"Xbox, play holiday music."

Now Playing: Pandora for Xbox One arrives with Kinect support

At long last, Pandora is joining the app catalog for Microsoft’s Xbox One; the first time the intelligent music software becomes available on a gaming console. Pandora announced the app availability on Thursday as part of its continued partnership with Microsoft.

pandora xbox one


Truth be told, you already could use [company]Pandora[/company] on a [company]Microsoft[/company] Xbox One but it wasn’t optimized. I have Microsoft’s console in my home office and until recently, was streaming Pandora on my Xbox One all day long. The trick was to open Pandora in Internet Explorer on the Xbox One. (Note: I switched to using a Chromecast to reduce electricity consumption — yes, that’s important to us since we have 41 solar panels on our roof — and for playback controls on my Android Wear watch.)

The downside to using Pandora in the browser? I couldn’t use Microsoft’s Kinect for voice control with Pandora: There was no way to give a thumbs up or down on a song, for example, unless I grabbed the Xbox One game controller.

That changes with the native Pandora app for Xbox One, which uses an HTML 5 interface but is still a native app for the console. Kinect is fully supported in Pandora now, allowing for song skips, ratings, song searches and other navigation by voice or gestures. You can also snap Pandora to the side of the screen and run it alongside a second app such as a game.

Pandora says 76 percent of its male listeners are between the ages of 13 and 34, which happens to coincide nicely with gamers, so Pandora for Xbox One is a good fit. I’m not in that age range anymore (sniff!) but I’m an avid music listener as well as a not-very-good gamer, so I’m thrilled to see the app debut.

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