Pandora, now voice-enabled on iOS and Android

Pandora has hopped on board the voice control train with new voice controls for the Pandora app.

The Pandora app now features a native smart assistant that can be activated with the command, ‘Hey Pandora.’

The new smart assistant provides a hands-free experience for controlling your music. The rollout is a beta access feature for iOS and Android users.  Pandora says the feature will roll out for all mobile users coming soon.

Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips says Pandora is introducing voice mode as a new way to discover and enhance the music-listening experience.

“With Voice Mode, we are introducing an even more natural and conversational way for listeners to discover new music and enhance their experience directly in the Pandora mobile app, like getting recommendations from a friend who really knows you,” Phillips relayed.

Some of the supported commands for the native assistant include:

  • Changing Stations
  • Controlling Volume
  • Skip & Pause Music
  • Basic Navigation Controls

The app also understands thematic requests and commands like “play some workout music” or “I want some music while I chill.”

Beyond that, the voice assistant also interprets open-ended requests such as “play more like this” or “play something I like.”

Interactive requests like asking the name of a song or artist are also supported.  Users can also say “I like this” to give the song a thumbs-up.  Pandora listeners have been requesting that feature for ages.

Pandora partnered with SoundHound’s Houndify voice and conversational AI platform to power the new assistant.  Houndify’s proprietary ‘Speech-to-Meaning’ and ‘Deep Meaning Understanding’ technologies are being deployed.

Pandora’s addition of voice control to the app natively brings it in line with streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.  Voice control of Pandora has been possible for a while using third-party hardware like Alexa or Google Home.