Pandora for Windows Phone 8 is now available and we go hands on
Pandora music has always been one of those apps that served as a metric for mobile platforms: so long as Windows Phone did not have it, it was behind. Luckily, last October Microsoft finally announced that indeed Pandora was coming to Windows Phone 8 in “early 2013” and a few weeks ago we had hints it was near.
Well, that day is today.
Yes, the official Pandora app for Windows Phone 8 can be downloaded from the Store and is now available in the US, Australia and New Zealand. What’s more, Microsoft carried through on their promise of an ad-free experience throughout the year. Indeed users won’t have to pay a dime to experience the premium Pandora experience on their Windows Phone.
In addition, the Windows Phone 8 Pandora app features some unique trimmings on it, including:Live Tiles (double wide, flip to reveal artist info) and Kid's Corner support. That latter feature will enable the explicit language filter automatically if the app is accessed via Microsoft's child controls on Windows Phone 8. Clever.
We’ve had an early chance to play with the app extensively and we’re impressed. It’s fast, smooth and the Live Tiles work perfectly. Having access to that amount of music (and entertainment like comedy) on our Windows Phone is quite fantastic, especially since the audio fidelity is quite high. Nothing in the app feels “ported” or rushed but rather built from the ground up for Windows Phone 8.
From doublewide Tiles that flip to reveal artist and track info, to the ability to pin numerous stations to your Start screen, the Windows Phone 8 Pandora app has it. If a track is playing that you want to purchase, simply head into the Xbox Music Store with one-click to buy. Equally, the app integrates with the social API on Windows Phone, meaning you can share the track you are listening to with ease to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or share the station with your contacts directly.
Watch our video hands on with the app to see Pandora in action, or just head here to the Windows Phone Store to get it now. Full press release below. [Note: links may take awhile to go "live" but it should happen soon enough].
Windows Phone 8 only, 512MB of RAM, region restricted.
Pandora Extends Mobile Reach with Windows Phone
Microsoft to offer Windows Phone 8 customers ad-free personalized radio through 2013
OAKLAND, Calif., March 21, 2013 (8:30 a.m. EST) – Pandora (NYSE: P), the leading internet radio service, today announced the availability of its popular mobile app on the Windows Phone platform, extending the company’s leadership position as one of the top apps across all connected devices.
Through more than 1,000 integrations including smartphones and consumer electronics devices, Pandora continues to be an industry leader in mobile and device usage. More than 140 million registered users have accessed Pandora via a smartphone or tablet and more than 75 percent of Pandora's listening occurs on a mobile or other connected device.
Pandora listeners on Windows Phone 8 will enjoy ad-free personalized radio at no cost, courtesy of Microsoft, through the 2013 calendar year in addition to features unique to the platform, including Live Tiles and Kid’s Corner:
- Live Tiles make the Windows Phone experience highly personalized, allowing people to easily access the features and apps where they spend most of their time. Pandora listeners can pin their favorite personalized radio stations right to the Start screen of their phone to see what’s currently playing at a glance and for easy access to stations recently played without having to launch the app.
- Kid’s Corner offers a worry free way for Windows Phone customers to share their smartphone with the entire family. Launching Pandora in Kid’s Corner will automatically activate the explicit content filter for instant kid-friendly listening.
The extraordinary embrace of personalized radio on smartphones has enabled Pandora to reach massive scale in mobile listening and over 1 in 3 smartphone users in the US have listened to Pandora in the past month.
Pandora Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joe Kennedy said, “Pandora has reached a level of ubiquity that allows music fans to tune-in to the best internet radio anytime, anywhere and we are thrilled to bring the experience to even more mobile listeners through the highly personalized platform that Microsoft has created with Windows Phone.”
“Pandora pioneered the personal music experience with individualized stations and it’s a perfect match for Windows Phone, the first truly personal smartphone experience with unique features like Live Tiles and Kids Corner,” said Joe Belfiore, VP, Windows Phone Division, Microsoft Corp. “Pandora for Windows Phone takes advantage of these features and more to deliver a free personalized music experience exclusive to the platform,” he continued.
Starting today, listeners in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand can download Pandora for Windows Phone 8 from Windows Phone Store at www.windowsphone.com/pandora. More details, including a video are available via the Microsoft Windows Phone News Room at www.windowsphone.com/blog.
Pandora (NYSE: P) gives people music and comedy they love anytime, anywhere, through connected devices. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single "seed" - a favorite artist, song, or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply detailed hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization of Pandora® internet radio by using musicological "DNA" and constant listener feedback to craft personalized stations from a growing collection of more than one million tracks. Tens of millions of people turn on Pandora every month to hear music they love. www.pandora.com