There has been a huge rise in the number of smartphones being used here in the United States and in Europe as well these past few years. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was using a good old flip phone with it’s one color screen and complete lack of functionality besides making calls — no apps, no Internet, and I remember having to tap lots of buttons many times to compose a simple text!
Last year Pandora released an app for the iOS platform (iPhone, iPod touch, and iPads) to help bring the Pandora brand experience to the burgeoning smartphone market, and just last week they finally released an Android version of their app as well to the Google Play store. Both the Pandora iOS app and the Pandora Android app are free to download, so if you’re a charms addict with either type of smartphone it’s worth checking them out and downloading them from their respective stores. I’ve included some links straight to the apps in the store, but if you’re searching from your phone remember that there’s a popular streaming music app that also shares the Pandora name so make sure you get the one with the O and the crown logo :).
With both major versions out I thought it would be a good chance to take a look at what the app does and share some thoughts on it; what we wish it could do, and may do in the future, as Pandora refines and updates the experience. Here are some screenshots from the Google Play store of the Pandora app:
The app is identical in both the iOS and Android versions, and basically breaks down into four main things that it allows a Pandora fan to do:
- Browse the Pandora product catalog and save items that you want or own
- Find a Pandora gift based on some simple criteria like price point and color (great for husbands and boyfriends)
- Find a Pandora store near you
- Access your Pandora club information, i.e. check your wish lists and owned lists
The catalog browser is exactly what you would expect, and feels like a nice portable version of the main Pandora website’s product catalog. I really like how they were able to highlight the new Pandora Spring/Summer 2012 collection separately, and browsing charms with swiping and other touch controls feels great. You can do a shake of your phone to reshuffle the product list on screen, and you can add a charm or other piece that you’re looking at to either your Pandora wish list, or your owned list to keep track of your collection.
The gift finding function is something that I think will make this app useful for the men in our lives! The app asks four basic questions: what’s your budget, what kind of piece are you looking for (charm, bracelet, etc), what materials and finish should they be, and are there any specific colors like blue or red that you’re buying for? After that it filters out the Pandora product catalog based on your selections and shows you what pieces fit the bill. I can definitely see someone using this app and then taking it in to a Pandora retailer to help pick out the perfect gift for their special someone.
Finding a store will likely be a less-used function of the mobile app but still helpful nonetheless. Once you click on this tab the Pandora app will access your phone’s GPS to figure out where you are and gives you a list of nearby Pandora retailers. I’ve found that since it’s on your phone it is much more accurate than trying to pick out locations from the website, and you can then tap on through to you’re phone’s map function to get directions there. I haven’t had the chance to use it like this but I think it would be perfect for ladies that are travelling and looking to stop by a Pandora store to get a trip souvenir.
The Pandora club tab is pretty barebones at the moment, as all it lets you do is review your wish lists and owned Pandora lists that you’ve created. There is no way to share these with someone right from the phone like you can from the Pandora website. I have a feeling that this will get built out a little bit more in the coming months as Pandora has hinted that they are planning for a major overhaul of the Pandora Club in Q3 of this year!
In looking at the iTunes and Google Play store comments, it feels like many fans want the popular bracelet builder part of the Pandora website to be added to the app. I can see how this would be amazing as playing with the bracelets on a touchscreen would be super fun! It’s definitely a complex feature but I’m hoping that Pandora will consider adding this to the app in the upcoming months. I suspect for sure that they will be updating it later this year to incorporate whatever changes they are making to the Pandora Club :).
What do you ladies think? Do you own an iPhone or Android smartphone, and have you tried the Pandora app? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!