It’s not everyday that we see even a modicum of concern from Cupertino regarding public (by which I mean the blogosphere’s) opinion on any Apple product. That said, it’s good to see that the newly released iPhone SDK beta could allow applications to run processes in the background – opening the door for true multi-tasking possibilities on the iPhone.
Third-party iPhone application developers have been lamenting Apple’s decision to limit applications from running processes in the background, while Apple’s own applications (Mail, Safari, iTunes) are allowed to keep running while other applications are being used. The restriction would keep applications like Instant Messaging clients and email clients from functioning properly.
But, things are looking up for the iPhone developer community. An anonymous developer has found that the new iPhone SDK beta seems to allow for processes to run in the background.
There are definitely some very interesting methods added to UIApplication’s delegate, including methods for badging the Springboard icon, and methods related to gaining and resigning “active” status – seems like background apps may be permitted somehow.
If Apple is really changing their game-plan for third-party applications on the iPhone, we can expect to see some truly practical applications hitting the AppStore in a couple months.
Further inspection of the new iPhone SDK reveals that third-party applications mayl be allowed to maintain active processes in the background, not actually executing incoming events in the background.