Push Notifications & Background Processes in 3.0

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jimlyonsie, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. jimlyonsie macrumors member

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    #1
    OK, I am running the GM version of 3.0 and overall it is working well, and is as stable as the last couple of Betas.

    My question for you today is a simple one, and a point which I feel is integral to the future success and development of the iPhone. After watching the WWDC Keynote in full, I can see that the Application Developers all have plans to include the push notification service into their apps.

    When will the push notification services commence? Everyone says that the applications that are out there now are fully compatible for 3.0. Does this mean that they already have the settings included for the push notifications? I have checked all the apps that I have, and in their settings there are no new features to chose your push notification services.

    The most important app that I think would be the 'big attraction' for apple is to get Skype working in this way. Will we be able to have Skype running constantly in the background to receive VOIP calls (when within WIFI), or will this service never be available? Also realistically what would the implications be on the battery usage running such a demanding app constantly in the background?

    So the main question is, when will we be seeing these things starting to work? For IM apps, the iPhone is lagging behind the other manufacturers like BB. With BBM they have that market secured, and Apple have to use one of their innovative new advertising schemes to sell their new IM capabilities with an App like Skype, which has the potential of being much more powerful than BBM.
     
  2. peteryan7hao macrumors regular

    peteryan7hao

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    #2
    Where did you download the 3.0 OS? are you an iPhone developer?

    The Push service will commence on June 17th
     
  3. magga macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2009
    #3
    Push is actually already working, there is an AIM Beta app that has been released to developers and I can confirm push is 100% working and it's great!

    Just need to wait for updates to the other apps to be released with push support which will likely happen after OS 3.0 is released to the masses.
     
  4. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (iPod touch 32GB: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    Push notifications are just that: notifications. They in no way allow background apps so the answer about Skype is no it won't work like that.
     
  5. jimlyonsie thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Get of your moral high horse. As you know there are thousands of users on this forum alone that are non-developers that have installed the latest leak. I also installed the Betas because I paid one of the developers to add me to his account.

    You make out that being a developer is a big deal, but anyone can pay Apple for the privilege.

    I have asked an honest question, which I believe that many people on the Forum would benefit from knowing further information. If you don't want to answer - don't send messages questioning my eligibility to do what I want.

    You can run IM software on a BB in the background. MSN etc can all be running on your BB while you are not actually viewing them.
     
  6. peteryan7hao macrumors regular

    peteryan7hao

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    #6

    I think you misunderstood my questions.

    1. I simply just asked WHERE did you download OS3.0 because I don't know where to download ( and I don't want to pay $99)

    2. "Are you an iPhone developer?"
    hmmm I don't think I need to explain this question...
     
  7. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #7
    Every one who has an Apple Developer account can download the GM 3.0 software. Did I mention it is free, gratis, getting an Apple Developer account in the first place?
     

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  8. peteryan7hao macrumors regular

    peteryan7hao

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    #8
    Its not free, the standard membership costs $99, thats why I asked OP where he downloaded it from... he must be a Pieces LOL
     
  9. ruinfx macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    the iphone is not a blackberry, you cant run an IM app in the background unless you were to jailbreak.
     
  10. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #10
    You can on virtually all other mobile platforms. Unfortunately, Apple decided this was a bad thing and don't allow it on the iPhone. Instead, we get this half baked push notification system which is great for some types of apps and not for others.
    Effectively, the way push notifications work is that if you have an app that is registered for push notifications and it isn't running (i.e. you're not actively using it), the phone will receive a notification of something of interest (e.g. incoming IM Message, updated news item, etc). This either displays a message, sounds an alert or updates a badge number on the application icon. You then start the application and it retrieves the data that is waiting for it.
    This works fantastic for news updates, and OK for IM applications where you can open the application and view the messages that were waiting for you.
    Where it doesn't work so well is for things such as Skype where there could be problems setting up the communications channels.
    Where it doesn't work at all are things such as internet radio that cannot run in the background and the notification system makes no sense.

    Ideally, Apple should provide both the push notifications and background services, but they don't
     
  11. Ntombi macrumors 68030

    Ntombi

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    #11
    The iPhone is not a Blackberry.

    If you do a simple search, you'll find the answers to your questions, because they've been discussed ad nauseam here and elsewhere for months.

    In short, 1) push notifications start on the 17th, when 3.0 is released to the general public, and 2) no non-Apple apps will be able to run in the background for the foreseeable future. That's the point of push notifications.
     
  12. jimlyonsie thread starter macrumors member

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    #12

    Thanks for the answer, that has cleared up a lot of questions that I had.

    Cheers:apple:
     
  13. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #13
    Good point :)
     
  14. mak10 macrumors regular

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    #14
    Apple doesn't allow background processes for a reason, battery life. They have so much stuff going on with the phone that the battery is already strained. I know I can barely go an entire day without charging (granted I charge every night). And if you have a jailbroken phone and you have the app to allow background processes, you know that it can drain the battery pretty fast. Push is a great way to allow you receive notifications instantly without killing the battery.

    And for the person that said that Blackberries allow for background processes, are you sure they are still running on the phone and not using push notification? (not trying to be an ass just simply asking, I don't have much experience with blackberries outside using my girlfriends occassionally). It just seems to me that apps like BBM (blackberry messenger) uses Push, not Background processes, since you're always logged on at the server and notifications are just pushed to the phone... now as far as the gChat app on the blackberry I'm not sure how it works...
     
  15. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #15
    That's the reason Apple have given, but IMO it's open to debate whether it's a good reason or just a sticking plaster over the basic issue that the battery life isn't good enough.
    Personally, I'd happily accept an extra mm or two in thickness on the phone if it meant they could give us a longer lasting battery
     
  16. mak10 macrumors regular

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    #16
    I forgot to put this in my original post, but I kind of agree with you. I think apple should allow background processes, but just let the user know that it will kill the battery faster and it's their choice whether or not to use them. I think we should still get the option if we choose.
     
  17. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502

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    #17

    developers in the iphone program have been getting versions of certain apps that have the push enabled.
    also apple has told all developers to start implementing the feature into their apps for 3.0
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #18
    Apple DOES allow background tasks when it suits them and they have full control: the phone and text apps, the push notification app and the iPod app especially.

    Background tasks don't necessarily use power at all. If they're just waiting for input, they're just using RAM. Even if running (like updating weather once an hour), they're most often using little resources. The exception will be continuous activity, like background music, but that's not unexpected by users, and a decent handheld OS can do that standing on its head.

    There's the real culprit: the lack of RAM in the original iPhone, coupled with trying to cram in full desktop and phone API support before it had enough memory to work with.

    Apple is allowed to control their system. They just need to own up to why they're doing things, instead of raising a generation of technophobes with their half-truth excuses. They could be honest and say, "We don't want to add it (3G, multitasking, whatever) right now because we don't feel our device has the resources to do it smoothly and easily for our target user type".
     
  19. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

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    #19
    The thing you don't get is that Apple *did* release the iPhone and 3G with this limited amount of RAM and a full API.

    This did compromise the ability to run multiple arbitrary tasks at the same time. As a result, Apple was unable to compete with Windows Mobile and Symbian, and the iPhone failed catastrophically. Rejected by the consumer for not offering true multi-tasking; an essential part of any mobile OS.

    But no. Wait!

    That did not happen at all!

    Actually most normal phone consumers don't give a crap about multi-tasking. They want stuff that works consistently. They don't want Supermonkeyball to slow down because Pocket Word is running in the background.

    What actually happened is consumers never accepted the confusing pseudo desktop interface of Windows Mobile. Developers rejected the clunky compromises they need to make for Symbian. And the wider public don't get the open-source majesty of Android either.

    What matters to them, is different from what matters to people who hang out on nerdy tech forums.

    C.
     
  20. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #20
    Why such drama? :)

    No one said lack of multitasking will make the iPhone fail. Quite the contrary, I said it's Apple's choice as to how they handle it.

    At the same time, people multitask with other phones all the time... and those phones haven't failed to sell, either.

    What some of us object to, is Apple making up half-truths that users then naively believe in and repeat.

    Regards.
     
  21. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

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    #21
    Ah, so Apple is a (half) liar. And users are all naive.
    No drama there then.

    There is no half-truth. In the current iPhone hardware, allowing 3rd party apps to run in background would offer a tiny benefit to a handful of nerd types, while exposing typical users to reduced battery life and reduced performance and stability. It's a simple choice and Apple picked.

    You can of course characterize this choice as Apple being controlling and denying the free will its users. (yawn)

    You could alternatively see this as Apple trying hard to create a consistent device experience for the majority of typical users.

    C.
     
  22. DHarrisDBS34 macrumors regular

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    #22
    I'd like the option. There are instances every once in awhile where I really want to run apps in the background. Usually for audio purposes. Like to listen to Pandora, play-by-play on MLB At Bat, or AOL Radio. That's really it. Loading or downloading things are usually pretty fast over Wifi so I don't need it for that.

    I think there are 2 solutions:

    1) Allow both Background Processes and Push Notifications, and let the user turn either one on or off for each app in settings.

    2) Allow certain apps that are submitted to run in the background. Specifically the ones that would make no use of Push Notifications, like the audio streaming apps.
     
  23. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #23
    Apple is infamous for including some truth, but not the whole truth. Lately that's taken the form of blaming the battery. (Another recent example is Apple's "available apps" chart at the WWDC. Funny how they left out WM's tens of thousands. A true chart, just not the whole chart.)

    Too late. Apple has already exposed users to battery usage choices.

    Apple allows each user to decide if they want to use up battery listening to their iPod music in the background or not. It's also why Apple allows the user to decide if they want to get Push email, or what frequency they want the Fetch to be set to.

    Well yes, that's what I said above. "We don't want to add it (3G, multitasking, whatever) right now because we don't feel our device has the resources to do it smoothly and easily for our target user type". That's more of the real reason, not the battery.

    Your words, not mine.
     
  24. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

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    #24
    Artists vs. Engineer.

    This comes down to philosophy. At the core there is a deep philosophical difference between engineers and designers.

    Engineers evaluate things by how they work. To an engineer, this device is better or worse because of *how* it does what it does. What technologies, what specifications, what numbers go into this.

    To an artist or a designer, a device is better or worse because of how well it matches its design objectives. They evaluate it only by outcomes.

    Similarly, Apple approach design in a dramatically different way to Nokia or Microsoft. There is different world view.

    Engineering-led companies have engineers create technology. Design is an afterthought. The user experience is a last-minute addition; a wrapper for the technology beneath. An interface is applied between the tech and user.

    Apple turns this on its head. They focus on the experience first, and tailor the engineering to fit. That's a very different approach. Sometimes that means very innovative engineering but at other times it means tossing-out stuff which others consider essential. It might mean removing choices and eliminating features.

    That approach, is deeply frustrating to some engineers. For some, it goes beyond that. It is downright offensive. How dare they deny me this feature.
    An engineer would never design like that.

    But to typical consumers, they don't give a crap how stuff works. They only care how well it does what they want.

    Is there a right way? Artist or engineering aside, there is another way to look at this, and that is as a commercial business. And in many respects, businessmen are like artists. They only care about outcomes.

    C.
     

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