Where are my Push Notifications?

By on June 27, 2009
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One of the things that has left me sorely disappointed is the “Push Notifications” feature of iPhone OS 3.0. Sure, its only been ten days since OS 3.0 was released but remember, this is something Apple had planned for OS 2.0 a year back so they werent exactly short on time to deliver it. To [...]

One of the things that has left me sorely disappointed is the “Push Notifications” feature of iPhone OS 3.0. Sure, its only been ten days since OS 3.0 was released but remember, this is something Apple had planned for OS 2.0 a year back so they werent exactly short on time to deliver it.

To start off, Push Notification is Apple’s way of tackling Multi Tasking. There are only a handful of Apple apps that multi-task on the iPhone such as your email app, the iPod, the SMS/MMS messaging app and the phone app. Apple’s reasoning is that allowing apps to run in the background hits the battery hard. Fair enough. I have noticed that my battery life goes down when I have multiple applications running on my Blackberry- but I can still get one full day out of it.

The way Push Notification works is that instead of having the application continuously running the background, a server somewhere pings your iPhone alerting it to show notification for a particular application any time a request comes in. In theory, this sounds awesome. In practice, it totally sucks. At least at the moment.

When you think of Push Notifications, the first applications that come to mind are Instant Messaging Clients, Twitter Clients and RSS readers. I generally have all three of these running on my Blackberry. With OS 3.0, it took Apple a week to release the first IM client supporting Push. I still dont think any Twitter app or RSS reader is available with such functionality.

So lets start with IM. I have BeeJive and I upgraded to the latest version with the so called Push Notification. Does it work? Sure. Does it work like it SHOULD? Nope. It has a mind of its own. I have my Google account setup on it and sometimes I get messages within a couple of seconds like I should. This is generally when I open the app, allow it log-in in and then close the app.

If I switch from Wi-Fi to 3G or, lets say step into an elevator when 3G gets temporarily disconnected, the notification method goes completely haywire. Sometimes I receive a response 5-10 minutes after its sent- usually only after I relaunch Beejive. This pretty much defeats the purpose of using an IM client. One could say that the issue could be related to Beejive, but I’ve been reading similar comments about IM+, another IM client that does the same thing Beejive does.

Does this make me want to dump my iPhone? Probably not. But I must say that the HTC Hero showcased in UK last week is looking incredibly awesome. The Palm Pre has also gotten me intrigued. Within a matter of weeks, Apple went from having no competition for the iPhone to two phones that could steal its thunder. Time to step up Apple.


About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

Comments
  • Pingback: Where are my push notifications? - t-break and Middle East Gamers Forums

  • http://www.pluto.ae Rabeeh Zakaria

    I totally agree with you. Apple need to step up.

    I have a backberry with me all the time but I wish i can dump it and get a iphone (currently i only have a ipod touch), but i need the push service to be working perfectly + Etisalat should support the iphone with an unlimited cheap data package.

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