What to download
    13 January 2017


    App: Wildfulness II

    Wildfulness II can help you take a little time out and regroup at this inevitably stress-inducing time of year.

    What do you get when you combine gorgeous animations with soothing sounds, a sleep timer and guided-breathing sessions? Wildfulness II, the revamped and updated version of the original calming and meditation-friendly mobile app of the same name that does its best to help you pretend you’re in a peaceful forest instead of back in the office.

    Wildfulness isn’t the only app of its sort on the market. In fact, the look and feel reminds us a lot of Melodist, which we took a look at a few weeks back. But while Melodist turns your pictures into soothing soundscapes, Wildfulness offers its own imagery and predefined soundscapes.

    Shh, nature

    It calls these soundscapes 'high-quality psychoacoustic 3D nature sounds', which is really just a fancy way of saying it sounds a lot like actually being in a forest. Sadly, the virtual forest is the only one you get for free — if you want to try out the other scenes you’ll need to pay R50, but considering that’s probably less than you’ve payed for parking at shopping malls this season, it’s hardly exorbitant.

    The other scenes and sounds on offer include the appropriately tranquil sounding 'Swan Brook at Sunrise', 'Summer Solstice', that old chestnut “Thunderstorm”, 'Misty Morning', 'First Dawn Birdsong' (which would be great if we could set it as an alarm), 'Cozy Rainfall', 'Midnight Forest', 'Snowy Birches', and 'Foggy Clearing'.

    Whichever scene you’re in, tapping the screen bring up a sleep timer. Set it for a wide range of times, from a single minute right up to eight hours — so if you’re the sort who likes to sleep to the sounds of a soggy forest or a foggy valley, Wildfulness II has your back (and front, and ears). It’s also pretty great if you just want to take a ten-minute wander around the local park (or your office parking lot) to clear your head.

    In through the nose …

    And if the visuals and sounds haven’t sufficiently calmed your nerves in the wake of dealing with the glut of family members (and the accompanying criticisms, complaints and curmudgeonliness), try the guiding-breathing exercise. To access it, tap the circle in the top right of the landing page, hit the breathe icon, and match your breathing to the on-screen expanding and contracting circles.

    According to the app’s notes on the App Store, 'Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to make people happier, less stressed, healthier, and better partners and friends. Spending time in nature is proven to increase well-being and help you get better sleep, and exposure to art activates parts of your brain that create feelings of calm.'

    In other words, what the app has done is combine these two obviously beneficial things into one app. We think that might be overstating things a little, but it’s certainly pretty to look at, and it’s definitely calming, even though it’d be great to have a little more local wildlife and fewer things with antlers.

    Get Wildfulness II


    Download it for iOS.

    Please note that the app may be free to download, but you will need data to download and use the app. Buying data bundles on Vodacom Online is quick, easy and affordable, and a surefire way to make sure you've got enough data on your smartphone. Simply log into My Vodacom to buy data bundles »