Why Apple is right to push with iPhone 3.0

iPhone 3.0
Apple is sticking to its guns and not enabling background apps

So we're not getting background apps. Instead, Apple has come good on its promise to introduce push notifications.

Scott Forstall, Senior Vice President of iPhone software said the company had to rethink what it was doing with push and "re-architect the server structure" as a result of being deluged with apps after the opening of the App Store.

Indeed, Forstall openly admitted Apple was "late on this one."

But not having apps running in the background is actually beneficial in many ways. Yes, there's the battery life issue – as much as 80 per cent reduction in standby according to Forstall. The iPhone is already criticised for its battery life and such a loss in battery life would be unthinkable, even if Apple may be offering a worst-case scenario.

Crucially though, there are also performance issues. And this is where we'll really see gain in the push model.

Not having background apps will, simply, mean that new iPhone hardware isn't needed to run the new firmware. And that can only be a good thing.

The current iPhone hardware can, occasionally, show that it's approaching the limit of its capabilities. And background apps may have caused problems. Witness the amount of time some apps take to load; having several running at once may have crashed phones and caused reliability issues with the devices themselves.

With push, Apple is satisfying everybody. And those of us with old iPhones will be grateful for it.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.