Multitasking coming to WP7; Pandora can multitask now (Updated!)

Updated: Say it ain't so! Looks like Network World got the quote wrong as Michael Scherotter ask them to make a correction noting: "Great article but with a slight correction; built-in software like Zune can play music in the background. Pandora cannot at this time."

The issue of multitasking in Windows Phone 7 has been nearly beaten to death but there is light at the end of the tunnel. One app that is frequently held up as an example of why multitasking is needed is Pandora--the music streaming app that chooses songs based on your likes/dislikes. Not being able to run Pandora in the background seems painful, as anyone who used an iPhone (pre-iOS 4) could attest.

Well, it looks like those fears may be unfounded. According to Network World, at the Sprint Developer Conference held Tuesday, Microsoft’s Michael Scherotter mentioned that Pandrora is an exception. More importantly that multitasking is coming to Windows Phone 7, just no firm date;

Scherotter said while a few major apps will be able to multitask, such as Pandora, the music streaming app that will play in the background while the user is doing something else, independent apps will not, for now. Scherotter said that eventually, independent apps will be multitask-capable, but he wouldn't say when that would be.

Good news for Pandora (presumably soon to be available in the Marketplace) and we're confident Microsoft will deliver on the multitasking front, once they design an elegant method to do so. Does this make anyone feel a bit better about their potential future investment in the OS?

Source: Network World


Reader comments

Multitasking coming to WP7; Pandora can multitask now (Updated!)


uhh...If MS could add in the Auto DJ thingy from the Zune HD to WP7 then there would be no purpose for Pandora on WP7 with your Zune Pass. Why bother paying another service when Zune Pass already does the same thing. Bring it over MS!

You're right, the radio should work in the background. However, there are several differences in the zune experience on the zune hd and on wp 7, as wpcentral alluded to. For example, on the zune hd, there's an option to purchase a song that's playing on the radio, while on wp7, there's no such option. Also, wp7 doesn't support hd radio, which was one of the selling points of the zune HD. I watched a Youtube video yesterday the outlined all the discrepancies and came away disappointed and somewhat perplexed. Why has MS lessened Zune on wp7? Hasn't there been speculation that MS is moving away from Zune as a dedicated device and moving towards Zune as a service that's present on xbox, wp7, the web, etc.? /tangent

Anyways, welp @ this latest update. If I recall correctly, MS made a very big deal about the Pandora being integrated into the music hub and being able to play in the background. I'm sure they never explicitly said it would be available at launch but hopefully they'll make good on that functionality sooner than later.

Have to kind of agree--I like Slacker better too. But, no denying Pandora is to streaming music what Gmail is to email--it's really about presence/mindshare and Pandora has it. The good news is Slacker may have a way to add multitasking in future updates...

Would rather have GPS programs be given preference, much more useful function to have running in the background.

I had a feeling/hope that they'd have exceptions for multitasking when the news and brouhaha about it started. Now, we just have to find out what other apps are exceptions.

I think right now anything that's media related that can hook into the music+videos hub should be able to with access to the right APIs.

GPS Nav apps should as well once we get turn-by-turn in a future update.

With the whole new UI they have in WP7 you have to wonder how they'll work out multitasking. Pressing and holding the start key is already taken by another feature so my bet is on pressing and holding the back button which will give you a list of apps running. That's how I'd do it, but maybe they have a better idea. Eiher way something like that will probably go through a good deal of user testing to see how people like it.

i don't think many of us are really shocked at this news. Microsoft's stated shortly after waffling on multitasking that it would be available for select applications/developers. If anything, this illustrates the fact that Microsoft needs to get all their people on the same effin' page when it comes to the features and roadmap for the platform. We've been dealing with these wishy washy answers regarding features since MWC and it's tiring. It's also not the behavior i'd expect from them this late into the game, after WP7 has launched and the general public's beginning to watch them as well enthusiasts.

Also, add me to the "cool, but wish Slacker could multitask", though there's no way i'm paying for a Slacker sub in addition to Zune Pass.

How can they get that wrong? I am so pissed now lol... oh well... I already got the music I want to listen to set up on the Zune Software