Apple rumored allowing real background apps on iPhone

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 73
    Apple is not going to add a task manager to the iPhone. That is -still- a terrible idea.

    No-one is even -asking- for third-party multitasking. They just want the Push API.



    And that's going to take more RAM. Considering third-party apps are already running out of memory and crashing, releasing any additional multitasking will cause more apps to crash and generally piss off more users.



    Likely, Apple simply rolled the API into the next major OS release, where they were already tightening down other areas of the operating system to free up some memory. Apple being Apple, they're just holding 3.0 tight to their chest so the features have maximum PR value this summer.
  • Reply 42 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post


    LOL, seems like WM task manger isn't so stupid now eh Steve.



    The WM task manager is still very stupid. It's a horrible implementation of background process control. Even people that try to copy this implementation seem to do a better job. But if this rumor about allowing background processes is true, they're going to at least implement it in a better way, if not totally different.
  • Reply 43 of 73
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Dude, right in the article less than an inch above your comment it says:



    "... a 412MHz ARM processor and only 128MB of (RAM) ..."



    That's just reality; not fabricated at all.



    My first Mac at 20Mhz and 1MB of RAM could multitask. The iPhone's OS is far more advanced, but is also slimmed down to be very efficient. Is 412MHz and 128MB of RAM still insufficient? I find that difficult to believe. Maybe we can hear from some iPhone devs about their thoughts on the matter.
  • Reply 44 of 73
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    With a 412MHz ARM processor and only 128MB of temporary memory, the first- and second-generation iPhone lines may struggle to support more than one or two background apps before becoming unusable.



    This is a software problem not a hardware problem. Make the software efficient for mobile devices and users will be able to multitask all day long. Having a "desktop-class OS" on your phone sounds very appealing at first but the reality is that the developers have to made compromises to fit such a system on a phone.



    I hope the rumors are true though. Background processes will make far more complex and compelling applications possible.
  • Reply 45 of 73
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    It probably stems from the Newton being shut down. Most likely, he was one of the protestors I passed on my way into work, the day the lights went out on Newton and Newton OS.



    The Newton is still alive and kicking. Just not on Apple's agenda.
  • Reply 46 of 73
    WM task manger is not stupid. It's very handy, and works very well. I no longer use it, but found it useful when trying to keep track of the many apps I use to run at the same time.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by arteckx View Post


    The WM task manager is still very stupid. It's a horrible implementation of background process control. Even people that try to copy this implementation seem to do a better job. But if this rumor about allowing background processes is true, they're going to at least implement it in a better way, if not totally different.



  • Reply 47 of 73
    I don't think Push is going to happen. But hopefully I'm wrong.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post


    Apple is not going to add a task manager to the iPhone. That is -still- a terrible idea.

    No-one is even -asking- for third-party multitasking. They just want the Push API.



    And that's going to take more RAM. Considering third-party apps are already running out of memory and crashing, releasing any additional multitasking will cause more apps to crash and generally piss off more users.



    Likely, Apple simply rolled the API into the next major OS release, where they were already tightening down other areas of the operating system to free up some memory. Apple being Apple, they're just holding 3.0 tight to their chest so the features have maximum PR value this summer.



  • Reply 48 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hattig View Post


    If Apple were to do this properly, they would probably come up with a scheme like:



    1) Background Applications are stand-alone Applications. They might even extend a new base class called, for example, NSBackgroundApp. Indeed implementation wise they could be nothing more than modules that are run by a background application scheduler that can schedule for best resource conservation.



    2) These Applications are restricted in scope, but can of course use any system library apart from those that generate interfaces



    3) Their running time might be restricted, their memory usage likewise. E.g., they might only be able to run once every 5 seconds, and not exceed 1MB in running application size. In addition there might only be three or four background application slots.



    4) If you are actively using the phone, or if it is being charged, then considerations for battery life can be temporarily dropped. I.e., if you are browsing the web then running an internet radio application in the background isn't such a big deal, (but when the phone is trying to run on minimal power it would be).



    Also why would you swap out the application code to flash? Surely you would mmap the code on flash anyway, bringing it into RAM as required, and simply invalidating the pages if another application needs them?



    As for resources, there's nothing wrong with a 412MHz ARM and 128MB RAM. Even in low-power mode which it surely runs in most of the time it is 103MHz (? I don't know, but I presume the CPU clocks down). I had pre-emptive multitasking with shared libraries on an 8MHz 68000 (Amiga 500) that performs like a 2MHz ARM. I've even seen very basic pre-emptive multitasking running on a 4MHz Z80 with 128KB RAM (SymbOS) with a Win95-like desktop environment.



    This is what I predicted on a TUAW post. To me this seems like the most logical way of handling the whole situation. An iPhone app bundle can have a background executable, which can be run on certain system events or on a timer. While internet radio would be out of the question, it easily enables messaging apps and stuff like gps loggers (for a system event such as "location changed").



    I've never really understood the push system as a solution; It requires a huge step up from devs to include it - writing server code, hosting that code, making sure that server never goes down - suddenly a lone dev is spending a lot of time being a sysadmin.
  • Reply 49 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post


    WM task manger is not stupid. It's very handy, and works very well. I no longer use it, but found it useful when trying to keep track of the many apps I use to run at the same time.



    It's not stupid in it's existence. It was necessary on that platform. It's stupid in the way it was implemented.



    Of course it's handy because you need to keep track of those applications, and it would have been sad if it couldn't do two things well. But, for something that should be routine (exiting an application that you're done with), it was a pain to get to the task manager to do it.



    If it was easy on your device, you probably had a third-party switcher application (maybe on the top bar) to help with that. Some device makers pre-installed them just to avoid users complaining that such a basic feature was so difficult to get to by default. If MS had just added easy access on their own, I wouldn't be calling it stupid.
  • Reply 50 of 73
    Hahahah, well, well well, its seems apple cannot stand by and be apple anymore. They have to be like the others. If funny how they make all "the apple rules" about how multitask apps are not so need, how people only really need one app at a time. In my view, apple got the UI right on the iphone but as usual, gets the business aspect dead on wrong. The android or win mobile might not be pretty OS, but they covered a broader and wider scenario than the iphone os. Then comes the pre with as good a UI as the iphone as well as adding the broader and wider application scenario (like multiapp). Seems like apple is now catching up instead of being ahead in whats needed. I love apple but their ego is also what makes me not like apple. The first time the iphone come out- these were the no no's



    No flash because thats what we have decided

    No mutiapp because users only need one

    Notification, oo well, you only need to compare it with android or pre



    Heck, I even had to register to get iphone sdk. That was the first as a developer. I had to register to read the sdk help documents. Wow, now if you are a developer, you knows know what i mean.



    Let just say I believe that beauty and price point can only go so far, after a while, competition will set in and it looks like that making apple bend their ego. Its always been about the money and not the cult (apple fans).
  • Reply 51 of 73
    The primary design concern of background apps is battery drain. If you let a background app make a network connection every 5 seconds, it won't matter what the allowed memory footprint is. Someone will do it poorly and destroy battery life. Someone will find a way to leak memory. Someone will manage to throttle a shared resource, degrading the performance of the foreground app.



    And there's simply no reason to allow people to write their own background logic. What are they going to do? Monitor device states, log event data somewhere and notify the user.



    How is it better to let a thousand programmers of varying competence reinvent this wheel and run redundant code on the user's device?



    The idea behind the Push API is that a tight piece of highly reliable and vetted code is handling the power-draining parts and notifying tiny third-party code of relevant state change information (network event, scheduled alarm, location change, raptors ahead) only when it matters.



    It also keeps the whole ecosystem far more stable if developers don't have to worry about which other third party background apps (or combinations) cause resource problems in their app.
  • Reply 52 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,001member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danielctull View Post


    This is what I predicted on a TUAW post. To me this seems like the most logical way of handling the whole situation. An iPhone app bundle can have a background executable, which can be run on certain system events or on a timer. While internet radio would be out of the question, it easily enables messaging apps and stuff like gps loggers (for a system event such as "location changed").



    I've never really understood the push system as a solution; It requires a huge step up from devs to include it - writing server code, hosting that code, making sure that server never goes down - suddenly a lone dev is spending a lot of time being a sysadmin.



    Apple's Push concept is(was?) that Apple would be hosting the servers, everything would be going through that.



    This means less work for the developers, and no worrying about having to buy, and maintain their own servers, or the expense of it, as Apple would be shouldering that load for everyone.
  • Reply 53 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,001member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emmanuelbuah View Post


    Hahahah, well, well well, its seems apple cannot stand by and be apple anymore. They have to be like the others. If funny how they make all "the apple rules" about how multitask apps are not so need, how people only really need one app at a time. In my view, apple got the UI right on the iphone but as usual, gets the business aspect dead on wrong. The android or win mobile might not be pretty OS, but they covered a broader and wider scenario than the iphone os. Then comes the pre with as good a UI as the iphone as well as adding the broader and wider application scenario (like multiapp). Seems like apple is now catching up instead of being ahead in whats needed. I love apple but their ego is also what makes me not like apple. The first time the iphone come out- these were the no no's



    No flash because thats what we have decided

    No mutiapp because users only need one

    Notification, oo well, you only need to compare it with android or pre



    Heck, I even had to register to get iphone sdk. That was the first as a developer. I had to register to read the sdk help documents. Wow, now if you are a developer, you knows know what i mean.



    Let just say I believe that beauty and price point can only go so far, after a while, competition will set in and it looks like that making apple bend their ego. Its always been about the money and not the cult (apple fans).



    In the beginning, there was no prtense from Apple that the iPhone was a business device at all. None! Apple even made remarks to that effect.



    But, despite the lack of most business aspects, software, security, database support, etc., the phone kept sneaking into businesses anyway.



    So, starting with the 3G, and the ver. 2 OS, they began to make a push.



    But if you, or anyone else, thinks that Apple is finished adding to this, you'd be wrong.



    It's easy to forget that the established business phones took years to get where they are today, and that they were added to over time. It's simply impossible to add every requirement in a ver 1 software release.



    Android has a long way to go as well.



    As far as your having to register, well, gee, what a big deal to complain about!
  • Reply 54 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    But if you, or anyone else, thinks that Apple is finished adding to this, you'd be wrong.



    I certainly hope you are right... Hopefully they won't drop a new phone with version 3.0 and leave old devices in the dark. Thats been one of the most attractive elements to me thus far.
  • Reply 55 of 73
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post


    WM task manger is not stupid. It's very handy, and works very well. I no longer use it, but found it useful when trying to keep track of the many apps I use to run at the same time.



    classic typo



    from wikipedia:



    A manger is a trough or box of carved stone or wood construction used to hold food for animals (as in a stable). Mangers are mostly used in livestock raising. They are also used to feed wild animals, e.g., in nature reserves. The word comes from the French manger (meaning "to eat"), or from Latin manducare (meaning "to chew").
  • Reply 56 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,001member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by S8ER01Z View Post


    I certainly hope you are right... Hopefully they won't drop a new phone with version 3.0 and leave old devices in the dark. Thats been one of the most attractive elements to me thus far.



    I agree with that, though at some point it will have to happen.



    I think that if we can get at least three years of new OS versions, that would be pretty good considering how it's been done before. I would like to see four, with most new features, other that what may need the newer hardware. That would be more than fair. Four year old phone hardware would be pretty outdated with the way phones are moving these gays.
  • Reply 57 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,001member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    classic typo



    from wikipedia:



    A manger is a trough or box of carved stone or wood construction used to hold food for animals (as in a stable). Mangers are mostly used in livestock raising. They are also used to feed wild animals, e.g., in nature reserves. The word comes from the French manger (meaning "to eat"), or from Latin manducare (meaning "to chew").



    It might be the right word, the way it forces you to "chew" through the slow software on that phone platform.
  • Reply 58 of 73
    I looked three times, I was thinking WTH is he/she talking about.

    Hahahah.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    classic typo



    from wikipedia:



    A manger is a trough or box of carved stone or wood construction used to hold food for animals (as in a stable). Mangers are mostly used in livestock raising. They are also used to feed wild animals, e.g., in nature reserves. The word comes from the French manger (meaning "to eat"), or from Latin manducare (meaning "to chew").



  • Reply 59 of 73
    Might be a even better typo, considering what some PC people think most Mac users are.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I agree with that, though at some point it will have to happen.



    Four year old phone hardware would be pretty outdated with the way phones are moving these gays.



  • Reply 60 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,001member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post


    Might be a even better typo, considering what some PC people think most Mac users are.



    Oops! I don't want to change the history of the post since it's been noticed already.



    But I will apologize.
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