Has Apple done an about face? Push notifications are same as the badmouth RIM setup

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mrtune, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. mrtune macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    I'd like to get my thoughts out here for discussion.

    I feel push notifications is a strikingly similar method of a notification system that Apple religiously badmouthed when announcing the iPhone for the first time.

    From my understanding, basically what happens is that when you close an app, that said app will maintain a connection with a 3rd party server. When that server receives notifications, it then pushes that notification to your phone.

    So instead of your phone having open connections with 30 servers (just throwing out a random number) and getting its battery murdered, a server up in the internet cloud will maintain those 30 connections from 30 different apps on your behalf and send notifications to you as they are received. Your iPhone only needs one connection.

    To me this is remarkably similar to how RIM does email. The same email system that Apple says is stupid, and that your phone should connect directly to your email as the better way to handle email. RIM uses a 3rd party server to check all your emails on your behalf, and pushes them as they come into your blackberry.

    Don't these two setups sound remarkably similar? Discuss.
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Yeah, it's very similar, and they both have single point of failure where if the "cloud" ever crashes, you're SOL.

    With RIM, that means no emails. With Apple, that means no push notifications.
  3. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    Like every feature for every product, it was only stupid because Apple didn't have it. Once they have it, it's cool. Haven't you figured this out by now? ;)
  4. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    I don't know how the rim set up works, but your picture in your mind is a little off.

    There are no open connections for 30 different apps.

    Any provider who wants to send notifications would maintain their own servers. Any time they have an event that might trigger a push notice they send a message to the apple servers, which then send a message to the phone.

    There is no ongoing connection of the sort. That is why it is called push notification. The App's servers push a notice to the app servers which delivers it to the phone. There are no resources or connections involved except for the delivery and receipt of the actual notification message.
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    How does Apple's app servers push it to the phone? If the phone doesn't initiate and maintain a connection with the Apple app servers, does that mean that the app servers can initiate a connection directly with the phone?
  6. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 603

    Knowlege Bomb

    Feb 14, 2008
    Madison, WI
    They sound similar because they're the same thing.

    Push is push whether you're looking at Apple or Blackberry.
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Per Apple's explanation on the developer site:
    So yes, there's a constant connection. However, there's exactly one connection, not many, and what's pushed contains, among other things, the ID of the app to be notified as well as very limited space for message content. Any significant data is supposed to be pulled by the app once it's notified (for example, if some app showed new pics from a site, the notification would indicate that there was a new pic, but the notification would not contain the actual pic).

    As noted, push is push, but various vendors and methodologies are more or less efficient. Apple's approach seems to be quite efficient, as far as I can tell from the docs online.
  8. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    Some differences include:

    The Apple servers don't maintain a connection to the application servers. They simply send a one-way message to Apple, and it queues it up to send to your phone.

    The Apple servers don't give back an acknowledgement as to whether the notificaton made it or not. (In non-realtime, you can access an Apple non-delivery list that's compiled over time, so you can mark off dead users.)
  9. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    Apple wants you to think they're innovating everything. Really, they're just innovating most things.
  10. jobsfnby macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2008
    the phone keeps an open connection to 1 apple server while all the 3rd party servers push their notifications to Apple's server

    this way there's only one constant open connection while the user is able to receive notifications from many applications

    Attached Files:

  11. cere macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2008
    When did Apple say RIM's push was stupid? Who said it? Smells like a strawman to me.

    Could be wrong, but I don't recall them criticizing it at all.
  12. sd2009 macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2008
    Pretty sure they didn't.
  13. w0nker macrumors member


    Jun 7, 2008
    Your iPhone is connected to AT&T and apple at all times. That's how it can tell your "bars" which is what text messages travel on also.
  14. macfanboy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2007
    I was gunnna say the same thing, but apple did insult RIM's EMAIL service
  15. DeathChill macrumors 68000

    Jul 15, 2005
    They did, but I think they meant for email security. Apple was still wrong about it, but I remember when they said it.
  16. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    I don't recall Apple ever badmouthing push notifications in any form, so I don't think your correlation is exactly relevant.

    What they DID badmouth was smartphones that have background processes. By background processes, this means that when you close the app, it's actually still running in the background taking up memory and bogging down your phone.
    On the iPhone, when you close a 3rd party app, it completely stops running and has nothing at all running on the phone.

    Say you have AIM running. When you close the AIM app, AOL's servers will still keep your name appearing as if it's online and if someone sends you a message, they relay that info to Apple's Push server, which then sends the info to you. When you tap "OK" or whatever on the notification, it relaunches the AIM app, logs you back in on your phone, and lets you reply

    edit: just saw the reply above me. I believe what you saw about the email bit was in regards to Exchange support. Other providers connect to a NOC server, which in turn connects to message server, which then talks to the exchange server. Conversely, Apple uses activesync and talks directly with the exchange server. This is where they said "the other guys are doing it wrong"
  17. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    Yep. Damn those people at Apple for leaving their phone & text & email fetch & notification process & sometimes Safari & even OMG the iPod app, all running in the background, bogging our phones down.


    So I get an IM notification while I'm playing Flick Bowling. I'm doing pretty well today, all strikes and it's the ninth frame. But it's an important IM person, so I go start up AIM and type back "ok" and send it.

    Alas. not all apps save state, and this bowling is one of the bad ones. I have to go start all over again. Talk about bogged down for no reason.

    I think it should be up to me as to how I get "bogged" down. :)
  18. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I think Apple is choosing a better, more controlled user experience over an individual user's flexibility.

    In the same situation where you'd enjoy being able to run multiple background apps at your discretion, my wife would wonder why her phone is suddenly running so slowly, not realizing she had 15 apps still open.
  19. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    Not sure about better, but definitely they're doing the choosing for us. Which is their right, but not my favorite choice.

    I'd also say that Palm came up with a very clever method of giving the user control, without losing a good experience. I might experiment and see if my anti-tech wife can figure out the card metaphor.

    That's a good idea. If, as you say, it was at my discretion, then your (and my) wife might never use whatever multi-tasking start mechanism was chosen, but we could.

    Basically, if we had a situation more like WinMo or jailbroken OSX, then the more adventurous could use alternative shells. And Apple could keep the easy one as normal.
  20. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    It looks like Apple was talking about security and it being a single point of failure.

  21. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US

    Yeah, I agree. Also, I would love to see a multi-tasking ability akin to what the Palm Pre has. That looks very elegant and "Apple-like" to me. Since they've opted to not do this, I think the next best thing is to force a state save on all apps so that when you open them, you get to see what you were last working on, giving the illusion that you never shut the app down. Since this might not work so well in some cases, perhaps there could be an overlying dialog box that asks if we want to start fresh or restore the last state when tapping the icons. This, of course, would be something that could be toggled by the user in settings, perhaps even on a per-app basis.
    But maybe that's getting too complex for Apple's known simplicity.
  22. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    The whole "shake to undo" feature in 3.0 has me thinking that Apple's stretching what they consider simple and intuitive! :D
  23. golden3159 macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2009
    Apple is the kign of hypocrisy. They always always badmouth something and then do their own things the wrong way.

    Then they copy others work and claim it as innovative. That's Apple for you.
  24. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    As long as they keep putting out products that I enjoy using, they can be as hypocritical as they want to be. :D
  25. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I believe it's called the "Etch-a-sketch" method. :D

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