Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Apple, do you remember push? You promised...

Yesterday, Apple pushed out a new firmware version of the iPhone (2.2.1). A whopping 246.4MB of firmware for two exceptional features: it improves Safari stability (yep, it crashes a lot) and fixes one bug in the Mail client with images. That is it. 246.4MB for nothing.

Nobody complains about the size of the download anymore. That is good. Once they kick you in the face 10 times, you don't feel the 11th. Market expectations are set properly. The only thing this upgrade fixes is screwing up the 3G unlock... I guess that's 245MB out of the total. Nice move.

In any case, there is one feature that it is still missing: PUSH!!

Apple promised push in June. They showed a slide about it (pictured below). They said it would be available by September. They missed it. They put it in the 2.1 SDK beta, then they pulled it (oops, expectations not set properly). Rumors were they would put it in 2.2. Nope. Maybe 2.2.1, nope, sorry.

Where the heck is push? Nobody knows. But it is an important feature.

As I wrote before (cheesy to quote myself, I know, but I am lazy):
The idea they explained in the keynote is that you can actually send only the notification, there is no process in background. Your application does not really wake up. You either hear a noise (custom sound), get the icon of your app to change with a number (icon badge) or see a text message (same as when an SMS arrives).

It is not perfect, there is big brother in the middle but I can live with it.
It is an important feature. When you lack multi-threading, it still allows you to do push email, IM, calendaring, social network stuff, VOIP and a lot more.

What's going on (options):
  1. They panicked because they could not make it work
  2. They decided to wait because the new OS will make this obsolete
I vote for both. I believe the new OS (maybe 3.0) will have multi-threading support (they have to, Palm has it). They will also have cut&paste (they have to, Palm has it). And more.

We'll see it one day. Just not before June 09, in my opinion.