Pepper for Windows Phone receives massive update; now available in the US!

Pepper, the cross-platform music discovery service, has been available on Windows Phone and Windows 8 for some time, but the service itself has been restricted to just the UK. This is because the team behind Pepper are building more than just an ‘app’ – development time has been invested in creating services and tools for the live music industry, ensuring that the content provided is more detailed and accurate than standard event listing services. Folk in the US have been crying out for localised support and we've got some great news for you – Pepper is now available in not only the UK, but the US too.

Whether you're an avid music fan attending every local gig advertised or someone who enjoys discovering new talent with friends, Pepper is a service worth checking out. The Windows Phone app enables you to check out local venues in supported areas, seeing what's on the calendar, not to mention checking-in, sharing the experience and more. It's quite the companion for live music lovers.

So what exactly is included in this massive update? Clearly the largest addition to Pepper is the US support. But that's not all. Not only are we sharing the music service across the pond, there's now support for Live Tiles, options to manage local storage (to view how much data is stored on the phone and clear local files to make space), as well as integration with Windows Phone Battery Saver Mode (meaning less communications/GPS etc. when the battery is low). More on improvements and features later, let's get through the new US coverage.

Should you reside in the US, you're now able to not only download the app, but search a maximum of 200 kilometers when looking for nearby events. So that's all well and dandy for those who already have the app installed, but what about US coverage? The team has managed to pull off (with some help from the community) strong coverage in California, Massachusetts, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

That's not to say you won't be able to use Pepper in other states, but the listings will be more focused around touring artists, as opposed to local events. This will improve over time as more venues are supported with even more events populating the database. 

If the features above and added US support weren't enough, there are some fixes also included in

  • Artist & venues profiles download more events (if any exist) once at the bottom of the list (previously only showed first 20 events)
  • Search results and Favourites now show the venue images correctly
  • Venue images weren’t being shown in lists (such as search results)
  • Better testing for valid URLs in profile pages – used for artist/venue Facebook links etc.
  • Favourites – Venues & Promoters now have scroll bars when the list is long enough
  • Activity (both panorama & full page) – downloading items now shows the ‘strapline’ once downloaded.
  • Removed the text trimming from the query title of a search result – allows a few extra characters instead of cutting off a whole word
  • Bugs fixed when storing friend’s photo albums, and some synchronisation issues with the database
  • Improved memory management with the communications to Pepper servers
  • Adding an event to the phone’s calendar works again.
  • Viewing a photo also works again
  • More efficient search system, enhanced SoundCloud connectivity and integration with TicketLine (another UK ticket provider)

Living in the US? Download Pepper from the Windows Phone Store today for free (UK + US only – Windows Phone 7 support has been temporarily pulled) and get giggin'!

Be sure to also check out the companion Windows 8 app. If you wish to keep up-to-date with latest news, tours, events and happenings in the US, check out the Pepper Twitter account for the region.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.