I've been looking recently at meditation apps, and have been struck by a few things.
First of all, there are a LOT of them, many more than I expected. In the iTunes store you can find pages and pages of them.
Second, it's clear that the cost of developing them can be pretty low compared to some other kinds of software. The barriers to entry for producers is consequently pretty low.
Third, apps bring down the financial and logistical cost of experimenting with meditation practices. For the cost of a book, I can buy three or four different apps, each offering a different approach to meditation, and none of the requiring much of my time.
I was recently talking to Rohan Guntillake, creator of the excellent app Buddhify, and he pointed out that going to "a class at 6 pm for 8 weeks is a high investment, and it's not practical for many people." When he asked himself, "Can you lower the barrier?" he started thinking seriously about mobile apps, both because they're an existing platform, but also because they're present where people are most likely to need calm, or have a moment to practice. As he explains,
The thing that makes it [Buddhify] really work is that it's specifically for when you already listen to your headphones. The behavior change is very small. it's easier to get you to listen to Buddhify than Justin Bieber, than to get you to go to a class with incense and all that. It minimizes the behavior change on the user.
Update: I should add that I'm working on a magazine article on calming technologies, Zenware, and mediation apps, hence my interest. Watch this space for updates!