A New Week – A New Rant: I Want Background Processes!!

On October 6, 2008

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.

Three this weekend I realized that more than anything else (more than cut and paste, more than real bluetooth etc) what I REALLY want is… BACKGROUND PROCESSES.

Yup, the lack of background processes is starting to annoy me.

Here’s why…

I’m in my car listening to some excellent tunes on Pandora. I was on the fifth great song in a row when I heard the notification for a new email.  So, I came to a stop, tapped the home button to check it and the music stopped.  I had forgotten that Pandora can’t run in the background.

Later that day I was playing around trying to get Fring to work (It never quite did).  At that point, hopes were high for using Fring with SkypeOut. I figured I could keep Fring running and use SkypeOut whenever I was in my home or office WiFi network.  Then I realized that won’t happen. Why?  Because the iPhone can’t run applications in the background.  Therefore, the only way I can use this application to receive a phone call is to have it always running.  Since it doesn’t run in the background its pretty much just for outgoing calls.

The other night, I was IMing with Dimitri and I walked away from my iPhone.  It of course went into sleep mode, so a bit later when I turned it back on,  Dimitri IMed me and asked “Where’d you go?”, I had forgotten – AIM can’t run in the background.

Apple, I understand if you don’t want to have 3rd party applications running in the background.  I understand that too many apps running will use too much memory, slow down the iPhone, and maybe cause a crash. I get that you are trying to protect us, and I understand that some sort of notification system will eventually be released (although, you missed the self-imposed Sept. deadline).  But, that notification system will not be enough.  It won’t solve any of the prior mentioned, three situations.

(And yes, I understand there is a hack for jailbroken iPhones but I’m not jailbreaking right now!)

So here’s my suggestion…

Don’t let me run an unlimited quantity of apps in the background. Im cool with that. BUT, let me run one or two. I’ll pick which two and, if I start a third, you can warn me about it, not allow it to happen, or close down one of the others in a “first in, first off” manner.  

That way, I can run Pandora and check mail, keep Fring on (once it works well) but also surf the web, etc.

It’s not too much to ask, its not like I’m asking for a new tablet device or anything! 🙂