Zazen Meditation Timer – Frequently asked Questions

This FAQ targets the Version 26 (from this version on you will see the current Version you are using in the „About…“ Screen – so if you don’t see a version there, you have an older one 😉

Why does muting now require a Permission?

The newer Android Versions do not allow an App to go into the „Do not Disturb“ mode without the user explicitly allowing this. The App checks if this permission is present and if not, tries to open the corresponding Setting where you can allow the muting.

Muting or restoring Volume after muting does not work correctly

Getting muting work reliable was a very tough task that took me a few days alone to get it working for the Android Versions available to me. Sadly, I can’t guarantee that muting works on all devices, because there are far too many out there and there are lots of different behaviours I do not know of.

My current findings for the versions I have are as follows:

Android Version Do-not-Disturb Vibration Mode Comments
4.4 (API19 – Kitkat) Working Working
5.0 (API21 – Lollipop) Working Working
5.1 (API22 – Lollipop MR1) Working Working
6.0 (API23 – Marschmallow) Working Working
7.0 (API24 – Nougat) Working – but Apps configured for „priority mode“ will still play their sounds Not available – same as „Do-not-disturb“ Vibration mode does not seem to exist anymore
7.1.1 (API25 – Nougat) Working – but Apps configured for „priority mode“ will still play their sounds Not available – same as „Do-not-disturb“ Vibration mode does not seem to exist anymore

The App crashes when it tries to mute my Phone

Sadly, some Phones (LG at most) seem to not have this Settings page correctly implemented. You can set this permission manually though. Here is the way to do this:

Manually allowing do do-not-disturb Access
Manually allowing do do-not-disturb Access

Why is the permission for accessing the external Storage required?

This permission is necessary for backing up your sessions, a long requested feature. To make the backup file survive a deinstall, I need to write this to the external storage location. This is not necessarily the SD-Card – many phone just use a separate folder on the phone itself for this, but the backup is still not removed when the App is uninstalled.

How do I access the Backup File? Where is it?

When you connect your Phone via USB, you will find a previously created backup file in folder zazentimer/

How do I restore from a Backup File?

Place the backup file into the zazentimer/ on your Phone’s internal storage or on your SD card (you may have to test which storage will work) and start the restore from the Settings in the App. This will replace all your existing sessions with the ones in the backup.

Why a new version? The old one was better…

The former version was very, very old and I got more and more errors from newer Android Devices, because the App did not handle the many changes made to the Android OS. Also, the appearance was very ugly and I wanted to make a state-of-the-art version and introduce a better user experience. The new code is much cleaner and easier to maintain, so new features can be added without breaking everything again, too.

What audio channel should I choose? Alarm or Music channel?

Use Alarm Channel if:

  • you are listening to Music with your Phone while meditating
  • you don’t need to hear the Bell Sounds via Earphones

Use Music Channel if:

  • you need to hear the Bell Sounds via Earphones

when Bell Sounds are played and the volume needs to be changed to match the volume you defined for bells, the music will be affected, too.

There are too few muting options

I implemented all muting options that are technically possible on Android. Notifications and Phone-Ring are tied together, so its not possible to en- or disable these independently.

Vibration only not possible on Android 7 (Nougat)

Android 7 (Nougat) seems not have the settings „vibrate only“ anymore. Even when I tried manually in the Sound settings I could only choose between audible alarms and the do-not-disturb Setting.




  1. Andrea F says:

    The app does not take the phone out of Do Not Disturb when the sessiom ends, including keeping alarms muted. This has caused me problems when I didn’t know my alarms were muted by the app the previous day and my phone failed to wake me up the following morning.

    • Stefan says:

      Sorry to hear that, but due to the vast amount of devices out there I can’t guarantee this is working for every device – they all behave a bit differently. I tried to make it work for most cases, though.

      • Tilman says:

        The same happened to me this morning (nexus 5x) , so I had to do a shorter meditation session to be in time 🙂
        But thank you for this great app, I use it already for many years.
        Kind regards

    • Artur says:

      I have the same problem. I have to turn on the voice manually after the session is finished. The old version worked perfectly for me. Is it possible to get it back? 😉 The new one looks nicer but the old one was practical because it worked without problem. I use samsung galaxy s6.
      Nevertheless, the app is great and thank you for it.

      • Stefan says:

        The old version used lots of things Google deprecated and intend to remove soon, so the App would have stopped working with some Android Version. I currently use the official documented way by Google to do things, but sadly these do not work reliably, possibly due to the many different manufacturer modifications out there. I’m still thinking about ways to make it work everywhere, so please bear with me 🙂

  2. Eberhardt Leitz says:

    Ich habe ein Galaxy S4 mit der Anroid-Version 5.0.1. Damit funktioniert die RĂŒckstellung der LautstĂ€rke des Klingeltons dann nicht, wenn ich vor dem Aufruf des Meditation Timers das Smartphone schon mit der Schnelleinstellung auf lautlos gestellt habe. Schalte ich dann, nach dem Beenden des Meditations Timers, das Smartphone wieder auf nicht lautlos, wird der Klingelton nicht wieder auf den ursprĂŒnglichen Wert gestellt, sondern auf einen festen niedrigen Wert, ca. 10 Prozent. Die LautstĂ€rken von Medien, Benachrichtigungen und System werden richtig zurĂŒckgestellt. Trotzdem ist es ein guter Meditations Timer, den ich halt jetzt ohne die Stummschaltfunktion benutze.

    • Stefan says:

      Dieses Verhalten habe ich auch festgestellt – 80% LautstĂ€rke; Stummschaltung an: 0%; Stummschaltung aus: 10% – das macht das Android-System so. In meiner App setze ich allerdings die LautstĂ€rke zurĂŒck auf den alten Wert. Es scheint jedoch so, dass Android nachdem ich die LautstĂ€rke zurĂŒckgestellt habe erst seine 10% einstellt, so dass er meine Änderungen damit wieder zurĂŒcknimmt.

    • Stefan says:

      This is something I’d really like to have working everywhere – but currently I don’t own any device that shows this problem so all I can do is guessing what might be happening. I hope I can somehow fix this soon.

  3. Roberta Kurland says:

    My app does not restore volume and i did not know this, thereby missing calls and messages. Now that i know, i will gurn it on myself. Please 5 us know when this resolves. I realize its a free app . Its nice to have . Thank you.

  4. JPE says:

    In meiner Bewertung im PlayStore habe ich mich sehr zufrieden ĂŒber diese App geĂ€ußert, insbesondere die Anwendung.
    Jetzt geht es mir mehr um die KlÀnge.
    Wissen sie welche Frequenzen die einzelnen Klangschalen haben?
    Dies zu wissen wĂŒrde die Meditation im ganzen noch mehr abrunden.
    Vielen Dank im voraus
    Weiterhin den gewĂŒnschten Erfolg im Jahre 2017

    • Stefan says:

      Laut Audacity hat die japanische Rhinbowl 97mm Peaks bei 700Hz, 1886Hz, 3508Hz, 5356Hz, 7443Hz, 9731Hz und 12367Hz. Die LautstĂ€rke wird bei wachsender Frequenz immer kleiner. Sind das die Infos die Sie suchen? Dann könnte ich das fĂŒr die anderen Töne auch eben heraussuchen.

    • AimĂ©e Granados says:

      Hello, i had the same problem , it didnÂŽt sound when it was supposed to ring. I did something that hope can help some. I have android 5.1 in a swissmobility. I changed the sound settings, just to allow priority alarms when it is in mute. And when i started the session i just have to manually set it in priority. When the session ends I didn’t have any problems.

  5. Nicolas says:

    Auf meinem Android 5.0.2 One Touch Idol 3 ebenfalls nicht zurĂŒck gestellte LautstĂ€rke des Wecktons.

    Workaround: in den Einstellungen des Zazen Timer im Menu „Stummschaltung“ nur „Völlige Stille“ aktivieren. Als Audiokanal habe ich „Musik“ gesetzt.

    Mein GerĂ€t schaltet im „Völlige Stille“ Modus den Weckton mit aus (ganz unabhĂ€ngig vom Zazen Timer).

    Mit der neuen App Version empfinde ich den Sitzungseditor recht unhandlich. Die Gongs sind dafĂŒr aber super und die sonstige Handhabung wunderbar. Danke fĂŒr die gute Arbeit!

    • Stefan says:

      Die App hat eine Backup/Restore Funktion – und diese legt die Daten außerhalb der App ab, damit diese auf ein anderes GerĂ€t ĂŒbertragen werden können und beim Deinstalliern der App nicht automatisch gelöscht werden. Android unterscheidet da aber nicht – alles was außerhalb der App Daten ablegen möchte braucht daher dieses Recht.
      Die App interessiert sich nicht im geringsten fĂŒr irgendwelche anderen Daten. Versprochen!

  6. John Hageman says:

    Sometimes the initial bell hits multiple rapid times with increasing level on my Motorola Moto 3. The second and third bells are fine.
    It doesn’t seem to happen on the bells to end the session.
    I really like the new appearance and I’m grateful for your work.

  7. Alex says:

    I’m having an interesting bug. I cancel a meditation. I restart the meditation. The meditation cancels itself after a few seconds, exiting the countdown screen and returning to the start scren for the meditation. I’ve had a few meditation sessions where this has happened without me realizing it. And now it’s made me paranoid about keeping an eye on the timer.

    hd blue (r1 hd), android 6.0

  8. Daniel G says:

    Many thanks for this app, which I’m enjoying much more than my previous meditation timer! May I suggest an enhancement that would add a setting to select whether the confirmation message „Really stop the meditation?“ is displayed? Thanks again!

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