Apple ignores Jesus Phone life raft
What's wrong with background apps?
CTIA Wireless For reasons unknown, Apple's new Jesus Phone SDK won't allow apps that run in the background. As many have noted, this rules out instant messaging - or, at least, instant messaging as we know it. But it also rules out all sorts of other useful applications, including the fledgling smartphone rescue tool from remote control maven LogMeIn.
LogMeIn Rescue Mobile officially debuted in December on Windows Mobile devices, letting support technicians remote control smartphones over cellular networks much as they remote control PCs over the web. And today, at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas, LogMeIn unveiled a new version of the app for Symbian phones. But porting this eminently useful app to the iPhone is an impossibility - at least for now.
A distant technician can't initiate a wireless remote control session on a smartphone unless there's an app running the background waiting for his request.
"We've tried talking to Apple about this," said Kevin Bardos, who oversees development of LogMeIn Rescue Mobile. "But that's not easy." [Glad we're not the only one. - Ed] Bardos and his team were also among the many who officially applied to Apple's Developer Program, but like most, they were heartlessly rejected.
In the meantime, they plan to port their C++ app to Java and move it onto the Blackberry. One major US wireless carrier is already using the app to solve handset support issues - at least on a trial basis - and LogMeIn believes this sort of smartphone remote control will eventually become the norm. Vice president and general manager Richard Redding gave us the ol' it-will-cut-carrier-costs argument.
Redding even believes that Steve Jobs will one day embrace the tool - in spite of his current stance on background apps. "We think the carriers will ask to," Redding said.
Whatever the case, you have to wonder why Jobs has taken this stance. Is he worried that background apps will slow his status symbol down? Is security the issue? Piddling network speeds?
Ah, it's piddling network speeds. Either that or Steve Jobs is convinced that the iPhone doesn't need support. ®
For all the news on the CTIA Wireless trade show see our CTIA roundup.
I expect the reason they only allow you to download using WiFi is because it would be too slow over EDGE / GPRS, and they would (quite rightly) get inundated with complaints from iPhone users. I would expect them to permit ITMS purchases over 3G when the new model arrives.
Comparing the iPhone to a specific phone you have had a bad experience with is irrelevant. I have pointed out that the iPhone is considerably slower than 3G equivalents, and my original point was it is a lot harder to go over any monthly usage limits as a result. I have backed this up with figures.
Ok yes sorry I did say 400 MB but that IS for the time I've had the phone, I can't see when I would actually need to download that amount, as far as downloading songs goes, well, you have to be connected to wifi in order to access itunes so that's probably the reason iPhone users only mention page loads - thats the only thing the speed of edge actually impacts, all in all I'd much rather wait a few more seconds for a page to load, and have it correctly formatted and easy to navigate, than have to scroll through every single friggin field of every single option like i used to have to with my n93, the browser on that thing was an absolute joke as was the browser on my girlfriends n95, and while that thing may have actually downloaded the pages quicker, it didn't seem powerful enough to actually process the data it contained, making simply scrolling up and down a painfully slow unresponsive process
Forgive me Rob but it was you who asked me about downloading 400Mb, specifically that your iPhone had downloaded 400Mb, and only you (and possibly Phorm...) can answer the question as to exactly what you downloaded.
Having to wait 20 seconds for a page to load - ok you mention GPRS which is understandable as O2 only have 30% EDGE coverage in the UK meaning you will be forced to use GPRS rather than anything faster so lets go with a typical GPRS speed of 40kbps (which is just over one third of EDGE bandwidth under optimal conditions, or one fiftieth (50th) of 3G)
So with GPRS being being only 3.375 times slower than EDGE, that 20 second page wait would take 6 seconds on EDGE, but only 0.4 seconds on 3G. Quite a difference.
As for a real world example of where bandwidth is important, firstly I notice iPhone users only mention page loads when talking about bandwidth - lets look at buying something from iTunes - a typical music file is around 6Mb, which is (((6*1024)*1024)*8) bits of data = 50331648 bits.
That would take 21 minutes using GPRS, just over six minutes to download on EGDE, but only 25 seconds on 3G which I think you will agree is infinitely preferable.
It's around this time you will be rolling out the 'WiFi' excuse - i.e. you could use WiFi for such a thing, and while yes you could, it's not the point. What if there is no free WiFi where you are..? The whole point of a mobile phone is just that - they are mobile and you should not be forced to be in a particular room or building to do something. Again though we go back to only 30% EDGE UK coverage meaning for anyone not around a major city, they will be forced to use GPRS / GSM.
Something else to consider is that some of us use our phones as a modem for our laptops. (Not iPhone users of course because that's yet another feature the iPhone does not support with it's crippled bluetooth and lack of functionality), so having 3G is very desirable in such situations.