The Good Pandora for iOS lets you create music stations on your iPhone based on artists or genres and skips less with improved buffering.
The Bad Ads in the free version can be really distracting. In some cases you'll need to listen to 30-second spots before you can return to your music.
The Bottom Line Pandora is an excellent app for listening to and discovering new music, and, with new features being added regularly, most users will probably keep it as their main streaming service.
Veteran music-streaming app gets better
Editors' note, July 8, 2015: See CNET's guide to Internet radio services for a more up-to-date evaluation of this service, along with an analysis of how it compares to competitors.
The newest version of Pandora Radio for iOS improves playback buffering to better prevent music stoppages and lets you use all the URLs you can on the Web site. The improvements to the app are probably in response to the impending launch of to keep users listening to streams on Pandora instead of jumping ship.
Just like the Web-based version of the service, the Pandora app lets you tap into an incredible library of music to create stations of similar artists and songs using an algorithm based on the Music Genome Project. You can browse through genre-based stations, or fire up a QuickMix. If you're already a Pandora listener, you can enter your existing log-in credentials, or you can create a new account right from the app.
Best music and audio apps for iOS
Whether you're itching to hear a specific song or you want to sit back and let the app do the programming, we've got the music and audio apps for you.