Rumor: Apple considers allowing background apps

| May 17, 2009

In what seems like a 180-degree reversal, Apple may be changing its mind about allowing background apps into the App Store.

This doesn't come from one pimply-faced anonymous tipster shooting off an email to a third-rate blogger. No less than three reputable media outlets have reported that the company is deep in brainstorming mode, trying to figure out how best to approach these kinds of applications.

Apple had famously denounced background processes ? citing concerns that the handset could take major hits in performance, battery life, stability and security. Now various sources cited by Techcrunch, Gruber, and Alley Insider say the company has changed its tune.

It was bound to happen at some point. The company couldn't keep ignoring user demand, especially since competitors like RIM, Microsoft, Palm, and Google all allow third-party background apps. And with the much-anticipated new handset expected from Apple in June, the timing certainly seems ripe for a new iPhone with the optimized tech to handle simultaneous operations gracefully.

As for when the new apps could actually arrive ? well, there's some argument there. Some pundits think it might happen as soon as iPhone's 3.0 release. (Apparently, something in the 3.0 software developer's kit points to this. But since we don't have the SDK, we can't confirm that.) Others doubt it will happen that soon.

Either way chances are good that, if they do debut, there will also be some restriction on how many applications a user can run simultaneously. That is, once they make it through the infamously mind-boggling App Store approval process, which will probably be even more rigorously scrutinized for processor and memory usage.

Well, at least that's some sort of standardized criteria. That's more than I can say for the normal app-screening process.

[via Gizmodo]