New Pandora app lets Apple Watch owners listen without a smartphone

Pandora has been launching new versions of its audio service for mobile and Mac, and now it has a development in wearables. This week, the company unveiled a standalone app for the Apple Watch. The app means that users can listen to Pandora content on-the-go without their phones. A smartphone also isn’t required for setup; the app can be downloaded and sign-up completed directly on the wearable.

The standalone Apple Watch app includes the same features as the other versions of Pandora. Listeners can control playback and give tracks a thumbs up or down. Premium subscribers will also be able have the on-demand experience, and both Premium and Plus users can use the Watch for the offline listening.

The new app will replace Pandora’s existing Apple Watch software. It does have some system requirements, including an Apple Watch Series 3 for the standalone streaming.

The update is an intriguing choice for Pandora. More and more research is showing smartphones as a leading source of streaming audio. It will be interesting to see how many listeners want a phone-free option for mobile listening and whether this trend takes off.

Anna Washenko