There’s a bad spot on the Apple …

Posted by Jack Cook on Mar 08, 2008

closeThis post was published 6 years 9 months 11 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

spot … and it appears it’s the iPhone SDK!  Guess what? There are No Background Processes!

Robert Balousek has found some interesting spots appearing on this Apple product.  As he got beyond the shine there is a very important detail that he discovered; namely that only one iPhone application can run at a time.  And what is worse is that third-party applications will NOT run in the background.

So what does that mean?  If you’re running an application and the phone rings … you lose!!  The app you were running closes!

Robert found some very interesting facts in the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines PDF

Robert explained it like this:

If you are running an application such as AOL Instant Messenger on your iPhone, everytime you receive a call or browse away from the application you would be signed out, you would lose any unread messages, and your conversations would end.

Check out the piece by Robert Balousek here.

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Jack Cook (2711 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


Jack spent 35 years teaching mathematics, worked as a Dean of Students, and completed his career as a Principal of a suburban school just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Throughout his years in public education, the computer field has always sparked an interest in him.In his early years as a teacher, he became proficient with computers by teaching himself “BASIC” with an old HP card reader. Handheld computers soon became his passion where he eventually focused his attention on the HP iPAQ. Jack participates in several discussion groups and is currently serving as Senior Editor on Mobilitysite, serves as a moderator in the Microsoft Windows Phone forums and maintains his personal site, Experience Mobility. Jack brings to the mobile device community, news, events, and reviews that generate the same passion in handheld’s that he has had.

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  • Haesslich

    Well, that’ll screw it as far as custom apps go for business. I mean, if you made a custom interface for a certain application to work… and the program closed while you were working because you had to field a call? Oops.

    I wonder how THIS will go over with business; sure, it’ll sync with Exchange via ActiveSync, but… well, it’s sorta like having a Palm-based phone, but at least the Palm-based phone didn’t kill the app when you had to open up the other one or take a call; it just suspended it, rather than close the application out.

  • SteveGavJR

    This is no surprise to me. Everyone knew from the start that apple was going to put limitations on their sdk. That’s why apple products work so well. Rather than leave the operating system open to problems from the software, they cripple the software so it can’t really affect the os. The logic is there. They’re covering themselves against claims that the iphone doesn’t work well because the user installed a program that is crappy and it hosed their system. This basically makes it so ANY software you installed doesn’t bother the core functionality of the iphone.

    In my opinion, this is good AND bad. It’s good because it ensures that the iphone will almost always work up to spec. It’s also a bad thing because it renders most mobile apps useless.

  • edge777

    This is quite odd, too bad Apple does this stuff (and I’m a fan). How about all the apps that are out there right now (not the official ones) – are they able to run in the background?

  • bollin

    I really think this will be fixed. The only reason why the SDK was released was because enough people complained. I think if enough people complain about the lack of background processes, this will change also.

    Also, The “no background processes”only appears to be a design guideline and not an absolute technical limitation: See this link:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2008/03/08/iphone-sdk-limitations-multitasking-java-emulators/

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