Forest is designed to help you focus and reduce phone usage. The app's USP is that it plants real trees – 198,972 trees so far! How does it work? Or, more importantly, does it actually work?
Tested by Melanie Gut, Content Manager, Content Factory
Once you've planted a tree in the app, if you don't use your phone for a selected period (minimum 10 minutes, maximum 120 minutes), your tree will continue to grow.
Ironically, it seemed that whenever I'd just planted a tree, I always felt the need to listen to music or enter a password. After the first day, my forest comprised mainly miserable-looking tree stumps.
If you stick to the rules you're rewarded with coins: a trifling 3 coins for 10 minutes. To activate another tree you need 500 coins. And to plant a real tree you need a whopping 2,500 coins. So it takes determination to achieve your goals. However, you can customise a white list that allows you to use specific apps while a tree grows. So you can still listen to music or search for information, for example.
The app is a fun game. However, as I usually have my phone in silent mode anyway I didn't really feel any great benefit. However, if you plant a tree instead of setting your phone to silent, you can collect a large number of coins. And once you've collected enough coins, you can plant real trees – and that's a great idea!
+ No distraction from incoming messages and notifications
+ Nice extra trees
+ Real trees planted if you keep going and collect coins
– User interface not very intuitive
– Very many coins needed to activate additional trees or plant a real tree
– The white list allows you to officially cheat