Apple has come up with a solution to not having background applications on the iPhone, the ability for developers to push notifications to the device through Apple’s servers. This feature had been promised to have a September release date but in the latest version of the iPhone SDK (2.1 Beta 4) the feature was pulled.
Many have thought that this meanse we won’t be seeing push notifications until next year but I don’t see that as very likely. I think we will still see push notifications this year but I don’t know if it will be released in September, October is a much more realistic time frame.
Applications like AIM and Twitterrific are dieing for functionality like this since both of them would benefit greatly from being able to send notifications to its users. But, I guess they’ll have to wait at least another month before they’ll be able to put that functionality into their apps.
What I find very odd though is that it push notification was put into the SDK and then pulled out, it would seems much more logical to me for Apple to keep it in their but instead tell developers when they will be able to include it in their applications. This way developers would still be able to build apps around it but Apple would still be able to change it if they needed to. The only reason I can come up with for Apple pulling it is if they need considerable changes to the code, the kinds of changes that would break any developers app if written against the old code. It may be that Apple realized that how they were doing it initially would just eat too much battery life from previous generation phones and would have to be changed to keep those users happy.
I’m really looking forward to push notifications on the iPhone and although I want it as soon as possible I would rather wait an extra month or two and still have decent battery life then to get notifications in September and have terrible battery life.