Originally Posted by MissionGrey
I just want to be able to send texts from inside of open apps
I've been watching this issue for some time and I'm convinced that Apple can offer 90% of the experience for 10% of the work.
The one set of "backgrounding tasks" that people want are simply plug-ins for the iPod player. This takes care of all the radio-like and other streaming issues. These strike me as relatively easy.
Another set are the interactive editors so you can make a quick reply to a text message, etc. These too seem very easy.
Another set are "I'm on the network" type alerts that allow applications on your phone to communicate their status to the wider network. For instance, you might want to have an app that broadcasts your location back to a server, so people can find you on maps.
This one is not so easy, but would plug into their existing notification server system. What would be needed is a new "kit" in the iPhone OS that collects up the plugins from your installed apps and keeps them running.
Something like Skype would have an internal module with an ID stamp that this kit would see, and load up when you start the phone up. It would essentially be a set of instructions that say things like "send this message to this IP address when I connect to WiFi, send that message to that IP when I disconnect from WiFi, send this message..." So then when you get home and your phone is on WiFi, your worldwide Skype presence updates without you having to do anything, and the existing messaging server would be used to tell the Skype application that there are incoming calls.
A social mapping app would have a similar plugin. However, this one would have instructions that says "send this bit of data to this server every 5 minutes, send this bit of data to this IP when my location moves more than 100 meters" etc.
In both cases the actual job of keeping these messages flowing is being handled by a single, hopefully small, application. This reduces the CPU and memory footprints.