Product: Finch Self-Care Widget Pet
Producer: Finch Care Inc
Cost: Free with optional in-app purchases
Compatibility: iOS/Android Sub-Category: Multi-Use
Finch is advertised as a daily journal and habit tracker with a focus on self-care activities. The developers of Finch have gamified self-care by using a virtual bird to motivate users to complete daily goals. The user earns in-game currency and gains energy by completing various built-in tasks which help their bird grow, go on adventures, and even buy new outfits. The app offers journaling prompts, yoga and stretching routines, relaxing soundscapes, breathing exercises, ideas for daily goals, and a number of other related wellness features. This app is available on iOS and Android as a free download, with additional features accessible through a monthly subscription ($7.99).
- Finch has a smart prompting feature: different exercises will be suggested based on your mood check-in and the time of day;
- The free version of the app still offers excellent access to all app features, with the subscription version simply expanding the range of choice available to the user;
- Visual symbols are paired with written text making it easier for users with low literacy levels to navigate within the app;
- Highly personalizable for both the motivational gamified aspects as well as the range of activities available for the user.
- Difficult to hide features for users who may be overwhelmed by the number choices available on the screen at one time;
- For those motivated to use the app based on the gamified features only, progress can be too slow as their bird ‘grows’ and may not support long term use;
- Initial set-up can take significant time as the user must manually enter their daily routines (known as journeys); though there are goal prompts included to make this process easier;
- Though possible to use at varying literacy levels, many of the activities have written instructions that would not be suitable for early language learners.
Ease of Use: Simple Instructions Helpful ★★★☆☆
Adaptability: Complete User Control ★★★★★
Accessibility: Broad Range of Users Served ★★★★☆
Cost vs. Value: Free ★★★★★
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Finch is a unique take on self care. The developers have avoided many of the pitfalls of similar gamified habit trackers by having in-game currency only earnable through completing tasks (rather than available for purchase) and using a virtual friend that develops its unique personality based directly off of user input – making no 2 finches the same. Finch Care Inc is dedicated to keeping Finch free and accessible to its users, and recently introduced a guardian program through which paid subscription users can donate a monthly subscription to other users who may not be able to afford it. It is absolutely not necessary to have a subscription to use the app, but there are a number of bonus features available for users who do choose to purchase a subscription. The number of features included with Finch are what makes it stand out as an all-in-one wellness app, but this also acts as a potential barrier for users with differing ability levels.