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Pandora (for Android) - Pandora for Android pandora app droid

Pandora (for Android)

Editor Rating: Excellent (4.0)
  • Review
  • Comments
  • Specs
Pandora (for Android) - Pandora for Android
  • Pros

    Works almost as good as Pandora on the Web. Home screen widget. Good sound quality over Wi-Fi and 3G.
  • Cons

    Not connected with Pandora profile features. No genre stations. Streaming music burns battery.
  • Bottom Line

    Pandora for Android is the best Internet radio app for Android to date, and it keeps pace with Pandora for other mobile platforms.

Pandora sure took its sweet time releasing an app for the Android platform. It was released on the iPhone, BlackBerry, WebOS, and Windows Mobile operating systems before moseying on over to Android. But maybe that's a good thing, because the Internet radio app works just as well here as it does on the other platforms.

I tested the app on a T-Mobile G1 over EDGE, 3G, and Wi-Fi. For those of you who aren't familiar with Pandora, it's a free Web-based radio application that plays songs based on your musical tastes. Enter a song or artist you like, and Pandora creates a custom radio station of similar music. Through my experiences with Pandora on the Web and on mobile platforms, I believe it to be the most accurate music recommendation engine.

Keep in mind that you can only skip six tracks per hour per station. However, if you create a lot of stations, this limitation really shouldn't be a problem.

Interface
Pandora fans and newcomers alike won't have a hard time getting into Pandora for Android. The interface is extremely simple. If you don't have one already, you need to sign up for a Pandora account online. You'll stay logged in after the first time.

Pandora's main song playback screen displays good looking album artwork along with song, artist, and album info. From here, you can also give the song a thumb up, a thumb down, or skip it entirely. If you tap the "i" button in the top right-hand corner of the screen, you can read artist biographies or learn more about why Pandora chose the song you're listening to.

Tap the Menu button on your Android phone while on the main song playback screen, and five options come up: Bookmark, Buy, Share, Preferences, and Quit. Bookmark makes a note that you like the song. Buy lets you purchase the track from Amazon's MP3 store. Share lets you tell someone in your contacts list about what you're listening to, and Preferences lets you change the sound quality of the song.

Pandora runs in the background, so even when you leave the program to do something else, the music keeps playing. This makes it a step up from the iPhone, which can't run non-Apple programs in the background. I browsed the Web and played games while listening to Pandora without a hitch. The app stops streaming when you receive a phone call, and resumes when your call is finished.

As for Android-specific features, Pandora lets you install an Android home screen widget that lets you control or skip a song without opening the full application. You can also install a "My Playlists" live folder on the home screen that gives you instant access to your custom playlists. Both of these features don't dramatically change the Pandora experience, but they let you get to Pandora more quickly. In theory, you could just use the home screen widget and never even open the entire app, and you'd still get a lot of use out of it.

Sound Quality
I was pleased with Pandora's sound quality over 3G and Wi-Fi. The music quality in kilobits per second varies based on the quality of the connection. On Wi-Fi and 3G, it's near 128 kbps, but when it's on EDGE, it drops down to 64 kbps. On EDGE, the app skipped and stuttered a lot and was basically unlistenable. I would only recommend using this with 3G or Wi-Fi.

The Preferences option, accessible by tapping the Menu button, lets you change whether you want your music to play in high or normal quality. If you have a great connection over Wi-Fi, it's best to go with high and if your connection's a little more spotty, go with normal.

Drawbacks and Conclusion
Pandora recently implemented a 40-hour cap for free monthly listening, charging 99 cents per month if you want to keep listening for the rest of that month. While I don't often listen to more than an hour a day of Internet radio, and thus don't have a problem here, competitor Last.fm has no such cap.

I also wasn't pleased that I couldn't access some of the profile features that are available on the Web-based Pandora. Notably, I couldn't see users that I follow or see my bookmarks. You also can't select from genre stations like you can online. And, like all streaming music services, Pandora uses a lot of battery to keep its data connection open.

Pandora easily beats the music selection and application stability of competitor Last.fm. Slacker might offer more of a fight, but they don't have an Android client yet.

Overall, Pandora for Android is a great addition to the Android app catalog. Music fans with Android phones will welcome this fun, free, and simple streaming application.

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Turning On Pop Up Blocker for Android

Tired of unwanted pop ups that hinder your browsing experience? If you are currently getting pop up advertisements from websites that you visit regularly, it is probably a good idea to turn on the pop up blocker for Android devices.

pop up blocker android

What are “pop ups”?

Pop ups are these windows that open in another tab or window automatically when you link. Many websites deploy popups for their own usage. e.g. opening a video in a new tab, promotion for a event or new product by the same website. However, there are many websites who also show intrusive, pop up advertisements that are unrelated to the content that you are trying to access.

To save yourself the hassle of closing these unwanted windows, turn on the pop up blocker for Android to experience a better browsing experience!

To make use of the free built in pop up blocker for Android devices, follow the instructions after the jump.

How to block pop ups in Android

In this tutorial, we will be referring to turning on the pop up blocker found in the default Android Browser and not on third party browsers such as Chrome.

1. Press the “Apps” button found on the top right corner of the screen.

2. Open the default Android Browser.

3. Go to Settings in the Android Browser.

4. Tap on ‘Advanced’ in the menu options.

5. Locate the option labelled “Block Pop Ups”

6. Check on the box labelled “Block Pop Ups”

This will help you block all pop ups with the built in pop up blocker. However, you might still experience ads within websites that you are accessing, such as in video streaming sites. People often misunderstand these ads for pop up advertisements.

Android, How-To. permalink.

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