Developer: Brainpower Labs LLC
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Accompanied by relaxing music, watching iBonsai is like watching a Japanese painting get created in fast motion on your iPhone screen. No two trees are alike. Unlike the apps Bonsai and Bonsai Tree, with iBonsai you neither need to water nor prune your trees to ensure healthiness.
iBonsai has been compared to Koi Pond, but I did not find the experience as tranquil. After a few minutes I got bored and turned iBonsai off. With the auto re-growth setting turned on, I think iBonsai would make a great screensaver for the computer. Unfortunately, my iPhone battery does not last long enough to permit using a screensaver-like app unless I am plugged into a dock.
Don’t get me wrong; iBonsai makes some beautiful bonsai trees. Occasionally it also makes a creepy looking bonsai tree or one with no leaves that looks dead. Under your iPhone’s settings, you can open iBonsai’s settings and adjust how crookedly the trees will grow, the trees' rate of growth and whether or not you want the music on. You can also turn off the gravity view for iBonsai, which makes the bonsai tree rotate, bob up and down and wiggle around as you move the phone. With iBonsai’s gravity view turned off, you can get this same effect by dragging your finger on the iPhone screen.
iBonsai has a shaping tool if you want to alter the initial direction of the growth of the trunk. The gravity/3D effect allows you to shape the bonsai tree from different angles.
While iBonsai is unique and relaxing, you will need to decide for yourself if your love of bonsai trees and Japanese art makes this a worthwhile app. I plan to stick with watching koi.