Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pandora's app update adds bug to universal iOS app: iPad owners longer can use landscape, company promises another app update due soon

Update: Pandora released an update (Thursday 3PM EDT) that fixes the landscape issue.

The anticipated new app update from Pandora Media was released yesterday after noon and, oops, it contains a major bug. The app redesign was created for users of the iPhone and iPod touch, but apparently the developers made a mistake and turned off landscape for iPad users.

The update comes with long list of new features for mobile users. But will get most of the attention is the fact that most iPad users will be a bit upset that they can no longer use their tablet in landscape with the app. Fortunately, Pandora is on the case: "An issue with this update and iPads running iOS6 prevents using Pandora in landscape mode. We will have a fix shortly," the app description begins.

What is particularly interesting to me is that the new app update was hyped by several major tech websites. Massive stories with screenshots appeared on sites, yet the nothing was mentioned of the bug. What this tells me, I'm sad to say, is that the tech sites are willing to write about apps they can't actually test.
That is a problem for both the websites themselves and the developers who then release apps or app updates that contain bugs. While it is, admittedly, sometimes fun to point out mistakes in apps, the real purpose of preview posts should be to alert both developers and users to real issues.

Suffice to say that tech media failed big time on this one.

Here is the laundry list of new features that the digital radio company added to its universal app for iPhone version:
• Share your latest discoveries with friends on Pandora, Facebook, and Twitter
• Discover new music by following others on the Music Feed
• Re-discover your favorite music on your profile page
• Explore the artists and music you love directly on your device
• Full lyrics for the songs we play
• Artist biographies and discographies
• Detailed track features from the Music Genome Project
• Find even more music you'll love by adding variety to your stations
• Enjoy constantly updated and expertly curated genre stations

... and other great updates:
• Timer added to the track progress indicator - drag the player controls up to reveal the timer
• Support for the taller iPhone 5 screen
• Support for new BMW vehicles with the “BMW Apps” option, see bmwusa.com/apps for more details
• Numerous stability and performance enhancements