Apple Watch to debut with support for Pandora internet radio

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If you’re planning on snagging an Apple Watch when it debuts on April 24 (solely online), you’ll be ready to stream Pandora radio straight out of the box.

The online radio juggernaut is the first streaming radio service to announce compatibility with the much-anticipated smart watch. In a blog post from Pandora, the company notes that the service was also available for the original iPhone’s launch in 2007 and the iPad’s launch in 2010.

Support for Pandora on the Watch will — like most Watch apps — require control through the user’s iPhone. When songs are playing through Pandora, the Watch will display the “Now Playing” screen. Listeners can also play, pause, up vote or down vote a song, skip a song, access new music notifications and control the volume via the Pandora app on the Watch.

It’s certainly a welcome addition for Apple’s most monumental wearable launch and for Pandora’s 81.5 million monthly listeners. Cross-platform support is especially important for online music services as the streaming music wars continue. Pandora does still lead the pack, and its current compatibility with TVs, game consoles and connected speakers certainly doesn’t hurt.

As Billboard notes, Pandora isn’t the only music app that will be available for the Apple Watch’s launch — compatibility with music identification app Shazam, guitar tuner AMPLiFi Remote and the iTunes playlisting app Pacemaker DJ is also anticipated.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is surely banking on the success of the Apple Watch when it debuts in just over two weeks, and strong music listening platforms are certainly a make-or-break feature. We’re sure Cook would also love to have the to-be-launched new Apple-Beats streaming service — which is set to debut in June —  on it, but this Pandora app is a nice consolation prize.

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch begin tonight at 12:01 a.m. on the Apple website.

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