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Background processes to show in iPhone 3.0?

updated 03:15 pm EST, Tue February 3, 2009

Bkgrnd Apps in iPhone 3

Apple may give iPhones true but controlled support for background apps with a major revision of the operating system, a claim from MacRumors suggests. Pointing to one or more unnamed source, the site says the delay in implementing the long-delayed background push notification feature promised at last year's WWDC may transform into a true background app process that lets users choose which software stays open as they switch to other tasks; Apple's proposed solution would only allow a channel of network data to be sent to individual programs.

At present, the iPhone must automatically close most apps and only allows certain of Apple's own services to run in the background, such as e-mail checks and music playback. The interface is often cited as the primary reason for the limit, as it doesn't include buttons or shortcuts to switch apps without closing. When justifying the its since-stalled background push notification efforts, Apple didn't overly reject the notion of running background apps but criticized operating systems like Windows Mobile for poor management that necessitated a dedicated task manager to close programs.

While background push notification enables instant messaging software and some other apps to remain effective, programs that need a constant connection like IRC clients or streaming radio need to remain fully active to be effective.

It's not known whether the feature would be enabled for all iPhones in a future firmware revision, such as 3.0, or only for future models. While Apple has never commented on any hardware limitations for its own product, most observers believe the current iPhone lacks enough processing power and RAM to run more than a small number of programs at a time. Apple's next iPhone is widely believed to be getting performance upgrades that could include a new ARM processor and more memory, neither of which has changed since the original model's debut in 2007.

True background apps may be necessary to fend off competition from rivals moving towards more advanced touchscreen smartphones, particularly the Palm Pre. The new handset's webOS has a similar interface approach but uses its center button and gesture shortcuts to let users close or change apps regardless of what's running.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    um

    Does that mean background push notification is dead? Or just it is being expanded on to try to bring all things to all people?

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +6

    All I want is IM...

    Push notification!!!!

  1. petsounds

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007

    +1

    not a suprise

    I assumed this to be the case when we didn't see push in the last major rev. Background processes will become Apple's main driver to upgrade to a new iPhone.

    I believe that the central data push architecture that was previously discussed will remain in place, and this will cascade back to earlier iPhones, but true app switching will require the new iPhone.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Re: not a surprise

    but couldn't they push the push technology out while working the background processes, rather than waiting?

    It just makes me think they failed at push and are now working on background processes....

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -1

    iPhone 3G out of date?

    Just some questions?

    That means the new firmware will not run on iPhone 3G? or if it runs it just slow the device?

    That mean that we have to buy new phones to have that new features... and maybe the copy/paste?


  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -2

    iPhone 3G out of date?

    Just some questions...

    That means the new firmware will not run on iPhone 3G? or if it runs it just slow the device?

    That mean that we have to buy new phones to have that new features... and maybe the copy/paste?


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