Wednesday, January 19, 2011


In a previous posting discussing Pandora’s potential, I was quite excited by the prospect of tethering. Yes the Pandora has WiFi, but outside of your home there are not many opportunities to (safely) get on the net. While my particular phone has a very good 3G connection, the full potential of this is limited by the small screen size, processing power. and not having a "sexy" o/s such as Android Being able to comfortably view and edit my online calendar or checking out Google Reader is not  practical on my handset. Another scenario I often find myself in is when abroad and needing to get on the net quickly without having to go to a net cafe. The possibility to channel my 3G connection from my phone to the Pandora via bluetooth  was for me a killer app. You could ofcourse use a MiFi which makes use of your 3G connection from your SIM card and then distribute that using WiFi. This would have required me to either buy a separate sim card, or to keep pulling out my existing one from  my phone and into the MiFi unit - not much fun when you are standing on a crowded train. 

The initial attempts to tether were unsuccessful, although I did manage to establish a blue tooth connection between phone and Pandora. In so doing I accidentally discovered a nifty feature where I could use the phone to remotely control the Pandora, could be handy if I am presenting something and the pandora is hooked up to a projector. Further attempts to tether were proving very frustrating, not helped by the fact that it was difficult to tell whether it was something wrong with the phone or Pandora. However progress was eventually made, again thanks to a tip from one of Evil Dragon’s daily videos. Once I had established a bluetooth connection, I then had to instruct the Pandora to make use of the 3G connection. However this was still not the end as it seemed I could only get a connection randomly with what felt like a 10% success rate. Trying to resolve this was frustrating enough to drive a saint round the bend, again because it was difficult to establish whether the problem was due to the phone or the Pandora. It appeared to be the phone at fault because it seemed to refuse to give the Pandora permission to connect. In the end it turned out to be an issue of sequencing. Once the bluetooth connection has been established, an icon on the phone appears to show that it is ready to share 3G, however this times out fairly quickly. So the trick is to get the Pandora to "grab" the 3G connection from the phone before it times out. I will produce a video to make it clear what steps need to be taken, but I would also be interested to know if other Pandora users have suffered similar issues to me.

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