Focus@will is striving to carve a niche for itself in the music-streaming realm with one key differentiator – it wants to help you concentrate.
We first covered Focus@will back in February, while it was in open beta and available to US-users only. It has since quietly gone global too, opening its Web app internationally with the promise of mobile apps to come. Indeed, today sees the first of its mobile apps hit Google Play, with a version for iOS due out in a couple of weeks.
Just to recap briefly how the service works, Focus@will is aimed at those looking to improve their concentration and information-retention when working, studying, writing or reading. It doesn’t offer any search features, or anything else beyond a drop-down menu for genres, a play button, skip button and volume control.
You can choose from Classical, Focus Spa, Up Tempo, Alpha Chill, Acoustical, Jazz, Cinematic or Ambient. And all the music on offer is instrumental only, which is an obvious step to take given that lyric-based music can be distracting when trying to work.
Focus@will goes mobile and freemium
In addition to the Android app, Focus@will is now chasing users’ money with a new subscription-based model, offering premium features, such as a productivity tracker that serves up weekly charts on individual progress, as well as tips for how to stay productive.
New sign-ups can access the premium features for free for the first three weeks, then opt to pay for the subscription service or use a time-restricted 100-minute interval. You can upgrade either through the Web app, or through the mobile app.
In terms of costs, well, it’ll set you back $3.99 a month, or $34.99 a year for full access. By way of comparison, Spotify Premium costs $9.99 a month, which gives users access to the mobile apps and, of course, much more music. Whether Focus@will’s curated playlists take off remains to be seen, though it’s difficult to see anyone paying for this in addition to another service, such as Spotify or Rdio.
As for the Android app, it should work on any device equipped with Android 4.1 and above, and as soon as you launch it, you’re pretty much good to go.
It offers a pretty simple, non-cluttered interface that lets you play or stop music, and choose from a list of genres, as well as set a customizable timer that defines session durations.
“Our ultimate goal is to make it increasingly easy for ‘focusers’ everywhere to improve their attention span and identify ways to optimize concentration and productivity,” says founder and CEO Will Henshall. “We are excited to complete the international roll-out of our revolutionary subscription service and give people even more options to ‘focus at will’ with a presence on Android.”
Focus@will offers curated playlists of calming music, but I’m not entirely sure I’d use this over, say, Spotify, where I can create my own playlists of musical mind-sharpeners. At any rate, it is a nice idea and it will be interesting to see what kind of traction this gets now that it’s mobile and open to the global masses.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock