Scott Forstall Encouraged Pandora to Jailbreak iPhones to Get a Head Start on Early App Store Development

When the iPhone first launched in 2007, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs had no plans to allow developers to create native apps for the ‌iPhone‌, instead suggesting they rely on web apps. Developers weren't happy with the decision, and by October 2007, Apple decided that it would make a software developer kit and a full App Store available to developers by February 2008.

pandora radio 2
In the lead up to the launch of native ‌iPhone‌ apps, popular music streaming app Pandora was growing rapidly and was eager to be the first to get an app on the ‌iPhone‌ by any means necessary, according to an in-depth look at Pandora's history shared today by Vice's Tyler Hayes.

Ahead of the ‌iPhone‌'s debut, Pandora had been working to get its streaming radio service on flip phones with carriers like Sprint and AT&T, an effort that wasn't particularly successful. Once the ‌iPhone‌ was announced, Pandora knew it was the new big "music player" device and the company's mobile development resources needed to be focused on the ‌iPhone‌.

Then Apple Senior Vice President Scott Forstall invited Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren and his CTO, Tom Conrad, to lunch in Cupertino. After an hours-long talk over what Pandora had learned putting streaming audio apps on flip phones, Conrad asked Forstall what Pandora could do to get a head start on a mobile app. Forstall's response was surprising - jailbreak an ‌iPhone‌.

"What, if anything, can we do at Pandora to get ready for the next generation of iPhone that includes an app store and native APIs?" asked Conrad. "Forstall said, it wouldn't be a waste of your time to jailbreak some iPhones and use the kind of back door toolkits that were being distributed by other people to build a native Pandora app while we get our act together at Apple on something more formal."

Pandora's engineers did just what Forstall suggested, jailbreaking a series of iPhones and getting to work on a Pandora ‌iPhone‌ app ahead of when Apple released official support for native apps. When the ‌App Store‌ launched in 2008, Pandora was the first radio app that was available, and the work paid off - nine months later, Pandora was installed on 21 percent of iPhones.

The full Vice piece from Tyler Hayes is well worth a read for those who are interested in Pandora's early days, early battles over royalty rates, and its efforts to remain relevant as music services like Spotify and Apple Music dominate the market.

Tag: Pandora

Popular Stories

new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
iOS 17

Apple Sheds More Light on iOS 17.5 Bug That Resurfaced Deleted Photos

Friday May 24, 2024 2:36 am PDT by
Last week, some iPhone users reported that Apple's iOS 17.5 update had introduced a bug that caused old photos that were deleted to reappear in the Photos app. Apple quickly released an iOS 17.5.1 update to fix the issue, but for many users, its explanation of "database corruption" in the release notes was all too brief, and did little to allay concerns about the privacy of their data. Apple ...

Top Rated Comments

rafark Avatar
42 months ago
Forstall was awesome.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
42 months ago
Bring Back Scott Forstall
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TwoBytes Avatar
42 months ago
Scott was honouring the Steve Jobs ethos “It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy.”

In January 1983, Steve Jobs gathered a group of Apple employees at an off-site retreat in Carmel, California. The group was in the midst of developing the Mac, the company’s hugely ambitious personal computer—and some employees felt the project was losing its scrappy spirit. And so Jobs offered a maxim meant to motivate the developers: “It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy.”

This wasn’t about treasure maps and eyepatches. “Being a pirate meant moving fast, unencumbered by bureaucracy and politics,” software engineer Andy Hertzfeld, an original member of the Macintosh team, tells Quartz via email. “It meant being audacious and courageous, willing to take considerable risks for greater rewards.”

The pirate metaphor also involved a certain willingness to plunder. “Steve also never minded occasionally stealing good ideas from others, like the Picasso quote—’good artists copy, great artists steal,’” Hertzfeld adds.


Credits to this article
https://qz.com/1719898/steve-jobs-speech-that-made-silicon-valley-obsessed-with-pirates/

Attachment Image
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
42 months ago
Whatever works. I’m surprised that Epic isn’t encouraging users to jailbreak to install Fortnite.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reden Avatar
42 months ago

I’m ok with this.
Glad they got your blessing.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Williesleg Avatar
42 months ago
Apple needs to fire Bean Counter Tim Apple and bring back Scott.
We need more think different product, not more watch bands.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)