back to article Apple ignores Jesus Phone life raft

For reasons unknown, Apple's new Jesus Phone SDK won't allow apps that run in the background. As many have noted, this rules out instant messaging - or, at least, instant messaging as we know it. But it also rules out all sorts of other useful applications, including the fledgling smartphone rescue tool from remote control maven …

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Rob
Alien

battery life

the reason is most likely battery life, if you leave more than a couple of apps running on a jailbroken phone the battery life drops massively, leave more than that running and you could cane a full battery up in less than a day, cue lots of whining from people that the phone is no use etc etc when its actually just that they're running a shedload of apps at once,

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Alert

Maybe...

"Redding even believes that Steve Jobs will one day embrace the tool - in spite of his current stance on background apps. "We think the carriers will ask to," Redding said."

Unfortunatly for them, whats more likely is Apple will do their own version, make it look shiny and use some proprietry fluff, and basically end up forcing the carriers to use their version.

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Absolutely right

Couldn't agree more. What my iPhone needs is hundreds of applications that refuse to close, hogging resource and introducing the kind of features that my old Vario II had -- namely, requiring a total reboot every day or so because it slowed to a crawl.

It's unbelievable that Apple have take this stance, forcing this clearly essential LogMeIn application -- useful to almost 0.02% of all handset owners -- onto other platforms. When will Steve Jobs learn that instead of marketing a hugely usable device to the masses, he should be focusing all his efforts on the arcane, niche requirements of bearded nerds?

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This is old news, the question was answered weeks ago.

This has already been answered. The reason why they are currently not allowing background apps is research showed that background apps can severley hamper battery life.

Apps such as Shozu on the N95 have proved how big an effect this can have.

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Boffin

Complaining for the sake of it

Ummm, chaps? Any device that needs that sort of take-over support is either too complicated on the first place, or badly documented, or both. It won't surprise many that remote-control support is needed on a Windows Mobile device, perhaps other companies can mostly escape the mess that led to this being some sort of requisite capability.

That you're still whining about background processes not being allowed shows that like many tech enthusiasts you don't know what you want, only what you DON'T want. Many, if not most, people agree that the reasoning is based on performance - be that for CPU usage or memory constraints. This is still a device of significantly lower cpu power than an average PC, though obviously the gap will narrow somewhat in the future. If Apple, or any company feels that a certain kind of third-party software behaviour is detrimental to their products' performance, it's their prerogative to outlaw it. Apple originally brought out a great phone and multimedia device - they didn't announce a platform. That 3rd-party developers can NOW also develop for it is fantastic: that Apple chooses to limit behaviour for the greater good of usage performance is really up to Apple (and not that mysterious or EVIL).

For a publication that has taken almost every opportunity to ridicule the device, you spend an awful amount of pixels on moaning that you can't play with it every way you want to.

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Boffin

Apple decided to go for the Enterprise.

@Chris Gibson - "When will Steve Jobs learn that instead of marketing a hugely usable device to the masses, he should be focusing all his efforts on the arcane, niche requirements of bearded nerds?"

Because these bearded nerds write enterprise software that's distributed to companies with several thousand employees, software that can't operate without background processes. Battery life doesn't need to be an issue, you just need to be able to register event listeners, after all, the BlackBerry manages this just fine...

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Boffin

@Chris Gibson

I can't believe people actually gave up their (rebranded) HTC TyTN for a Jesus Phone. Given the way Apple treats me (by blocking me telling me I can sample but cannot buy just because I'm not in their list of countries) and my own internal geekiness level, I'd prefer to keep my TyTN (with it's wonderful QWERTY keyboard, super multi-band 3G/2G transceiver board, and AGPS).

As for multiple programs running in background, well, one reason I love PocketNav :D . My Dopod-rebranded TyTN runs for weeks without a reboot because I kill off programs I didn't need using that (yeah, you can do that in the Memory control panel under settings as well, but why do I want to do a few taps to kill a program when I can do it with one?)

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Jobs Horns

Rehash

While it is old news about background apps.

its yet another reason that they would be useful for the iPhone particularly when Apple have got a set of background tasks for their apps.

The problem is not that background apps are not allowed its the double standard about them IMO. If it affects battery life then why should apple have them ? shouldn't the user decide ?

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Jobs Horns

Ahh, so this is where the Apple fanboys are hiding.

So, are you lot avoiding the recent articles that have blown apart the myths surrounding Apple's superior security and hardware quality or what?

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So no one gets a choice

Okay, so background apps suck battery. Is that a good reason to say no background apps. No it isn't.

Let developers make the apps and let people choose to use them or not, hell if you want make the API pop up a big box warning that it will suck your battery, but give people the choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ahh, so this is where the Apple fanboys are hiding.

I must have missed them. Which is weird because I watch security stuff as part of my job.

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Seriously... wtf?

So they won't have always-on apps because they consume more battery?

Erm, how else would they work?

Isn't that like complaining that you drove your car constantly for a day it uses more petrol than if you drive for an hour?

If they have to point this out to your average jesus-phone user, I'm putting some chlorine in the gene pool

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Heart

background apps = skype

If you can put background apps on an iphone or itouch then you can easily install something like Skype on it and take calls that don't go through your carrier.

Or even better, like me you can buy an ipod touch and if you put skype on that you have no real need for an iphone

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Flame

Folding

As an utterly impractical daydream suggestion - I wonder how folding would run on the iphone?

As well as serving the scientific community, it performs the double function of an extra toasty pocket/hand warmer. For about 1/2 an hour - until it crashed or the battery was drained.

Mine's the one with the still-warm pockets, please.

Flames 'cos that's what would probably happen.

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Rob
Gates Horns

apple superiority

to be honest I couldn't give two shakes of a goats knackers whether my display shows more colours than my eye can perceive or whether there's STILL an unpatched vulnerability from a whole nanosecond ago, the reason I like macs is they are the only platform with logic and their superiority when it comes to music production and general audio, windows DAP packages with the exception of pro tools (still better under osx!) absolutely suck bums, you spend a whole day fannying around making thinks work trying to reduce latency blah blah blah, get a mac you plug the stuff in and it pretty much just works, when you've got a creative train of thought to try and keep thats what you need!!

I also bought an iPhone because after owning an n93 I vowed never to go near symbian again, its utter cak, plus the data bills I received were utterly ricockulous 100quid one month on data alone and I used it nowhere near the amount I do now that its virtually unlimited,

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Rob

Background apps

The main problem would be that people don't know holding the home button closes the app, if you jailbreak your phone you can run background apps, if you load a few apps up and press the home button expecting that it 'quits' then you end up with them all running in the background and your battery begins getting its face kicked in, its not like saying your car uses more petrol if you drive it all day, more like if you give a load of fat people a lift (and they dont get out when you expected them to)

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Si

RE: Background Apps suckign battery life...

...rather than outlaw battery background apps altogether, then, would it not make sense to limit exactly how many apps one can run in the background at any one time instead? Say, set a predetermined limit for background memory usage. Y'can either have one big app using that memory, or several more insignificant ones.

I was very much hoping for a Last FM app to come from the SDK for example, like MobileScrobbler for jailbroken iPhones. I hardly think that sucks a lotta battery life yet, because there may be a few background apps out there that would, even minor apps are being prevented?

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@Chris and Stuff

"For a publication that has taken almost every opportunity to ridicule the device, you spend an awful amount of pixels on moaning that you can't play with it every way you want to."

Umm, I think that there might be more than one journo at El Reg. Some of them have different opinions. (Shock, horror!) I believe "not having a stance" is quite fun - it plays hell with the readers who would like to believe they should and do have a stance and of course leaves El Reg free to have much more fun.

Concerning the iPhone versus iPod Touch with Skype (if such a thing should exist) dilemma:

We are living in an interim period where we buy WiFi gadgets but there is little WiFi coverage and no guarantee of connection. Are we just optimists? The idea of permanently connected WiFi gadgets is fabulous but the reality is somewhat depressing if not outright discouraging. The ridiculous charges and lack of cohesion from the commercial WiFi providers has made a mockery of the whole situation, in my opinion.

If we could have guaranteed WiFi then a lot of people would use VOIP over WiFi mobile telephones and the mobile telephone industry would suffer, I wonder if this has anything to do with the current situation?

So, WiFI is cheap but has appalling coverage and GSM 3G has good coverage but is very expensive. I wonder what the future will bring? National WiFi would be great, another Essential Service like gas or water, paid via a monthly bill? GSM 3G made affordable for normal customers? The current poor status quo?

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Alert

@ @ chris gibson

I can't believe more windows movie users havent jumped... A great Internet phone that doesnt need a full reboot ever day and a factory restore once a week? Yes please!

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Same old same old...

@ Anonymous Coward: "I can't believe people actually gave up their HTC TyTN for a Jesus Phone."

I didn't "give up my HTC TyTN" for an iPhone, I just got so fed up with it that I bought an iPhone instead. Personally, I hugely prefer the iPhone. If you prefer the TyTN, that's great -- but what did you think about the iPhone? You *have* used one, right...?

Back on topic, the mention of "PocketNav" and closing programmes via "Memory control panel under settings" sums up, for me, why the iPhone works so well. I don't want to fiddle around with menus and submenus, or -- worse! -- install some third-party software, purely to stop my mobile running at half its usual speed because so much junk's built up in the background.

I personally feel that losing background applications is worth the trade-off, to keep the core system running smoothly and not clogged up with rogue processes. Disagree? Then stick with Windows Mobile, it sounds like exactly what you need. Or just post irrelevant whines about Apple and "fanboys", of course...

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Jobs Halo

Jobs Worths

Some Products are custom made, in house, in their entirety, whilst others are merely a motley collection of stock components which aspire to be thought of as custom made, in house, in their entirety.

As petrol heads out there might share, that is the similarity and the difference which marks out the likes of a Koenigsegg or a Veyron from a Corvette or an Evolution. Some just make a better Job of things than others whenever they have XXXXClusive Control of Applications without trying to be all things to all people. Some people think that other deserve Better than just the Normal and we are all enriched by IT, as would they be.

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No thanks!

I'd rather not have background apps running on my iPhone, thank you. It's a simple way of blocking malicious spy / virus apps. And I can't think of a single possible reason why I'd want a remote 'engineer' to log in to my iPhone and mess around with it.

Half the problem with Windows Mobile devices is (funnily enough, the same as full fat Windows) that there's too much crapware running which slows down the whole experience and drains the battery. The iPhone isn't massively fast and responsive as it is, so I'd prefer to keep it pristine where possible.

Thank you Apple!

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shame, but hardly "Unknown Reasons"

The reasons are pretty obvious really - decreased battery life, decreased speed, decreased security/privacy.

Don't forget that the majority of people in the world are morons. These are the people that install all the funny applications their mates email them, click 'yes' to all the little popup windows they get on the internet and don't bother to keep their OS patched up.

I used to have a windows mobile phone and it ran like crap after a few days because it could barely manage applications that were *supposed* to quit! Apple are sticking to their design goal of making something that is slick and easy to use.

I love a nice little instant messaging application, but I'm content to live with SMS and email (although I'd really like MMS) if it means that I don't have to bugger about with application managers and memory monitors, that's not what my phone is for.

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@Seriously... wtf?

"If they have to point this out to your average jesus-phone user, I'm putting some chlorine in the gene pool"

The "average" user doesn't know one end of a stick from the other. You might - but you are a stick techy.

I deal with a wide client base - of which only about 20% really know what they are doing. The others, the "average" users think that because I've told them that the computer is running slow because they've used virtually all the memory up and that opening yet another application is not going to happen, start deleting files files from their HD instead of closing unnecessary apps. Now that's an Average user.

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Oh dear

Stop the whining and the girly wording: "heartlessly rejected." WTF?

Why would any carrier need this app in the first place?

"this eminently useful app" you gotta be kidding me?!?!

So the carrier should be allowed to remotely log into the user's phone? HAHA !

In emergency situations I recall the "remote wipe" from Apple.

Otherwise why on earth would that be necessary if any issue can be resolved by restore with backup? In every other case a repair/replacement is necessary anyways.

Totally useless app for that platform and the article is not an article but a subjective little opinion maker.

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Anonymous Coward

'Battery Life'

Hey give the fanboys a break - if you had a phone where you couldn't change the battery you would be paranoid about battery life also.

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Rob

Spare

Well I've never had a spare battery for any of my phones so I don't see how it makes a difference

Oh, I always had to take the battery out of my n93 when it decided to turn itself off, which it did probably about 3 times a week for no discernable reason, removing the battery and putting it back in was the only way to make it come back on again!

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Flame

Flame on...

My boss just brought back one of these pieces of garbage from the states- Of course it was dumped on my desk to get it working. After two days of working with it and it's "GUI for cretins" I've renamed it the "Fucking Twat Phone" as in "If a fucking twat needed a phone, which one would it use".

Got to go, the boss has just rung down. Apparently the fucking twat phone doesn't like spaces in file names....

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Rob

Boss?!!

Man, if you can't use an iPhone there has to be something seriously wrong with you!! It's the easiest most intuitive device i've ever used, what is there to set up?? insert email account details? make a playlist in itunes?!!, wooooo, techie stuff!!

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Rob

Ahhh

I realise now you had to unlock it, which would have taken all of about 1 minute 30 seconds

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Jobs Horns

re: Boss?!!

Rob: "It's the easiest most intuitive device i've ever used"

Well, like Andrew said, it's a "GUI for cretins".

And twats.

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@ Mark Broadhurst

Apple's apps don't run in the background. the OS runs in the background and has a few protocols it monitors (for push e-mail, SMS, and a couple of others). It's not the mail app that's telling you that you have mail, it's an Icon presented by the OS. IMAP is an open protocol the iPhone OS supports. You'll notice that even though the mail icon indicates you have 5 messages, when you open mail, it doesn't show them, it actually has to itself connect, determine how many messages you have, then doenload them.... It is not a background application.

Apple could provide protocols for other similar services, and I expect that as soon as iChat is ported to the phone, chat will have this OS level function. unfortunately, their agreements with AT&T currently prevent Apple from using chat on the iPhone since AT&T charges for SMS. It took LONG fights and hard won battles to convince AT&T that a minimum 200 SMS messages would be required in the base plan and that pict messaging would not be supported by Apple. As soon as AT&T joins Sprint and offeres unlimited messaging as part of their plan, and makes an unlimited message plan standard on ALL iPhones, then AT&T is not going to let apple out of that clause.

On some levels, Apple is using this restriction to make the phone more reliable, certainly use less battery life, and prevent viruses, application interference, and more. On other levels, it's their job to make sure AT&T actually sellt their device. Phone comapnies make LARGE portionsa of their profits from SMS, pict, and other pay-pur-use services. Just taking ringtones away from AT&T on this device almost did not go though...

Open network legislation on the upcoming 700MHz band may change many of these limitations. We'll have to wait and see. i expect to see an iChat client as soon as AT&T adjusts plan pricing to make SMS irrelevent.

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Your language betrays you

@ Andrew Moore: Such evident and excessively expressed disdain simply marks you out as narrow- and closed-minded (and immature in not being able to express yourself without swearing). Just because you can't see that the iPhone has an elegant and, more important, eminently useable interface doesn't mean that it isn't so, or make it untrue that the vast majority of people appreciate the iPhone for what it does so well.

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Sleep mode vs background

There's a layer here I just came to realize. When the phone is active (screen on) obviously theres a lof of battery use between the screen light, tough sensor, positional sensor, etc. When it's asleep (screen off, not on a call) even the app that was in the foreground gets paused. I've confirmed this by downloading a large PDF file (via a web page) and let the phone sit motionless and go to sleep (set sleep to 1 minute). The phone powered off with the file about 60% downloaded. When I clicked it on later, slid my finger to activate, it brought me back to the web page, still at 60% loaded, but it cound't finish, I had to reload the page since I had apparently lost connection.

When the phone sleeps, the iPond function however can week going. When playing video, it doesn't sleep automatically, nor does it when on a call. I'm thinking there's not only a "screen off" state, but also a deeper sleep state that the device enters. If this is the case, it could be unloading lots of stuff from memory, maybe even spinning the CPU down.

My phone sleeps on battery for more than 3 days before i get a warning. I'd think wifi woudl draw more poewr than that. On bluetooth it does! (with a headset paired I get less than 2 days battery). I need to run ethereal on my network to see what activity is coming from the iPhone durring different modes, but perhaps to simplify how the OS handles sleep in order to preserve battery, background apps may not really be possible. I'm guessing when on I'll see much more packet activity in my network then when the phone is asleep... If someone else gets to do this before i post a response, please post first (it'sll be a couple of days before I can do this, I'm traveling).

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Pathetic

Apple shows yet again that it is NOT your friend. What a joke.

My phone has 3 background apps (One I wrote myself almost *two years ago*) and it's battery lasts just short of a week between recharges. (This includes phone calls and texts) The phone is well over two years old. Original battery. (And replacable, hahaha)

Only GPS kills my phone's battery as I BT to a receiver, and TomTom is kinda crappy anyway.

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Silver badge

Background processes

... and this is why the iPhone won't be seen as a true Smartphone as, say, the BlackBerry, which is able to cope with many IM apps running on background without eating my battery (ok, strike out JiveTalk!)

However, those "LogMeIn" apps, along with "GoToMyPC" seem like blatant VNC ripoffs, at least the PC versions. Funny thing is, I've seen at least some apps for remotely managing my PC from my mobile, and I wonder why would I want to do *the exact opposite thing*??? Kind of like using my TV to operate my remote control, hmm?

The only use I'd see for such an app on a smartphone would be for BOFHisms.

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@ Andrew Moore

I dont know which I worry about more, you, your boss, or whatever business it is you work for. The Iphone is simple man, everything is simple and easy to find, if it took you 2 days to figure that out, and your boss had to pass it to you...

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Linux

Battery Life, Shmattery Life!

*ahem* Of course I never jailbroke my iPod touch and installed 3rd Party apps. *ahem*

But while i was busy [not] doing this, somehow my battery life shot up. I actually don't understand it myself but anyway, the battery life shot up, so that's not a problem at all.

And if you're worried about apps running in the background there IS an application which gives detailed information on any apps you have running and the amount of memory and such that they use.

And it gives the option to issue the kill command to each and every one of them.

So there.

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c

if the iphone is so simple

how I install a ringtone over the air? How about download MP3s over the air? What about when I am at level 98255 in my favourite iphone game and a phone call comes in and the app is terminated with extreme prejudice?

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Anonymous Coward

back ground apps

Well my company makes an app that allows you to make international phones calls via their network and not your cell phone carrier. For this to work it needs to be able to run in the back ground and work while the phone is dialing. I suspect not allowing programs to run in the back ground is more about protecting ATT revenue then any thing else.

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Paris Hilton

background apps

i have no problem with me smart phone when in the office it's on the wifi so i pick up my e-mails while wondering the office floor. we also use a thrid party international least cost routing software in the back ground on the smart phones. admittedly their is one problem the sync some times goes up the wall when all of the 100 smart phones try to grab there mails at once.

does the Iphone support push cause thats a background app.

oh and for those who said about the iphone cutting they data cost that will have been the shiney new contract you had to get for you to get the iphone.

background apps should be available if only on a coroprate style iphone

you know two versions of the iphone os ( iBusiness and ipleb ) one open and one locked down

i don't actually have a problem with apple products some are pretty cool stuff i even brought one .(ok it was for some one else) i just hate the ipod there were better products out first but because it was shiney it became the market leader i don't understand. find the lack of choice annoying

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Rob

contract

"oh and for those who said about the iphone cutting they data cost that will have been the shiney new contract you had to get for you to get the iphone"

no s**t?!?! really? there was me thinking there was some magical hardware inside which somehow extracted data from thin air, bypassing o2 and thus costing me no extra money

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Anonymous Coward

Re: contract

"no s**t?!?! really? there was me thinking there was some magical hardware inside which somehow extracted data from thin air, bypassing o2 and thus costing me no extra money"

But there is - it's called 'not having 3G' and so not actually being able to run up huge bills, and EDGE being so slow as to motivate you to wait until you find a hotspot before browsing.

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Rob

well

if that's the case how come my phone says i've received 400mb over the edge network,

400 * what does it cost for your 3g phone ? £2.50 a mb?

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Tom
Silver badge

Background apps cant be that bad

..since the iPhone/iPod Touch come with several preinstalled. How useful would the 'alarm' section of the clock app be, if you couldn't background it and do something else.

Its also handy to be able to receive phone calls without starting a dialing app (never used an iphone, how does one dial? Presumabley it is an app..).

Both of the last two apps are activated by an interrupt raised by either the RTC (for alarm), or by GSM triggering an incomming call. Why should commercial applications I write for the jesus phone not be able to support these sorts of use cases?

An IM client would block on a socket, not spin, waiting for messages to be delivered to it. This would use no CPU and no extra battery. The only reason for Apple to cripple the device like this is to obtain some security thru obscurity and piss off third party developers, which is a real shame, as the jesus phone is the future of control devices. It is the ultimate convergence device, everyone wants one after seeing how intuitive and simple cover flow is in the music player, gawping at iPlayer etc.

Once the damn thing has 3G, it will be perfect for data driven lifestyle. Ipod driven X10/RF/IR transceiver anyone? Sure beats the crap out of a Logitech Harmony, and for roughly the same money..

Carl: A user or a carrier wouldn't install such an app. The people who would install it are the sysadmins who hand you your company jesus phone, and who are the ones who get rung up with 'nothing works, I don't see that menu'. Its the same reason that 99% of corporate desktops will have VNC/RDP installed - users are idiots (thanks for the proof btw), and admins can't trust the fools.

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Background vs running in the...

It's one thing to let an app go to the background and come back. Letting it DO things while in the background is a completely different story.

If you're using an app on a phone when a call comes in, it pauses processing, you take a call, then it returns from a cached state to the foreground. This is acceptable. It's like hibernate. Not in the foreground, no CPU access time.

For remote support, if the phone is operational enough to connect to the wifi or cell network, why would it be so hard for a user to launch the forground application? The only thing a remote support agent would need access to on an iPhone would be the settings files, and those are not exactly located in a file system for easy access. The phones are programmed by connecting via iTunes. There are no AT&T specific apps on the phone to support. AT&T doesn't even support the phone, only Apple's own people do, so why do we need a 3rd party app for this again? If the phone is locked up, you need a PC to fix it, and remote support is useless anyway. If it crashes, it reboots. All we need is a log file to be able to send to Apple support from within the phone's interface as an e-mail attachment... There's not much for them to do other than identify who's 3rd party app (or their own) crashed your phone.

As far as chat... um, we have SMS and e-mail and they both run in the background, sort of... The program itself doesn't need to run there, just the transport layer (protocol), for which Apple could easily add a simple chat protocol the the OS that's allways running if configured. the phone itself does the background processing and alerts an application. mail doesn't actually RUN until you launch it. Only the Apple OS tells you you have an e-mail... why can't this be done for chat? it's just another protocol... Chat won't be using resources in the background. What good is presence awareness when you're not looking at the screen anyway, right? All you need is notification someone's trying to chat you. You turn on the phone, see a nuber on the chat icon indicating you have a message, then open the app to get it which is when the message actually downloads...

On the central chat server, the chat program can know wether the app is foreground or sleeping, and if someone sends you a chat, the central server does presence awareness and sends a message, (at your option) to either your e-mail or SMS to let you know someone is trying to chat with you if there's not some inherent transport layer Apple can provide... This will require client side or server side support for anyone wanting to chat with an iPhone, but this is not difficult.

I don't want apps using up background resources on my phone. I don't want the CPU and battery being tasked if I'm not actively using a specific program. I don't want some app hitting the net every 10 seconds forcing edge or 3G to broadcast continually. I don't want a choppy call or jitter in a movie because some app is hitting the CPU to hard. The OS layer, provided exclusively by apple, should have a list of protocols that IT and only IT can run continually. If an app is configured as the default app to talk with one of those protocols, and there's activity, than Apple can update their Icon on the screen and chime you.

With what's going on in the phone industry, free unlimited everything plans and all, I doubt AT&T users will have to wait too long until SMS is 100 % free all the time. presence awareness is a bit more difficult, and would need to be server side (or controlled by the remote client) but again, to restate, I don't want some friend or family member causing my battery to get eaten up because they feel they need to keep me in their chat window all day long and know exactly when I'm in range of a signal or not.

Apple's idea of refusing background apps makes the device more stable, the OS response more predictable, and makes it impossible for there to be a virus, or for one program to damage another one's functionality. It's a stance MANY other phone makers should also have.

I think the ONLY room for wiggle here would be it the phone is on, and logged in (not sleeping) and then maybe Apple could allow certain applications to run in a quasi-background mode, provided a call is not in process or a video is not active (or limit CPU cycles or something to ensure non-interference, though fron what I understand, the iPhone OS is not actually multithreaded yet).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: well

Well Rob, at a wild guess I would say that is because... your iPhone has downloaded 400Mb of data in total. (Like, since you bought it.)

In answer to your question, using my 3G phone, downloading 400Mb would cost me nothing at all within a month, however if I went over my limit then I would accrue a cost. The point however is one of how much data can be downloaded in a set time.

EDGE on the iPhone has a maximum speed of 135kbps. 3G has a maximum speed of 2MBit.

That means that your 400Mb of data, under optimal conditions, would take an iPhone 6.74 hours to download.

Contrast that to a mere 27 minutes for a 3G phone operating optimally at 2Mbit, or 2.3 hours with non-optimal signal at an average of 384Kbit.

Given a typical monthly usage limit of, say, 3Gb, an iPhone would take 51 hours to exceed this limit and a 3G phone a mere 3.57 hours at 2Mbit.

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Rob

Time

But that's completely theoretical, What exactly would I be downloading to my phone that's 400MB ?? All you can do is look at websites, that's a pretty poorly coded webpage if you ask me, the longest I've probably had to wait for a page to load is around 20 seconds, and thats when I don't have edge signal, only gprs, as would frequently be the case when I had a 3g phone anyway....

The fact is just because I have an iPhone, doesnt mean that I have no experience of using any other phone, in fact, over the past few years between me and my girlfriend we've had a good 5 or 6, mostly 3g and all different, the iphone abosolutely trumps them all in pretty much every aspect, especially what I now consider the most important -not p155ing me the f**k off!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Time

Forgive me Rob but it was you who asked me about downloading 400Mb, specifically that your iPhone had downloaded 400Mb, and only you (and possibly Phorm...) can answer the question as to exactly what you downloaded.

Having to wait 20 seconds for a page to load - ok you mention GPRS which is understandable as O2 only have 30% EDGE coverage in the UK meaning you will be forced to use GPRS rather than anything faster so lets go with a typical GPRS speed of 40kbps (which is just over one third of EDGE bandwidth under optimal conditions, or one fiftieth (50th) of 3G)

So with GPRS being being only 3.375 times slower than EDGE, that 20 second page wait would take 6 seconds on EDGE, but only 0.4 seconds on 3G. Quite a difference.

As for a real world example of where bandwidth is important, firstly I notice iPhone users only mention page loads when talking about bandwidth - lets look at buying something from iTunes - a typical music file is around 6Mb, which is (((6*1024)*1024)*8) bits of data = 50331648 bits.

That would take 21 minutes using GPRS, just over six minutes to download on EGDE, but only 25 seconds on 3G which I think you will agree is infinitely preferable.

It's around this time you will be rolling out the 'WiFi' excuse - i.e. you could use WiFi for such a thing, and while yes you could, it's not the point. What if there is no free WiFi where you are..? The whole point of a mobile phone is just that - they are mobile and you should not be forced to be in a particular room or building to do something. Again though we go back to only 30% EDGE UK coverage meaning for anyone not around a major city, they will be forced to use GPRS / GSM.

Something else to consider is that some of us use our phones as a modem for our laptops. (Not iPhone users of course because that's yet another feature the iPhone does not support with it's crippled bluetooth and lack of functionality), so having 3G is very desirable in such situations.

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Rob

title

Ok yes sorry I did say 400 MB but that IS for the time I've had the phone, I can't see when I would actually need to download that amount, as far as downloading songs goes, well, you have to be connected to wifi in order to access itunes so that's probably the reason iPhone users only mention page loads - thats the only thing the speed of edge actually impacts, all in all I'd much rather wait a few more seconds for a page to load, and have it correctly formatted and easy to navigate, than have to scroll through every single friggin field of every single option like i used to have to with my n93, the browser on that thing was an absolute joke as was the browser on my girlfriends n95, and while that thing may have actually downloaded the pages quicker, it didn't seem powerful enough to actually process the data it contained, making simply scrolling up and down a painfully slow unresponsive process

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