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Establishing and maintaining a regular daily meditation activity is one of the first habits you need to develop in order to fully realise the benefits of your meditation practice.

The MeditateAide app for Apple Watch provides a number of useful functions to help you achieve this, accessible whenever you need them, directly from your Apple Watch, without the need to remove your iPhone from your pocket or bag, or even have your iPhone with you.

** Please note that an Apple Watch is required in order to use the MeditateAide app. The iPhone and iPad parts of the app only provide a feature description for the app installed on the watch. **

The main purpose of the MeditateAide app is to provide a simple meditation timer that operates independently on your Apple Watch, allowing you to quickly set session and interval times, and to select associated bells and sounds, all of which are played out from your watch.

A heart rate monitor is provided to allow you to show in real time during your meditation session your current heart rate with an associated graph. Your highest, lowest and average heart rate for the current session is displayed.

Two timer options are provided, one which results in your Mindful Minutes data being updated within Apple Health, and one which doesn't, useful for when you want to time and monitor your heart rate during informal mindful walking or other mindful activities.

Additional features include.

- A progress tracker shows your meditation time over a 7 day period. You can set your daily meditation target in minutes and your daily progress against your target is summarised on a weekly graph. This graph as well a gauge of your target can be selected in the settings page to show as a Complication on your watch face (requires Apple Watch Series 4).

- A 7 day history shows a table of all your Mindful Minutes sessions held in Apple Health for the last week, together with the individual heart rate graphs for each session. Highest, lowest and average heart rate values are shown for each session.

- A timeline view shows a graph of your heart rate over the latest 24 hour period with an indication within that period when a meditation session was recorded. The highest, lowest and average heart rate values are shown for the visible period. Tap the graph to zoom into the timeline to a period of 24 hours, 12 hours, 6 hours, 3 hours, 1 hour and 30 minutes. Rotating the crown or swipping across the graph will pan across the timeline allowing you to zoom into and view different time periods over the last 7 days.

- During a meditation session interesting insight, thoughts and ideas can arise which you may want to remember and review at a later time. To avoid disturbing your session by dwelling on them or breaking off to write them down, a useful approach is to quickly record them so you can review them after the session is ended. An option is provided to record and playback 5 voice memos locally on the watch, each of 10 seconds duration. During a timed meditation session the force tap can be used to quickly access the Insights menu directly.

- A settings page allows you to customise options such as your daily meditation target, to define the app colours which set the best mood for meditation, to define the way Complications are used to show your progress with graphs and guages on your watch face (requires Apple Watch Series 4), and various bell sounds (two of which can be recorded directly on your watch). There is also the option to speak out the countdown timer value or your heart rate at each interval during a meditation session, in various different languages, to be used as a mindfulness trigger.

The iPhone part of the app is used as an installation step for the Apple Watch app (requesting your permission to read and write Mindful Minutes and Heart Rate data from Apple Health) and to provide the app feature description. A feature description can also be viewed within the MeditateAide Apple Watch app.
Christopher Canning