Chromecast adds Pandora to short list of apps so far

Pandora is the sixth app to join the ranks on Google's app-to-TV dongle, and it's the second to arrive in the months since Chromecast launched.

The Pandoria interface for Chromecast
Pandora is the sixth app to arrive in Chromecast's lineup and only the second to be added since the dongle's unveiling. Pandora

Pandora is on Chromecast at last, after Google said in July that an app for the Internet's leading radio service was "coming soon."

After Google introduced its $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle (read CNET's review) to easily fling apps like Netflix and Google Play Music onto televisions, Chromecast's life has been marked by feverish consumer interest and a dearth of updates that, combined, give the impression that Google was caught flat-footed.

Many of the indications that Google got ahead of itself when it unveiled Chromecast are flattering to the search giant, even if they were frustrating to consumers. A Netflix promotion that Google touted would be available to Chromecast purchasers through the end of the year sold out in little more than a day. The device itself was on backorder for weeks at launch.

It's currently in stock at Best Buy, Google Play's store and Amazon, where it remains the top-selling electronics item in that massive online store.

But Google appears to have been caught off guard not only by demand but also by the process of making Chromecast a fully fleshed-out "over-the-top" TV device.

Chromecast launched with support for four apps, only two of which were outside the Google universe: Google Play Movies & TV and Google Play Music, plus Netflix and YouTube. The company said in late July at the unveiling that more apps, like Pandora, would soon be on their way.

It wasn't until this month that Chromecast added its first additional app, that for Hulu Plus . Pandora on Thursday is the second addition.

At the far other end of the spectrum, Roku -- long leader in the world of over-the-top boxes -- adds new channels to its massive roster every day, though Roku was founded more than a decade ago and has years of work building up a channel list under its belt. (Roku also introduced a Chromecast-like feature that lets users stream video from third-party apps on their mobile device.)

"Overall, we're excited to work with more partners and bring more content to Chromecast," a Google spokeswoman told CNET. "It's only been a few months since launch, and we've since added Hulu Plus support, but the number of supported apps will only continue to grow as more developers bring their apps to Chromecast."

A Pandora spokeswoman said the radio service works closely with leading partners like Google to achieve its mission of providing "the best personalized radio experience to our listeners, anytime, anywhere."

"We're proud of our most recent product developments and are pleased to offer Chromecast support at this time," she said.

The Chromecast device allows users to wirelessly stream Pandora using a smartphone or tablet as the remote control. The music is launched from a mobile device, and then it streams from the cloud, so listeners can multitask on their device while Pandora plays on the TV.

The pairing brings Pandora deeper into the living room, an area of focus for the company. Earlier this year, Pandora launched the tv.pandora.com platform to make it easier to stream on televisions through set-top boxes and the TVs themselves, though initially it was available through gaming consoles XBox 360 and Playstation 3.

Owners of a Chromecast device can start "casting" Pandora by downloading the latest Android or iOS mobile app.

 

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