Joining the meditation app market is Oak from Kevin Rose, a Digg founder and True Ventures partner. Available as a free download, the application is rather simple and doesn't compete with apps like Headspace, Simple Habit and Calm; rather it offers quick and simple breathing exercises as well as longer guided and DIY meditations.
"Some people just don't have time some days to do the meditations," Rose told TechCrunch. "But I always find the time, maybe in the back of an Uber, to crank out a breathing exercise."
Oak's intro video explains the benefits of clearing your mind, and how to gently pull yourself back from distractions so you can concentrate on your breath. From there it is easy to dive into the world of mindfulness — simply pick a background soundscape and start listening.
For instance, you can breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and exhale for 8 to reach deep calm; use a 4-4-4-4 method for heightened performance like Navy Seals; or try a lively 6-2 to wake yourself up.
Rose said that at this point he doesn't have a business model for Oak, which is made to help users teach themselves to meditate. "There are great meditation apps out there that charge for their content and I just don't want to go down that same path," he said, adding that at some point new features will be added along with a pay-what-you-want model, rather than the one involving a monthly subscription.
Also, he said that working with the APIs of wearables like the Oura ring to bring automated breath tracking into the app could be added in the future.
In the meantime, you are free to try out Oak and see whether it brings tranquility to your life. Good luck!