Apple misses self-imposed deadline for iPhone notifications

“Back in June at the WWDC keynote, Apple SVP of iPhone software Scott Forstall took the stage to discuss Apple’s answer to the lack of background applications on the iPhone. Many developers had expressed concern about the limitation which could restrict the usefulness of certain applications, such as instant messenger clients,” Dan Moren reports for Macworld.

“Forstall presented a different solution to the problem. Apple would instead roll out a push notification system that apps could use to alert users when remote content had changed,” Moren reports.

“Apple said that it would be available as of September…. [But] the ninth month has come and gone with no sign of the feature, despite Apple shipping a major iPhone OS update during the same period,” Moren reports.

Full article, which speculates that Apple “may have decided to spend more time making sure the notification system worked as advertised before rolling it out to iPhone users at large,” here.


  1. Oh well folks, this is what happens when Apple caves in and starts listening to what people want. For years everyone wanted Apple to talk about things in advance, not hold things so close to the vest etc, etc.

    I hate it this way, Apple needs to tighten things up again and deliver good products when they are ready and not a second before.

  2. The push notifications were always a lame response to Apple’s inability to get multitasking for non apple apps working properly on the iPhone.

    Hopefully they’re secretly working on the real fix (multitasking).

  3. I agree with you marko.

    I think they need to make sure that it’s full prove aswell before they do. I mean, we all saw the disaster of a launch MobileMe had. We don’t want Apple making anymore mistakes.

    Just out of curiosity guys, how many people out there have a MobileMe account, and find it useful?

  4. Lame: Appropriate nome de plume, That comment was lame (or at best completely clueless). The iPhone is already has a multitasking OS (in case you don’t understand the core OS on the iPhone is OS X) they just aren’t going to give the keys to Joe codemonkey. For good reason, managing unlimited multitasking on a resource limited mobile device is a nightmare (even if the os were theoretically perfect at time-slicing)

    I had .mac for years and thought it was useful (if a little expensive) They upgraded me to mobile me and I really didn’t have any of the problems that some users reported.
    When I got the iPhone I was delighted (with mobile me) my calenders contacts and mail pushes, both directions, in seconds (literally… like 4 or 5)
    The fact that now my wife and I can both get and send mail, add and edit our “family” schedule from anywhere (home, work, public access or iphone) is extremely useful. (now that we have it I don’t see how we could go back;-)

  5. @ Lame,

    What a lame response…

    There is no such thing as “Apple’s inability to get multitasking for non apple apps”, and there never has been.

    Apple has stated, from day one, that they don’t want apps running in the background, and they’ve made this foremost in their design philosophy.

    Anyone who can read should know this, so what’s your excuse?

  6. Sorry, but who can be surprised about this one? They had to deal with the 3g launch issues and the MobileMe problem.

    I doubt they were too focussed on this issue…but give them a few weeks and it’ll be there I’m sure.

  7. Well, finally a real deadline was missed. Not some imagined deadline by these so-called analysts. I don’t mind waiting a bit more for it if it will mean I’ll have the possibility of getting what I want.

    And what is it I want? (Thought you’d never ask.) I want an app similar to “Where”, where I can inquire as to the location of another iPhone without that iPhone having to be running the same app. Of course that other iPhone would have to have approved inquiries from my phone or email address. This where push would come in … a message from my iPhone would trigger the target phone into running Where long enough to determine its location and then send the coordinates back to me as an SMS or email. This would be great for locating a stolen phone or keeping up with your rich kids.

  8. I’m with you marko. I’ll be happy to try it when it’s ready….quality takes time and I’m happy to wait.

    I didn’t have any significant issues with the .mac to mobileme transition and continue to use the features daily….(still don’t care for the name though ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  9. ros.rulz

    I have a account and use it all the time. I suggest getting an account for a year and give it a try. I am sure it isn’t for everybody but I have found it extremely useful.

  10. It’s delayed because they still can’t get mobileme push to work consistently.

    @ros, I have one. I think it is decent, but not great (the web apps are terrible still). But I will admit to having a bit of phone envy with Android (namely notifications oddly enough) and the integration with Google Calendar, etc. Anyone else notice how you can’t invite someone to a MobileMe calendar event? I know people that live and die by that feature in Outlook (which Google has worked into Gmail and GCalendar very nicely).

  11. @Lame

    It’s the way it is to conserve battery life.
    If you had a battery that’s good for a month, it would be no problem to allow everybody access to multitasking.

  12. “Apple has stated, from day one, that they don’t want apps running in the background, and they’ve made this foremost in their design philosophy.”

    Actually foremost in their design philosophy was that you didn’t need a real a native SDK and web 2.0 apps were all you would need (until they had a real SDK ready, then apparently SDKs were a good idea).

    “iPhone is already has a multitasking OS”

    As was Windows 386, it had true preemptive multitasking between VMs. But just like OS X on the iPhone that didn’t mean anything to developers because the OS only exposed single tasking dos emulation and co-operative multitasking windows views of the world to them.

    “For good reason, managing unlimited multitasking on a resource limited mobile device is a nightmare (even if the os were theoretically perfect at time-slicing)”

    Not true. There are thousands of examples of devices much more resource constrained that an iPhone that multitask just fine. My bet is you’ve never written any embedded software, almost all of which is multithreaded, so are just repeating Steve’s talking points as to why they haven’t got to it yet.

    Even in general purpose operating systems, In the 60’s Unix systems like Mac OS X multitasked on PDP-11’s with processors running at a few Megahertz and 64 kilobytes of memory. There’s no reason other than poor system or SDK design, massive code bloat or inefficiency that it’s impossible on an iPhone with 10,000 times the capability to perform tasks in the background.

    The push concept is a useful thing to have for events which originate outside the phone, but it’s a compliment to, not a substitute for a real multitasking OS.

    The iPhone SDK takes a leap back to the dawn of computing in that particular part of it’s architecture.

  13. I have used .Mac from day one. The transistion to MobileMe has been a bit rough but it works as advertised now.

    The best part of this system is the integration. Bookmarks are synced, I can use webmail and my calenders at work (on a PC), even have docs available anywhere through the idisk.

    I never pay full price for the service. Usually Amazon sell it for $80 online.

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