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(Credit: Lance Whitney)

Pandora has released a new and improved version of its Apple Watch app with some of the same features as its iPhone counterpart.

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The highlight of the new Pandora Apple Watch app is offline playback. You can stream your most recently downloaded songs, albums and playlists without your iPhone nearby. That feature is available on any series Apple Watch, including the ones without the cellular option. Any recent content is automatically downloaded to your watch whenever it's paired with your phone or connected to the same WiFi network.

The one drawback is that offline playback requires a paid Pandora subscription. Subscribers to Pandora Plus, which costs $4.99 a month, can access their three most recent stations. Those with a Pandora Premium account at $9.99 per month can stream their ten most recent songs, albums and playlists. You can check out the paid accounts through a free 30-day trial of Pandora Plus or a free 60-day trial of Pandora Premium.

The new Pandora Apple Watch app offers other improvements. You can control your playback directly from the watch by playing, pausing, skipping to the next track, or replaying your current song. You can also control the volume from your watch. And you can give a thumb's up or thumb's down to any song. And here's one neat trick. Tap the name of the current song to view the name of the album or station. Tap again to see the total running time of the song and how much of it has already played.

To try the new Pandora app, make sure you've updated to WatchOS 5 on your Apple Watch. Download and install Pandora on your watch through the Watch app on your iPhone. Open Pandora on your phone and listen to some of your favorite stations, music, and artists. Then, open the app on your watch. You should see and be able to play the last song you listened to on your phone. Those of you with a Pandora subscription should be able to access recent downloads as well. Swipe to the right to see all your stations and switch from one to another.

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Takeaways

  1. Pandora has unveiled a new Apple Watch app with offline listening and playback controls.
  2. The offline listening option is available only to Pandora users with a paid Plus or Premium account.

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."