Review of Pandora App for Google Android Phones

Pandora finally comes to Google Android based phones.
The Google Android based phones have been called the iPhone killer for a number of reasons. One of these reasons is the Google Marketplace where thousands of Apps are available for phones running the Android OS such as the T-mobile G1 and the T-Mobile MyTouch with Google. The majority of these Apps for Android are free to download and use.

Pandora is a website that allows users to create custom “radio” stations based on their favorite bands and genres of music. For example I created a separate station for each genre of music I like such as a station for “Metal” and a station for “Electronic.” I then entered a few names of bands within those genres and Pandora generates an endless streaming playlist of music that is similar to those bands.

Pandora allows users to vote down music they don’t like so it won’t play again and vote up music that they enjoy. Pandora’s software uses a number of factors to determine what music to play based on the bands or artists entered by the user. A nice feature of Pandora is that it exposes users to new bands and artists similar to those that they already like.

For smartphones, Pandora has been available for the Apple iPhone as well as the Blackberry and Palm Pre for quite some time. Android users waited months after an initial announcement for the Pandora Mobile App to come to Android phones.

So was it worth the wait?

Pandora for Google Android phones is free to download and use from the Marketplace. The program automatically imports a user’s custom stations and settings from their online Pandora account (they offer free and low cost accounts) or allows users to create an account right on the phone.

The layout is nice and the most used options sit at the bottom of the screen such as vote up or down, access to one’s stations, a “next” button, and a “play/pause” button. Pressing the phone’s Menu button brings up the Preference menu, and an option to buy the current song for download. The built in ads aren’t as much of an interruption on the mobile Pandora as on the full web version which is a welcome feature.

The Now Playing screen features the song’s album artwork as well as band name and song name. Pressing the Info “i” at the top right allows you to view a biography about the band being played.

The controls are intuitive and easy to use and the audio quality is surprisingly good. Under Preferences the quality can be adjusted to High Quality but based on network availability the streaming music may skip or buffer more.

One feature I’d like to see on the Pandora mobile app is the ability to add new artists to an existing station directly from the phone. As of September 2009 this option does not appear available. However you can create new stations and quick mixes within the phone.

Overall this is a killer app for Google Android phones and with a free version available it is worth a try. Personally I find the Pandora app far superior to IMEEM’s mobile music player, Pandora’s algorithm for determining similar music is just better than IMEEM, audio quality seems better, and the program crashes less frequently than IMEEM.

This is a must have app for music lovers.