Apple May Offer iPhone Background App Support

Wouldn't it be great if every time you jumped to the iPhone home screen Pandora kept streaming music? The only application that Apple currently allows to run in the background is the iPod, however if recent reports are correct, this could all change.

Pandora is just one example of how useful allowing apps to run in the background could be. Another likely use would be keeping an instant messaging chat connected. Rumors have been swirling about just how Apple would implement background processing considering the limited resources of iPhone hardware.

Until now, all of the talk has been about push notification, sending apps information using Apple's push notification servers. This is expected to be available with the release of iPhone OS 3.0.

True background app support may be on the table now that the next generation iPhone will have a faster and more efficient processor, more memory, and longer battery life. One possibility is that only a limited number of apps would be considered for background processing, and these would be strictly inspected to insure stability before approval.

Another interesting idea would allow the user to run one or two applications in the background at a time, by putting the app in a special place on the dock.