It's been nearly a year and a half since we last wrote about the Amazon MP3 app, because that's the last time the company did anything interesting with it. Compared to the competition at Google and elsewhere, Amazon's iTunes competitor looks positively stale. Today the Amazon MP3 app gets a fresh coat of paint to bring it more in line with current visual trends, or at least, those trends that are on display in the Kindle Fire tablets.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
A few of our readers spotted the Chromecast icon hanging out in yesterday's tablet-focused update to Pandora, and sure enough, it looks like the flip was switched this morning. You can now use Pandora to stream your stations directly from Chromecast the same way that you can with Google Play Music. Our guess is that Google needed to enable support via its media provider app list.
There's no need to update the app again if you grabbed yesterday's update, though you may need to force close it if it's been running in the background.
It's about damn time. While Pandora has been slowly and steadily updating its Android app for years (the latest big update was a sleep timer), the tablet experience has been sorely lacking ever since Honeycomb. The music streaming service has redeemed itself with version 5.0 of the Android app, which now shifts the interface significantly on Android tablets.
The main play interface occupies the center of the screen, going back through your play history with album art and displaying contextual track information below it.
There is no shortage of streaming music services that want to pipe tunes into your ears, but Slacker Radio just made its offering much more attractive for Android users. The app has a brand new clean interface and the option to instantly build a station based on what you happen to be up to.
The app has done away with the strange combination of Metro-style tiles and old fashioned Android tabs that it was rocking before.
Streaming music provider Rdio might be playing second fiddle to Spotify, but it's still a viable option. Rdio even runs its own video content store called Vdio. With a handy little coupon code, you can get a taste of both services, or add some freebies you your existing account.
To get your free stuff, just head over to the Rdio redeem page, and enter the code P4KFEST2013. This should give you 3 free months of Rdio Unlimited ($9.99 per month) and $25 to spend on Vdio instantly.
Google Music has probably lured a few Spotify users away with its tight Android integration and low introductory price. But what about all those meticulously constructed Spotify playlists? There is no official way to bring them along for the ride, but a developer has worked out a quick and dirty way to make it happen.
Portify is a neat little tool that logs into both Spotify and Google Music, and manages to move your playlists over.
On the eve of I/O, Google managed to finalize deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment to bring a music subscription service to both YouTube and Google Play, according to a report by The Verge that is now being corroborated by The Wall Street Journal. If everything goes smoothly, a preview or launch of the new service tomorrow isn't out of the question. The Journal similarly says the streaming solution could launch "as soon as this week." That would give Google a substantial leg up over Apple, which is still in the process of negotiating contracts for its own music streaming solution.
TuneIn Radio is one of the most popular streaming music services on any mobile platform, but it has just gotten a new feature for Android users. From now on when you hear a track you like, tap the Google Play button at the top of the 'now playing' screen to head right to Google Play and buy it. See the before and after images below.
For those not aware, TuneIn Radio streams over 70,000 radio stations live, and it's not just music.