Apple iOS4 Multitasking Opens the Door to iTunes' Biggest Competitor -â€" Mobile Radio

Last Updated Jun 23, 2010 10:08 AM EDT

The generally-praised Apple (APPL) iOS4 is influencing video chat, interactive games and book reading, but its biggest update, iPhone/iPad multitasking, will influence literally dozens of applications. The Internet radio website Pandora is one of the benefactors -- and it could make the already popular application and its competitors truly competitive with iTunes itself.

Adam Frucci at Gizmodo:

The latest version of Pandora's iPhone app just hit the App Store, bringing with it the promised multitasking support that'll let you stream music in the background on iOS4. It's free, so go get it!

Thus far, the idea of any radio app on a single-task device has long been a lost cause:
  • Constant disruptions: On a mobile phone, any call would disrupt the current music. Even apps that jumped back into the program would have to reload the app and slowly connect to the music server via the cell or wireless connection.
  • All music or no music: On a mobile phone or tablet, radio apps required either playing music (and only playing music) or not playing any at all.
  • Only Apple music for multitasking: Whether intended or not, Apple has made iTunes the only multitasking music "app". Potential iTunes replacements like SoundHound have been neutered by single-task environments, while portable radio programs like Pandora have been limited in growth on Apple devices.
Pandora seems to be the first radio app out taking advantage of the iPhone/iPod multitasking and, with Rdio finally approved by Apple last week, it is now prime time for mobile radio to be as fruitful as its car, home and Internet counterparts. The pressure is definitely on Apple to deliver the cloud-based setup promised by its Lala acquisition.

Photo courtesy of PetroleumJelliffe. Related: