BubbleSand ($0.99) by Zenout Studios is a Zen app that will help you wind down after a long day, or over stimulation on your iPad as well as seek inner-peace as you play with different colors of sand without all the mess.
When you open up BubbleSand, you will find 12 different circles, each one representing the time of day. They each have a different background scene for you to select to begin your creation. You can choose the corresponding time of they day, or just choose your favorite one. When you begin, sand will fall towards the bottom of your screen. This forms the base of your creation. From here, you can lay down more sand by using the many options available for you. There are several colors and textures to choose from and options to adjust the rate of sand flow. Create mountains of sand and mix them together by tilting your iPad. The screen rotates a full 360 degrees so you really have control over your sand painting. As you tilt and move the sand, you will create an entirely new picture. Be careful not to tilt your creation before you save it, otherwise you will lose all your work! The music is relaxing and the developer recommends listening with headphones. This really does help you focus as it drowns out any outside distractions so you can fully enjoy the experience.
Once your creation is complete, you can take a picture and save it in the gallery. If you use your device's buttons to take a screenshot, you will leave in the icons and instructions. But if you use the camera icon in the app, your image will be saved in your gallery without any other icons on the screen. When you open your sand creation from your gallery, the name of your picture will appear briefly and then disappear. At this point, you could take a screenshot from your device so it is saved in your Photos. From here you can email your picture, or use it in other features such as your wallpaper.
The 3D experience on this app is impressive, as the sand looks like it is flowing around the objects in the scene. However, I felt some of the scenes looked more realistic than others. Some of the darker edges on the sand tend to make it look a little unrealistic.
This app works on both the iPad and iPhone, so you will always have it with you to relax and ease your mind. An update will be coming soon to help optimize the use of BubbleSand on older iOS devices.
This app is not for everyone. If you are not really a “Zen” person, you may not find a lot of value in the features. However, if you enjoy the many other Zen applications in the iTunes market, this would be worth checking out. You will find endless possibilities in your creations, which will bring you back time and time again.