updated 02:55 pm EDT, Sun August 17, 2008
iPhone 2.1 beta lacks push
The latest beta test version of the iPhone v2.1 firmware, seeded to Apple developers over the weekend, has disabled the much anticipated push notification feature, an important service that allows information to be relayed to iPhone apps even when they are inactive, according to AppleInsider. Push notification has been used for features such as instant messaging, where notification of a new message can be sent to the user without forcing the application open. Native apps will still use background data. Apple has not given a full explanation for the absence, just commenting that the code was pulled for "further development." Jobs had previously promised to deliver the push feature as part of a free update in September.
Apple thus far has chosen not allow applications to remain open in the background, citing both performance and battery life as the primary concerns. Push service has been a high priority feature for developers. Typically without push feature, applications that require regular data communication must stay open in the background. While users may believe the app is not functioning while 'closed', it is actually running in the background, slowing the system down by forcing the foreground apps to split CPU usage and consuming valuable battery life.
Removal of this service will affect developers--new apps requiring push service will be unworkable unless it is reintroduced and released. It is unclear whether the v2.1 update, expected to be available sometime in September, will have the promised push features.