The new OS for iphones (and soon ipads), iOS4 is now out. If you have an iphone and you haven't updated your OS, it's time to synch your phone to itunes on your computer. Beware -- it took me over an hour for the synch to be complete.
Plenty of technology reviewers have written about the benefits of the new OS so I won't rehash all of it here. By far the best benefit is multi-tasking, which allows you to run apps in the background while doing another activity on your iphone. And by far the biggest beneficiary of multi-tasking on the iphone will be Pandora, the music service. The Pandora app can now play music in the background while you're checking email or reading the news on another app, just as you could always listen to music from your itunes catalog while doing something else on your iphone. All of a sudden, Pandora just became the killer app of the iphone. Their usage is going to go through the moon now, as many people are going to keep Pandora streaming nearly nonstop. The biggest losers in my opinion? XMSirius Radio. Why pay XMSirius a monthly fee for music to be streamed to your car when you could run Pandora on your iphone or Android for free, or for a small fee to remove the infrequent ads?
But perhaps the other big loser from all of this will be itunes itself. As a result of Pandora, I will now rarely buy music anymore from itunes because why own music when you can "borrow" it from Pandora? Yeah, there's some small psychic benefit to owning a particular song and having it accessible in your own catalog at all times. But I'm certainly not going to spend the $50 bucks a month that I had been spending on itunes songs for the last few years.
Congratulations to Pandora. You have survived several near death experiences as a startup, and I think your time in the sun is now finally here. I wish I were a shareholder.