Apple's “iOS in the Car” feature – now called CarPlay – might support a handful of music streaming services, but Pandora isn't one of them. Though we're not sure why Cupertino left the Internet radio service out of its CarPlay initiative, a statement from Pandora indicates that support may arrive in the near future.
As a reminder, CarPlay, which Apple formerly announced yesterday, is set to reach a select number of cars later this year with a software update to iOS 7. It integrates iOS with in-car dashboard displays, allowing drivers to interact with the mobile OS using either their car's controls (such as the display's touchscreen) or Siri. Accessing music is one major feature of CarPlay, and the software is launching with support for iTunes Radio, Spotify, Beats Music, Stitcher Radio for Podcasts, and iHeartRadio.
Pandora, however, isn't supported. MacRumors caught up with the company, which handed over a statement explaining that while Pandora isn't set to feature in the first release of CarPlay, Apple nevertheless “continues to be a valued partner.” Pandora also hints that support could launch soon:
At this time, Pandora is not integrated with Apple CarPlay. As a first mover in the auto space, we continue to broaden our relationships with OEMs while also exploring other opportunities to expand our presence in the car. Apple has been and continues to be a valued partner.
MacRumors suggests that similarities between iTunes Radio and Pandora could be one reason why the service didn't make the transition, and this may indeed be the case. Unlike the other music streaming services supported by CarPlay, Pandora uses online radio stations to play music tailored towards listeners' personal tastes, much like Apple's free iTunes Radio.
Despite facing stiff competition from the likes of iTunes Radio, Beats Music, and Spotify, Pandora has continued to enhance its service in recent months. Besides improving its iPad application in February, Pandora's universal iOS app also received an iOS 7-optimizing update back in September.
In a surprising turn of events, we also heard last year that Pandora's listener rate had increased by nine percent following the launch of iTunes Radio, indicating that Apple's music streaming service doesn't pose a serious threat to Pandora. This was no doubt helped along by Pandora's removal of several restrictions on its service in advance of iTunes Radio's launch.
Support for CarPlay could be one major reason for consumers to pick iTunes Radio over Pandora, however, and as such it'll be interesting to see if Apple hands over support later this year. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Uber Updated With Push Notifications For Surge Pricing And PayPal Integration In UK, Facebook's Paper Gains New Sharing Options And Other Improvements, and AppAdvice App Of The Week For Mar. 3, 2014.