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Pandora redesigns its mobile apps to put more focus on personalization

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A quick way to view your 'thumb history'

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Pandora is releasing a redesigned version of its app for Android and iOS today that brings a new focus on personalization to the venerable streaming-audio service. The update, which will roll out over the next few weeks, adds a thumbs-up icon to the top of the app’s now-playing screen. Tapping it brings up a description of the station along with counters that show the number of songs you’ve liked and disliked.

The new screen serves as a quick way to review your favorite songs from the station and as a reminder that Pandora only gets better if you guide it. For the first time, you can change your opinion of a song (from thumbs up to thumbs down) inside the app. "We’re reminding our listeners that there is power in personalizing the station," says Chris Martin, Pandora’s chief technical officer. The app will also now suggest personalized genres and artists at the top of your list of stations.

"There is power in personalizing the station."

For the most part, the redesign is subtle: the navigation controls remain the same, and all the icons are familiar. The color palette has changed to favor brighter whites and deeper blues; the now-playing screen uses a blue gradient very similar to the one used by Rdio. The ugliest part of the design is its banner ads, which pop up constantly as you tap around the interface. You can eliminate them by paying for Pandora’s $4.99 monthly premium service, but it would be nice to see Pandora find a less intrusive way of integrating them into the app.

pandora

After the update rolls out to phones, Pandora will next bring the new look to tablets, Martin says. The web version of Pandora will be updated later, he says.