We often use our iOS devices to get work done and play games, but how often has an Apple device given you an hour of relaxing personal time for working, sleeping, or meditating? Sometimes taking a break from hectic modern life is often just what the doctor ordered — and thanks to iOS development house Taptanium, iOS has some beautiful apps to do just that.
I covered Thunderspace, the first iOS relaxation app by Taptanium, back in 2013 (see “FunBITS: Thunderspace Provides Your Own Private Storm,” 16 August 2013). In 2014, Taptanium followed up with Windy, a beautiful white-noise sound generator that was also a huge graphical step up from Thunderspace, with stunning custom illustrations and the same audiophile-quality stereoscopic 3D audio.
Taptanium’s next iOS app has just appeared: Sunny ($2.99) transports you to your very own private beach, inviting you to catch some virtual rays, whatever the weather. Naturally, the great sound we’ve come to expect from Taptanium is present, along with new stunning parallax illustrations and new ways to customise your relaxation experience.
Sunny’s illustrations are the star of the show. The user interface alone is soothing and playful, with precise artistic detail and just the right amount of whimsy added by the custom graphics. Even the settings screen has a cute animation where the star ratings smile and gaze at you.
Pictured below is one of the six “Sunny bay” beach scenes available in the app. By default, one is unlocked, but you can gain access to more just by using and exploring the app. More on that later.
One of the many new additions in Sunny is HealthKit integration. Just in time for the “early 2015” release of the Apple Watch, Sunny will be able to show you a graph of your daily average heart rate overlaid on the minutes per day you’ve spent relaxing with the app. If you ever need data to prove the utility of relaxing, this feature is for you!
As well as tracking your relaxation habits, Sunny rewards you for keeping the habit going. On top of tracking the amount of time you spend using the app and your heart rate, Sunny pays back user interface exploration and relaxation with “sunrays”, a virtual currency. Don’t panic! Unlike many free-to-play games, there is little pressure to buy in-app purchases — simply spending a few minutes each day will grant you access to all the bays. It’s even possible to access the second bay within minutes of downloading the app, by just exploring the various screens.
For a more personal experience, it’s now possible to customise the sounds you hear within Sunny. Fancy more ambient music but fewer birds tweeting? Just drag the sliders. This is a great new feature for those familiar with Thunderspace and Windy — the greater depth and personalisation easily makes Sunny my first choice when I’m looking to unwind with some headphones.
So there you have it. If you want to spend some time relaxing quietly after a hard day at work, you’ll enjoy Sunny’s calm sounds and beautiful interface. Also be sure to check out the app’s Web site for more of Taptanium’s hard work.