As a huge fan of HTML5 and someone who is even involved in putting on DevCon5 conferences covering the space I was thrilled to see the new Pandora HTML5 interface. Likewise I was disappointing to see I couldn't run the Pandora HTML5 environment on an iPhone browser natively and thus sidestepping the Apple iTunes App Store.
The look of the new Pandora based on HTML5
I have a request out to the company to see if there is an Apple limitation at work here or whether the company has intentionally hampered the app on iOS. As most of us know, playing media on the iPhone requires using their embedded player so my educated guess is there is an Apple issue here.
And before I posted I walked down the hall and tested the new HTML5 site on Erik Linask's Android-based smartphone and guess what. It worked flawlessly. So yes, there is an Apple limitation here keeping Pandora and other media companies potentially hostage the the Apple iTunes App Store. At least for now.
I expect to update this post when Pandora responds.
Update: Pandora just responded - same day. Here are comments from the company:
Currently, our redesign initiative was focused entirely on the website experience. We feel that using the iPhone app store and infrastructure still gives us the greatest ability to create the best user experience and product possible on the iPhone.