Creating a Flutter Meditation App like Calm for iOS and Android

Ivan, CEO at Krootl
February 2, 2024

In our busy lives, when things get overwhelming, practices like mindfulness and meditation help us to find peace and reduce the level of anxiety. Especially in recent tough times, they've proven to be real lifesavers.

Statista predicts that the meditation apps market will increase by about 8.49% each year reaching an estimated market size of $7.08 billion by 2028. This significant growth shows that the meditation app market is appealing in the tech industry.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at how meditation apps are made, exploring common features and the vital role of selecting the right tech stack.

We'll discuss those development peculiarities, highlighting why Flutter stands out as an excellent cross-platform development solution for creating apps with broad appeal like Calm.

Types of meditation apps

The demand for mindfulness and meditation apps is on the rise as users seek a holistic lifestyle. Increasing work-life stress and a multitude of personal and social obligations impacting energy levels and sleep have contributed to the increasing interest in meditation practices.

While there have been over 2,500 meditation apps introduced since 2015, each has its unique appeal to consumers. For instance, Calm boasts star-studded content, while Headspace emphasizes its commitment to health. Some apps are expanding beyond pure meditation, evolving into broader health and wellness brands. According to Headspace CEO CeCe Morken, the primary goal is to improve people's health, with mindfulness serving as the means to achieve this objective.

In 2023, the meditation app market showcases a competitive landscape, with Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer emerging as the top contenders (Statista).

Meditation apps offer a range of techniques, including mindfulness, loving-kindness, body scan, and breathing exercises. Additional features like soothing sounds, ambient music, and visual cues are often included to enhance relaxation and focus.

Types of Meditation Apps

Exploring Meditation Apps like Calm

Calm, a standout in the world of meditation apps, provides various features, including guided meditation sessions and sleep stories.

Investing in a Calm-like meditation app might be a promising opportunity. Here are some key stats numbers:

The Calm app offers 16 free meditation and breathing exercises, including a 7-day beginner's program. It features calming nature sounds like rain and a mountain lake, perfect for relaxation in noisy environments. Free 21-day programs concentrate on stress management and anxiety calming, with durations ranging from 3 to 30 minutes.

While more comprehensive programs require a subscription ($60 per year), they cover valuable topics like improving sleep, overcoming stress eating, enhancing self-relationships, and more.

Below, we've outlined essential features found in popular meditation apps, including Calm, that users typically seek. Incorporating these features into your mindfulness app can enhance user engagement and encourage long-term retention:

Popular features of meditation apps

Profile Creation

Users can create profiles to store and view personal information and activities.

Introductory Tutorials

Offer concise and visually appealing onboarding tutorials for beginners and highlight basics of meditation with step-by-step guidance.

Masterclasses

Provide exclusive classes from renowned mindfulness experts globally.

Meditation Library

Offer a vast library with categorized meditation sessions. Includes details like duration, category, and session content for user expectations.

Sleep Stories

Allow users to select relaxing stories to aid in a good night's sleep.

Personal Statistics

Enable users to track their daily meditation progress.  Integration with wearables allows displaying stats from smartwatches and fitness trackers, showcasing improvements in sleep quality over time.

Reminders

Send reminders for stress-free living, mindfulness practice, and sleep.

Chat Support

Implement chat support, possibly through a chatbot, for user inquiries.

Discovery Screen

Present meditation sessions, updates, and popular programs. Ensure a variety of materials in different categories.

Stories

Allow users to share their meditation success stories. Encourage sharing experiences of overcoming challenges or improving life.


For instance, we developed a custom meditation and self-healing app, Whole Body Prayer (WBP), based on the unique methodology of Yan Ming Li, a spiritual guru and global movement leader.  The application includes all the classical Meditation App features like customizable meditation sessions, relaxation technique guides, journaling, and emotion tracking.  To guide the user and enhance the app user experience the app also includes mindfulness-centered content with articles, audio, and video. This content is not generic — the WBP is built around a unique technique of self-healing described in our client’s publications.

Meditation app

Besides this the WBP app introduces distinctive elements, including a personalized timer, emotional index, and an individualized scoring formula. These unique features not only distinguish the app but also amplify its effectiveness.

For more information check out our detailed WBP meditation app case study.

Monetization Strategies for Free Meditation Apps

While offering free access to basic features, you need a sustainable monetization strategy for a meditation app. A popular and effective model is the subscription-based approach. This model allows users to access basic features for free, while more advanced features, such as exclusive meditation sessions, advanced tracking, and personalized content, are locked behind a subscription paywall.

Subscriptions in meditation apps

The key to a successful subscription model is to strike a balance between free and premium offerings. The free version should offer enough value to engage and attract users, while the premium version should provide significant additional value to justify the subscription cost. This approach not only generates a steady revenue stream but also builds a loyal user base that sees value in investing in their mental well-being.

Let's briefly examine some popular monetization models:

Meditation app monetization strategy

Each model presents unique opportunities for revenue generation, allowing app developers to tailor their approach based on their target audience and business goals.

Building your Meditation App

Let's explore the essential steps for successfully implementing a mindfulness project:

Define Your Vision

Understand Your Audience

Choose Monetization Model

Design User-Friendly Interface

Develop

Test Rigorously

Launch and Gather Feedback

Market Strategically

Continuously Improve

How to develop a meditation app

Utilize the best  UI/UX Practices for your Meditation app's success

In a meditation app, users seek relaxation and reflection, making both usability and aesthetics the key. This could be achieved through smooth animations, intuitive navigation, and custom graphics on meditation and content screens. Below is a list of the key UI/UX design considerations for an app like Calm.

Aesthetic and Vibes

Minimal App Design

Push Notifications

Ease of Search

Localization

Customizable settings are also crucial, allowing users to tailor the app to their personal preferences, whether it's choosing a meditation background or setting reminder tones.

The key is to create an app that doesn't just function well but also resonates emotionally with the users. It should be an inviting space that users look forward to returning to for their daily meditation practice.

Choose the right tech Stack

There are dozens of tech tools that allow you to build an app. However picking a right one might be a tricky. Based on our experience, we suggest Flutter as a core technology choice.
Mainly, Flutter is a great choice because of its cross platform capabilities and its ability to deliver a beautiful, responsive interfaces.

Flutter is designed for building applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. As meditation and mindfulness apps aim for a broad audience, its ability to deploy apps on both iOS and Android platforms decreases development costs and delivery time, relieving budgets for marketing and application promotion.

Flutter is not just about efficiency it's about consistency and quality. One of its features is widget-based architecture. Widgets are the building blocks of a Flutter app, providing a high level of customization and flexibility. At this point, there are widgets for every situation, so creating new screens and features is as straightforward as possible.

Explore our concise guide on why Flutter stands out as the perfect choice for app development.

Launching and Marketing the App

Launching a Flutter meditation app on both iOS and Android platforms requires a strategic approach. After thorough testing, adding analytics and polishing the app, the next crucial steps are its launch and marketing. Effective app marketing starts with app store optimization (ASO), ensuring that the app ranks well in app store searches. This includes optimizing the app’s title, description, and keywords, and using compelling screenshots and videos.

Social media promotion is another powerful tool. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer the perfect stage to engage with potential users, share content related to mindfulness and mental health, and build a community around the app.

Lastly, consider outreach strategies such as influencer partnerships, press releases, and content marketing. These tactics can significantly boost visibility and attract a broader audience.

Conclusion

The meditation app market, with its focus on mental health and self-care, offers vast opportunities for developers to make a positive impact and earn a profit. Free meditation apps, especially those offering a subscription-based model, provide a valuable service. They make mental health resources accessible while also allowing for a sustainable business model.

Flutter offers a powerful technological backbone for such apps, allowing the business to focus on promotion, marketing and new features.


Ready to develop your own meditation app?

Reach out today! We will help you plan, build, and implement a meditation app tailored to your needs.

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