Push Notification Service Thoughts

Discussion in 'iPod touch Firmware 2.X' started by rickatnight11, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. rickatnight11

    rickatnight11 New Member

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    If you watched the WWDC08 Keynote or read any overview guides you are probably aware of Apple's intended Push Notification Service. (If you aren't familiar with this Engadget's article can bring you up to speed.) I have some mixed feelings about this that I'd like to discuss.

    When Apple first published its SDK Application guidelines, many people were upset about the strict "no background processes" rule. Personally I was worried at first but then realized what Apple was talking about. Full-sized computing platforms have more than enough CPU-power and memory to justify multi-tasking without much of a performance hit. Mobile processors do not have this leisure, even with iPhone's highly superior mobile hardware. Anyone who has Summerboard, MobileScrobbler, and more background-process apps installed will notice the difference in speed from a "vanilla" iPhone. Similarly to my journey with computers, at first I installed all the cool apps I could find, but now that the novelty has worn off I have opted against sacrificing performance for unnecessary functionality. It bothers me when zooming or switching to widescreen view in Safari takes more than a second to resample the image.

    Of course this begs the question: how do you lets certain apps that really do need constant data function without hogging CPU and battery life? Well, my idea for a solution was to create a unified "messaging" service, which would only be one process and one IP connection to receive messages. This messaging service could receive messages tagged with whichever application it was intended for and act accordingly (ie send instant messages to your iChat app, send Facebook alerts to your Facebook app, etc.) Then when I watched the Keynote I was very happy to see that Apple felt the same way...until they explained the system.

    Apple's system consists of a messaging system on the iPhone, like the one I had thought up and a server run by Apple that would push messages to the device on behalf of the application developer, as detailed in this picture:

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    Well I have a problem with this. This puts way too much control in Apple's hands. At any time they could implement a fee-based system to charge developers or users for using this background messaging system. I appreciate Apple's attempt to fix the background processes problem, but this scares me. Why can't developers just be given the API to that messaging service on the iPhone so that they can Push their own messages to it, rather than through Apple's service? I don't think it's the multiple IP connections that drain the battery or the performance, it's the actual background processes running all the time. The messaging system Apple is proposing is fine on the iPhone end, but since it's there I think that any application installed on the device should be able to register another Push server with the service to allow connections from only those servers.
  2. flattop95

    flattop95 New Member

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    well of course apple is gonna have a lot of control, they are control freaks after all
  3. rickatnight11

    rickatnight11 New Member

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    That's definitely true. This is just another example where Apple limits (and controls) functionality and passes it off as a feature. It bugs me, because they consistently seem to forsake the more advanced users demographic: those who want more control over their OS, and would rather not be babied. Perhaps this is a system the new jailbreaking method should strive to unlock. It would be nice if the messaging system was forced open so that users could still get the actual benefits but also have a choice.
  4. Teslanaut

    Teslanaut Well-Known Member

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    You guys do realize that the Push notification isn't restricted to Apple. You can create your own with your IM client or whatever you wish.
  5. rickatnight11

    rickatnight11 New Member

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    But as of now it's forced to run through Apple's server, because that's the only server the iPhone service will make an IP connection with. They have to send the messages on behalf of you. That's the problem. Noone can just make their own and connect to the device themself. As of now Apple hasn't said anything about restrictions or charges, but nothing is stopping them.

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