iZen Garden for iPad ($5.99) is a tabletop iPad Zen Garden that travels with you, ready to help you relax and replenish at a moments notice!
Some apps are merely for enjoyment, some wow users even though they offer little to do, others provide services, iZen Garden is one that not only shows off the amazing ability of the iPad, but also provides users the ability to rejuvenate or burn time while on a phone call.
The app is beautiful, and offers 100′s of different items, plants, and creatures (such as butterflies) that can be placed in your sand garden. All these items can be resized using the pinch gestures, as well as rotated and moved…so they look exactly how you want when you place them. There are four sand colors to choose from, and nine different soundtracks to help you relax and completely focus your mind while working. Then you take your finger and begin raking. Users have different sizes of rakes to choose from to completely customize the creation process. When finished you can share designs via Twitter, Email, or the Photos app on iPad. It’s just like the real thing only without the mess, and is ultra-portable.
Now the app isn’t perfect and has had some recent updates that have improved it. However, it still would be nice if the selection tool for inserting objects had a better layout. As it is now one has to scroll through everything to really find something to include, a search or category selection at the top would be easier. I’d also say that it would be great if you could add in water features to your garden. While not standard in the “real world” sand gardens, on the iPad anything goes and a nice little flowing stream would be very tranquil and would add beauty at times.
iZen Garden will amaze those around you too. Many people who don’t have an iPad or don’t understand the power the device has will be wowed by something like this. If someone is on the fence about buying one, showing them apps like this can really boost their understanding of the diversity of the device. I showed it to someone from work and they simply could not believe what they were seeing: The iPad can not only replace netbooks, paper books, some handheld gaming systems, and notebooks, but also things like sand gardens for relaxation. That’s pretty impressive, and most people, even if not INTO creating a sand garden, find themselves loving it.