One "killer app" missing for many on Windows Phone, despite some solid alternatives, is Pandora internet radio. We still see no reason that Pandora won't release an official app now that Mango is around the corner and supports background play--so we won't be surprised if something shows up soon.
However, in the meantime for you die-hard folks out there who are already on Mango (estimate via "I'm a WP7" is nearly 20% of Windows Phone users): you can now browse to Pandora.com via IE9 and stream that way. See, the whole website was redesigned and relaunched today and HTML5 is their new standard. Our browser supports HTML5 and background audio play, so match made in heaven. New Pandora site includes:
- New Look and Feel: A new centralized content area accentuates each ad execution by increasing the space and immersing the user via an integrated skin for campaigns. Additionally, the modern page design scales to provide more creative possibilities for advertisers with additional ad formats.
- Additional Screen Real Estate: Ads are seamlessly integrated across the entire site while listeners explore music and artist content and engage in robust social experiences, such as interacting with self and friend profiles and feeds.
- Simplified Cross Platform Execution: Smooth platform parity between web and mobile, making it easier to execute cross-platform audio and visual ad campaigns.
- Bigger Videos: Video ads have been upgraded to a larger, full-screen video overlay, prominently showcasing advertisers' videos.
- Enhanced Social Features: New opportunities for advertisers to connect with listeners as they share and engage with others in the Pandora community and their social networks.
As we said, match made in heaven, right? Well, not quite. While it certainly does work, it's still a bit slow--you'll have that "delay" between pressing a button and the response, which can last a few seconds (leaving you unsure if the button press even registered). We also had some issues with our volume being very low (had to jack it up to 30 and even then was barely audible). Still, that could be hiccups on our end, our device, the network or just some early kinks--others seem to be having more success. The important note here is, technically speaking, you can stream Pandora via IE9 as advertised.
Source: PRNewsWire; Thanks, @burnethanol, Lerimer S. and Damian M., for the heads up!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.