believe I can call the simplest meditation app out there; swipe up or down to adjust the timer, double-tap to start. Adjust the time while it’s running if you like, or double-tap to stop; and if you don’t want a timer at all, drag it all the way down to zero, and it’ll run as a stopwatch, instead. At the end, the app will automatically log the session to the Health app, so you can keep track of it all nicely.4

As I said, the app is $0.99, but there’s no ads, no in-app purchases to ‘upgrade’ anything, and that one purchase will work on iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch, assuming Apple still makes those.5 And I’m already planning to update it to work well on iOS 12, including a little bit of support for the fancy new Siri Automation things. So, hopefully you can see the value, and if you’ve got a buck to spare, I’d quite appreciate it if you’d give it a try.

  1. In case you missed why that says “another,” have a look here.
  2. Still to go: free with in-app-purchases and subscription-based; I’ll be skipping the ‘free with consumable in-app purchases’ because apps made that way are generally terrible and at least a little bit immoral.
  3. And no, that isn’t a direct link to the episode, because I’m not certain which episode it was, although a reasonable guess would be this one, although there’s also a chance it was this one; either way, Do By Friday is a great podcast and I recommend it. Although not, I should add, to children, everyone involved does enjoy swearing.
  4. It’ll work without doing that, though, too; if you don’t want it saving to the Health app, just don’t give it permission to do so, and it won’t bug you about it.
  5. It requires iOS 11.4 to run, so hopefully you’re all up-to-date, as you should be.

    And saving to the Health app will only work on devices that have it, so the iPad won’t do that, but if Apple does decide to add the Health app to iPads, it’ll start working there, too. (I can’t comment on whether or not the iPod Touch can do that, because I genuinely have no idea if they support Health or not. Seriously, does Apple even make those anymore?)