Jun 29th, 2009


Tom Conrad, the CTO of Pandora, made a post on his personal blog last week announcing that Pandora for Android is on the way. This is significant for a number of reasons, but it all starts with a Phandroid article from August 2008 that I highly suggest you read – it is the definition of foreshadowing.

We heavily criticized Mr. Conrad for his negative standpoint on Android and were impressed when he contacted us to acknowledge he went overboard and clarify his standpoint on Android. Almost a year later, it is refreshing not only to see Pandora working on their Android application but also reading that a year after the “incident”, Tom Conrad himself said he deserved to be criticized for his “confrontation” with Android.

Phandroid readers know that I call people out when I feel its necessary and when I’m wrong I also expect to be called out – and happily admit my errors. Coming from me is one thing – it isn’t every day you’ll get this type of openness and honesty from a senior executive at a hugely popular company. So big ups to Tom Conrad. In his informal announcement he explained why the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Palm Pre/WebOS came before Android and it makes complete sense:

The reality is that we started with the iPhone because it was an extremely compelling music phone with an extremely compelling developer SDK. We followed on with Windows Mobile and BlackBerry because they have huge volume. Then, perhaps most controversially, I chose to develop for the Palm Pre next. That decision hinged on a unique opportunity Palm presented to us: to be one of just 5-10 developers that worked together with Palm on the initial launch of the Pre. This opportunity was unique in that it essentially guaranteed that every Pre customer would easily find Pandora in the download store. It also seemed likely that we’d have an opportunity to play a part in their launch advertising and press. All of this has come true. Pandora for the Pre turned out really well, nearly every Palm Pre user has installed the application, and Pandora was a meaningful part of their launch story and advertising.

While we were busy doing everything I just described, the Android universe has developed nicely. The G1 is a really good phone. I routinely carry one myself. But the so-called G2 is a great phone. And there are more Android handsets in the pipeline that are extremely compelling. The OS has also evolved noticeably with lots of great new features for developers and end users to take advantage of. While I regret our inability to be part of the Android community from day one, I’m really excited to join the party in progress.

Totally fair… I’m just excited that Pandora will be hitting Android in the near future. If you’re not familiar with Pandora and you listen to music in any kind of amount, you should take a moment to visit their website (Pandora.com) and check out the video below which illustrates Pandora on the iPhone:

Thanks to all the people who Emailed me and commented me asking me to post this – I would have missed it otherwise!