App that keeps people from 'phone snubbing' by holding apple trees to ransom wins thousands of dollars for students

Singaporean students' project becomes one of a number of successful tree-threatening apps

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 19 November 2014 11:28 GMT
The app keeps people from using their phone by growing apples while they keep them together
The app keeps people from using their phone by growing apples while they keep them together

A team of Singaporean students has won thousands of dollars for an app that keeps people off their phones by letting them grow fruit instead.

The app, similar to other productivity tools already on the market, is designed to keep people from using their phones by letting them grow virtual apples instead.

The team, which won around £15,000 in the national Splash Awards competition with its ‘Apple Tree’ app, designed the app as part of a brief based around ‘bringing Singaporeans closer together’. The competition was established to celebrate the country’s 50th birthday.

When users put two or more phones together that have the app installed, apples start to grow on the trees. If the phones are used, the apples stop growing.

The apples can then be harvested and swapped for rewards such as discounts at shops, reports Channel News Asia.

The app will be released to Singaporeans next year, for free.

The app is similar to the already-released Forest, which also holds trees hostage to encourage users to stop ‘phubbing’, or phone snubbing. The app doesn’t have the same social element but grows a new tree every 30 minutes, if users keep the app open. Those trees then live in a virtual forest, where users can see all of the trees they’ve grown with their time.

Forest offers statistics on how many trees users have grown and killed

Forest, which is available on iOS and Android, offers statistics and kills trees if users exit the app prematurely.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in