A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
DONUT DOG: FEED YOUR FOCUS! is an adorable way for kids to track how long they are able to focus on a task. Much like other timers, kids set it and go about an activity, stopping the timer when they're done. While they're focusing, they earn donuts, which they can use to feed their in-app dog, aptly named Focus. There are all different kinds of donuts kids can collect, so part of the fun is in seeing which donuts appeared while you were working. Kids can also earn coins. They use these to buy machines that can enhance donut production, upgrade their donut recipes, and/or unlock certain goals and challenges. Kids can assign their focus time to a variety of activities, such as work, sports, play, and social. Adding custom categories requires a premium account. There are statistics that track how kids have been spending their time, how much they've focused, and how long of a daily streak they've maintained.
Is it any good?
There's something fun about collecting donuts to feed to a virtual dog, especially in the name of enhanced productivity, but it may not be the best model for some. If you have a collect-all-the-items mentality, Donut Dog: Feed Your Focus certainly makes you want to stay focused. But there are two flaws that tend to impact this sort of gamified productivity experience, and Donut Dog: Feed Your Focus falls prey to both. The first is that they are easy to cheat. Turn on the time, set your device aside, and do whatever you want. Watch TV, ride a bike, take a nap. All it forces you to do is put down the device it's installed on. The second, and perhaps more challenging, is that the app is itself a distraction. To its credit, it seems to take forever to earn just one donut (in reality, it's 10 minutes), but once you've earned the donuts, you are prompted to share the news with friends and then you'll want to feed the donuts to your dog. If you've earned coins, you'll want to browse around to see where can spend them. And while doing that, you'll probably want to look over the goals, streaks, and challenges to see what you might be working toward. You have to be extremely motivated by virtual donuts to counteract the time spent playing around on the app. Donut Dog: Feed Your Focus is also missing a general help or tutorial, especially for the Donut Store, which houses all sorts of things to earn an unlock. In the end, this one is cute, but whether it enhances productivity is up for debate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of staying focused for certain tasks using Donut Dog: Feed your focus! or other methods. What are some examples of activities that require focus? What are some techniques you can use to help you stay focused? Does a focus timer like this one help you or distract you? Why?
Discuss in-app purchases and how/if kids can request purchases from an adult. What are the family rules?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Self-Direction: goal-setting, time management, working efficiently
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (optional in-app purchases and subscription for more features)
- Release date: May 19, 2019
- Category: Productivity
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice
- Size: 38.90 MB
- Publisher: Fancy Ventures UG (haftungsbeschraenkt)
- Version: 2.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
- Last updated: July 22, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love time-management and staying focused
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.