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Mobile mindfulness – the best mental health apps

Mobile mindfulness – the best mental health apps

21 Dec 2017
Mariah - amaysim blogger

Mariah

amaysim's content guru

Technology’s role in keeping us up to date and connected is often blamed for having a negative effect on our mental health.

So it’s worth taking a moment (or two) to slow down. A moment to take a deep breath, and to perhaps let these fantastic (and free) apps take some weight off your shoulders.

headspace

Headspace is the perfect introduction into mindfulness. The handy sessions are designed to be completed in 10-minute sessions, quite aptly called ‘Take 10’. You can also track your progress with a buddy, and be rewarded for consistent use. Who doesn’t like rewards?

calm

Calm’s focus is just that – developing the sort of calmness you could expect from napping on a cloud with a good drink and book. It includes similar styles of meditation, but narrows in on the moments before and after you go to bed. A variety of sleep stories, calm music, unguided meditations and breathing exercises are just the ticket to feeling calm and relaxed.

smiling mind

This locally produced app is the perfect app for meditation. Smiling Mind offers a wide range of meditation experiences across different ages, demographics and lengths of duration. Included in the program are progressions in meditation courses to master mindfulness. Smiling Mind is completely non-profit and Australian made.

insight timer

Looking to chill your own way? Insight Timer is a collection of over 4,500 guided meditations with 750 music tracks. This app is perfect if you aren’t after a structured session, rather just some time to relax your way. Think of it more as a mindfulness buffet, not the degustation arrangement some apps prefer.

aura

The issue with some apps (like any exercise or well-being practices) is you might start committed, but give up quickly. Thankfully, Aura is the exact opposite to your unused gym membership. The personalised 3-minute sessions to start each day are around the simplest on the market.

For those after more intense sessions, there is that option on the cards, but the beauty of Aura is in the no-repeat daily sessions. Designed to combat stress, anxiety and depression in particular, Aura might just be one of the best ways to bring mindfulness into your daily routine.

stop, breathe & think

Mindfulness sounds brilliant, but what is it?

We’re glad you asked, because Stop, Breathe & Think has the answers. For those who are curious about their state of mind and mindfulness, this app exposes you to the facts of the world before beginning your sessions. After all, you don’t sit your driving test before you’ve learned the theory.

happify

Looking for the happiest app with the happiest design to make you feel happy every happy day? Happify is a collection of all things (you guessed it) happy – a variety of games and challenges to ease any tension or stress. For anyone that likes their mindfulness with a spoonful of sugar, there couldn’t be a better option.

phone

Hear us out. The main reason people believe new technology is contributing to negative mental health is because we become disconnected from the world around us –we stop communicating like people.

Picking up your phone (as in, actually using it as a phone) can be the easiest solution. Whether it’s a friend, parent, family member or whoever will pick up, making some one-on-one calls might be the right call for you.

While the app is free, sadly calling isn’t. But amaysim’s $10 plan is a brilliant way of getting there. Get your mindfulness journey started by looking through our mobile plans.

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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