Pandora hates Windows Mobile – Pandora speaks out

We have complained about the Windows Mobile platform being neglected by Pandora on this blog, and rather atypically received a response in our comments from Tom Conrad, the CIO of Pandora explaining that they do not, in fact, hate Windows Mobile.

Tom Conrad Says:

August 6th, 2008 at 12:17 am

We hear you on the Windows Mobile front. Our goal is to bring Pandora to as many phones as possible — in fact we support almost 50 different phones right now. We love Windows Mobile every bit as much as that “other phone.” As you know the Windows Mobile world is much richer than the iPhone — tens of different handsets with different keyboards, screens, input types (some touch, some not), etc. That means it’s not nearly as simple as creating a single application that will satisfy a large audience. That said, we’re hard at work on it and hope to have some news on the windows front later this year.

CTO @ Pandora

Some readers may be buoyed by the news, believing that the Windows Mobile version of the very successful Pandora client may be just around the corner. These readers may be cautioned by this post, from May 2007:

Posted by: Tom Conrad at May 25, 2007 06:19 PM

@pete — We’re working on a Windows Mobile version so stay tuned on that front.

CTO @ Pandora

In fact regular readers of this forum may find his excuses for not having a Windows Mobile client out more than a year later rather disingenuous. As a poster commented:

Anonymous says:

Tom Conrad, have you ever developed an application for Windows Mobile? I’m a software developer and have worked on Windows Mobile, iPhone and even BlackBerry and I find Windows Mobile the easiest platform to develop on.

Windows Mobile handles any issue with the keyboard (so there’s nothing you need to do there unless you end up using a separate third party component which can break things), horizontal, vertical, and screen size don’t matter as well just as long as you setup the drawing event to correctly re-size items.

I’ve seen the Pandora iPhone application and to be perfectly honest, I would be embarrassed if I couldn’t get it working properly on Windows Mobile by now.

Please, open up the Pandora API so many of us Open-Source developers can have a working solution comperable to the iPhone app in a week.

In fact, despite developing a Pandora client for 50 different phones with different OS’s, different screen sizes, keyboards and quirks, developing for any open platform seems to scare Mr Conrad. Here is what he has to say about Android.

“I need Android like I need a hole in the head. The last thing I need from a technology standpoint is a platform that sits on top of buggy firmware, with hundreds of phone manufacturers and different screens.”

And despite professing equal love for the WM platform as the iPhone, Tom clearly holds the iPhone in particular high esteem.

Tom Conrad, CTO of music service Pandora, said that the iPhone is fundamentally better for streaming devices and as a multifunction device appeals to consumers in different ways than other phones.

In short, the message is clear. Do not expect a Windows Mobile client any time soon, and move on to a service that meets your needs – Last.FM

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