Zen Magic - As the iTunes App Store continues to grow and expand, there are more and more applications that let users doodle, draw and write on the iPhone's touch screen. As a result, designers of such apps need to become increasingly creative in order for their offerings to stand out from the crowd. Zen Magic by James Cann is another application in that style, but it's one that offers a few unique features and twists that may appeal to users looking for something a little different.
Sort of like iSteam, Zen Magic allows you to draw or write on the screen and then watch your work slowly fade. While iSteam is designed to mimic a fogged-up window or mirror, Zen Magic bills itself as a simulator of Japanese magic water paper.
Basically, in Zen Magic, you draw on the "paper" as if with a wet brush (you can choose from a soft or stiff brush tip), and then watch as the "paper" slowly "dries." You can blow into the microphone on the iPhone in order to speed up the drying process. The faster you move your finger on the screen, the thicker a stroke you make; you can make delicate lines by sliding your finger more slowly.
Unlike many other apps of this nature, Zen Magic offers a handful of ambient soundscapes to listen to in the background, with titles like "Ocean Whisper" and "Eastern Dream." The audio in Zen Magic is nothing astonishing, but it's pleasant and soothing.
Probably the most unique feature of Zen Magic is its three additional audio tracks, which offer vocal coaching of relaxation techniques. More than just "breathe in and picture clouds drifting past," these three tracks offer what sounded, to my novice ears, like a pretty legitimate guide for relaxation. And in this fast-paced world (the App Store is counting down to a billion apps sold, after all), I figure if Zen Magic is offering a little relaxation, it might not hurt to give it a shot.