Monday, July 9, 2012

Pandora updates its iOS app, but update has some users confused as where to find the new features

When is an update not really an update? When the update is for a universal app, but the update only effects one platform.

Pandora has issued just such an update this weekend and it has some users a little confused.
The update is pretty killer (or "sweet" if you prefer). Here is what the update adds or improves:

  • Visual refresh and design enhancements
  • Full lyrics for the songs we play
  • Artist biographies
  • Detailed track features from the Music Genome Project
  • Song history: rate, bookmark, or buy previously played tracks
  • Explicit lyrics controls
  • Start a new station directly from the Now Playing screen
  • Simplified sign-in and registration screens
  • Reduced battery usage
All good stuff. But the catch is that it applies only to the mobile side of the app – so only iPhone and iPod touch users will see the improvements.

This has led to some users complaining about not see lyrics, for instance, when they use Pandora on their iPad. Pandora, it should be noted, makes it pretty clear in the app description, but this is the danger of universal apps, I suppose.

Why Pandora didn't build in the lyrics feature, for instance, into the iPad version is a bit perplexing, but one has to assume iPad users will soon get lyrics, as well.

The Internet radio market is competitive, what with Spotify now in the U.S. market. Of course, the two companies have two different approaches – with different analysts predicting which company will succeed. In the meantime, however, Pandora will have to keep its customers happy by constantly improving its service and updating its apps.