Pandora Radio on the iPhone is great. If you don’t have it, I do recommend it –>iTunes Link. If you are unfamiliar with Pandora check out this wikipedia page as well as their official web site. Basically Pandora is a recommended streaming music service. Here’s my initial thoughts on Pandora Radio for iPhone.
First Pandora Radio can only stream while the application is open. This limitation is imposed as the iPhone won’t allow 3rd party background processes. As soon as you leave Pandora Radio, the music will obviously stop.
Streaming over Edge, is possible but also spotty. During my drive home, I successfully streamed 6 songs. Most songs had a 10-12 second delay before playing. I do recall, however, that one time two songs transitioned as expected with no delay. Also I did have a song pause for rebuffering. Obviously this is due to the lower speed of the EDGE network. I would assume that 3G’ers will have a very usable experience.
The Dock connector works as expected. Pandora Radio’s audio will play through the dock connector and it will pause when disconnected. This is the same behavior for the headphones. Obviously piping the audio is handy for in-car playback, or connecting to home audio.
Playing Pandora on my iHome (older model) took a little work. I’m assuming other iPod controllers, like the iHome, will jump the iPhone directly into “iPod” mode. To get around this just hit the Home button and load up Pandora Radio, music playback should work.
Phone calls presented a problem. You can’t receive phone calls over EDGE, but you should be able to on Wifi and 3G. During my test if the iPhone screen was on, you could decline a call and Pandora would pause and resume. If you accepted a call, at the end of the call Pandora would relaunch, requiring you to reselect your station. Lastly, if your iPhone screen is off while Pandora is playing the experience was very sporadic. Some times I couldn’t see or hear the incoming call. Also Pandora has a hard time recovering while in this mode it appears as is the “missed call” warning caused interference at least from a user’s experience POV.
All in all, version 1.0 of Pandora Radio on the iPhone is great. I’m looking forward to future updates and continued use.