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

Top Rated Comments

rafark Avatar
6 weeks ago
Forstall was awesome.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
6 weeks ago
Bring Back Scott Forstall
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TwoBytes Avatar
6 weeks 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
6 weeks ago
Whatever works. I’m surprised that Epic isn’t encouraging users to jailbreak to install Fortnite.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reden Avatar
6 weeks ago

I’m ok with this.
Glad they got your blessing.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Williesleg Avatar
6 weeks 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)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...