Cool App: GPS4Soul

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I was checking out new apps today and came across GPS4Soul. It’s a free app by Huffington Post that I found in the @HPGoodNews twitter feed.

When I looked for GPS4Soul in iTunes, I saw that it has a feature that allows you to check your heart rate using your iPhone camera lens. Sounded way too cool not to try out.

I downloaded the app and tried the censor for the first time. The camera flash turns on to guide you to put your index finger on the lens. You can instantly see your heart rate being tracked and visually see a graph moving up and down as the numbers change.

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After your heart rate is tracked, the app assesses how stressed you are and offers guides to help center yourself and become calmer. If you are balances, it will offer other guides to stay in that mindset (This is an assumption as none of my readings came back balanced.)

These guides are everything from guides mediation to colour therapy to short yoga poses.

I really liked the Moments of Kindness colour therapy.

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And the Mantras for Good positive affirmations.

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Each guide also helped with controlling your breathing using a rising and falling visual. I found this aspect really awesome. When I get stressed, I have a tendency to clench my jaw and have shallow breaths. This reminded me to relax my jaw and really focus.

You can also make your own guides with pictures or songs. I’m going to make one with smiling pictures of my family and my pets and throw some zen driving music into my own guides. It’ll be nice to have all of this inspiration in one place.

I did find some issues with the app.
– You can’t use it with a cover on. Seems obvious, but it can be a pain to take the cover off and put it back on a couple of times a day.
– The sensor kept giving me an error saying that it was getting a low quality reading. I tried putting my finger on the lens all sorts of ways, but I got this on every read.
– I took 11 readings in an hour and each came back saying I “may be stressed”. I’m in my pajamas, relaxing on the couch. I’ll have to check it again when I really am stressed to see how much my heart rate changes.
– I’ve been using the heart rate monitor a lot in the past hour and the battery in my phone has gone down over 20%. Must take a lot of energy to work.

GPS4Soul seems like a great app. I can’t wait to try it out when I’m really stressed to see if it truly does calm and centre. I could certainly use some help these days.

Have you downloaded it? What were your thoughts?

I was not compensated for this review, I just really liked the app.

  • Candace

    I wasn’t too impressed with the app. The sensor also gave me strange readings, and I found a lot of the exercises to be rather shallow. I do like many of the quotes, but they were also sometimes distracting. They provided stimulus when I just wanted something to help me get some “quiet time” for myself.

    Have you tried these apps for relaxation or concentration? http://www.you-productions.com/practice/our-iphone-and-android-apps-itunes-podcasts/ The individual videos are also posted on their homepage.