Android Central

Pandora has just released a much-welcomed update to its popular music app in the Google Play Store today. The update brings a completely refreshed and refined UI experience, that thankfully now follows Android 4.x guidelines, getting rid of the menu button and adding an overflow button on the right side of the top action bar. Behind the scenes, this update also adds the ability to review, rate and bookmark tracks in your song history and gives you access to full song lyrics and artist biographies.

Visually, the app looks great -- especially when considering how it looked before. Everything is smooth and works properly. As we noted, the legacy menu button is gone and replaced with a proper Android 4.x overflow button. There are several nice touches in the smoothness of the app when moving between windows and a very subtle feature that uses a sliver of the bottom of the app to show the track progress. Pandora has also done something slick with the volume control. Instead of simply overlaying the phone's volume slider, they take control of it and put their own slider at the bottom of the app even when using the hardware volume keys. It auto-shows and auto-hides when you're done switching. We're quite impressed with the progress Pandora has made here, and we hope more app developers can take note.

Check out a few screenshots of the refreshed UI after the break, then hit the Play Store link above to install it on your own device.

Android Central

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Reader comments

Pandora update brings new UI

21 Comments

Finally they updated the app to add a track progress indicator... I missed that from the Blackberry I ditched four years ago, ha.

If I had to guess, they want you to go into the app to see an advertisement when you go to skip a track. Maybe that's just me being a pessimist.

Just as an fyi regarding notification bar controls:

Pandora does honor the Play/Pause and FF/Skip options in the Power Bar that's available in just about every ICS and JB ROM out there.

-M

The widget is still a clumsy, unresizable 4x1 on the Nexus 7. At least it actually fills the 4 squares now, but it would be nice to shrink it.

I am glad they updated it...it ads some pretty nice thing. my favorite upgrade is the ability to go back in your track history and thumb up/down a track.

HOWEVER, i am not a fan of the UI. very Facebook/iphone like.
and they didn't add the 2 thing i think EVERY music app should have (and usually do) which are lockscreen controls and notification actions. they can even use the expanded JB notifications to add thumb up/down now i think.

See above responce re: notification menu controls.

Unfortunately, I can't test lock-screen functionality because corporate forces a PIN unlock, but as far as I can tell, you're right on that one.

-M

Thanks for the heads up on the in-app volume control. Been using the new version all morning and didn't realize it was there.

Been using it on my iPhone for a couple weeks now. I like the new features but man it's so ugly. I'm using a no ad and unlimited skip apk though so it doesn't really matter to me ATM.

The 3 small horizontal lines at the bottom can be used to "pull up" the bottom of the app and reveal the slider. It moves up automatically when you hit a volume key also.

Hence the reason I stoppped using Pandora. Now it looks like the Facebook App. Another update and still no lock screen controls?

Big shoutout to Songza lol

I like the new look and features pretty well, but I wonder if there were some other "under the hood" changes as well. What I mean is this: I stream Pandora on my way home from work every day on my Sprint Photon over 3G (no 4G available), and there are three spots where the stream stops, buffers to the next song, simply won't play. I've learned to deal with it, but it's still frustrating. Today, after the update, it streamed straight through with no buffering, skipping, etc. all the way home. Now I don't know if it's just coinciding with Sprint's improving of their towers in my area, or if there was something else "fixed" in Pandora with this update. Anyway, just thought I'd share.

I had the opposite experience. When I got my Galaxy SIII on Sprint, I was completely unable to stream Pandora over 3G for a while. Then, they did something and it started working. I upgraded to 1.7, and I can no longer stream over 3G.

New features aren't worth much if you can't stream music at all.

I hope you guys are getting kick backs from the artists when you advertise for them like this. Like the Iron Maiden ad you put up the other day.