Android Auto is still a bit limited in the type of apps that we’ll see have compatibility. And that’s for good reason, as Google wants you to be safe out there on these roads. There are already a ton of great apps available for Android Auto, including a slew of media apps. We’ve taken a look at Pocket Casts, Spotify and a few others already. Now let’s take a look at Pandora, the music streaming service that used to be king, but is still a great alternative. Pandora already supports a few other car makers’ systems, including working with the Bluetooth in your car out of the box. But it also works with Android Auto, and it works pretty great.
If you’re a Pandora user, then you know what Pandora is an internet radio app, basically. It allows you to play different radio stations (although unlike FM radio, there’s no DJ talking forever, however there are ads). So you can choose to play “Today’s Hip Hop and R&B” or even a radio station for a specific artist like Big Sean or Kid Rock. The controls for Pandora are pretty self-explanatory. So on the left side you have your thumbs down and thumbs up. With the Pause and Next buttons next to that. Finally there’s a bookmark button on the far right side of the screen. Now in the hamburger menu, you have access to your radio stations. And that’s really it. It’s probably the most simplified app ever for Android Auto. There aren’t extra menus involved, like we see with Google Play Music or Spotify, which means you’ll spend more time with your eyes on the road. Exactly where they should be.
Of course, Pandora offers both a free and paid version of their service. The free version comes with ads and a limited number of skips. However, Pandora One throws all of that out of the window for $4.99 per month. Which is still cheaper than most of the competitors out there (Spotify at $9.99, Tidal at $19.99 and Google Play Music at $9.99 per month). As always you will need Pandora to be installed on your device that is plugged in for Android Auto.