On Tuesday Pandora officially launched an HTML5 version of its service while also adding a few new features to the platform. Unfortunately, this new HTML5 revamp doesn't mean users can bypass the apps offered on Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market using a browser -- users are still required to access their music the old-fashioned way... for now.
"For the last two months, we've been gradually rolling a preview of the new site out to our listeners, taking their feedback, fixing bugs and making improvements here and there," Pandora said in a blog (opens in new tab). "With all those little fixes and refinements in place, today we're rolling out the new site for everyone."
One of the big features offered with the new-and-improved Pandora is the elimination of the 40-hour listening cap. Previously Pandora users were only allowed to listen to music for 40 hours a month, but now that's been lifted. The catch is that users still need to endure advertisements, some of which can fill the entire background.
In addition to the unlimited listening, the revamped Pandora now offers enhanced artist information, simplified station creation, improved control over music playback, and what Pandora calls Discovery of Music with Friends.
"Enhanced listener profiles and a new music feed offer a centralized place to find, like and comment on what friends and like-minded listeners are discovering and enjoying on Pandora," the description explains. "The music feed will roll out slowly over the course of the coming days. In addition to the prominent new "share" button, stations now have their own URLs, making it super easy for listeners to share favorite stations via Twitter, Facebook, or email."
Pandora said that the new social feed will roll out to everyone over the next few days. The company also still offers the premium service, Pandora One, which costs a mere $36 USD a year. This version removes the annoying ads, provides higher quality audio, a desktop application, custom skins and fewer interruptions.
Surely this would have been noticed, for example in tech reviews or by other users.
Much like Android users (on any topic that includes "Apple", this phone, too, emits a "high-pitched whine".
There are also reports of bad SD card slots, but it's not gaining real media attention, because the Bionic is an irrelevant phone on a REALLYirrelevant platform.
Now, assuming that is correct (I'm guessing I'm wrong there somewhere though), why hasn't someone just made sort of a lite web browser for Android that claims it's a desktop browser so that you could use it for specific pages (such as Pandora) to bypass their restrictions?
Fyi, I contacted Pandora and they said that it still uses some Flash elements, and others said that without flash they couldn't get past the login page. This one is still faster than the old player though.