With the release of the iPhone firmware 2.2.1, many have been left wondering, yet again, what had become of the Push notification system that Apple announced at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference back in June 2008.

     While Apple had originally set a September 2008 deadline for the service, Apple removed the feature from beta versions in August and has made no other mention of the service. Steve Jobs was reported to have told one customer that the service was “running a bit late” and that they wanted to get it 100% right the first time.

     Apple does not currently allow third party applications to run as background processes. Instead, apps must shut down completely after use. Push notifications was Apple’s solution to allow applications to receive notifications while they are not the active application. Certain services, such as Instant Messaging, would benefit from this feature.

     By now, it is clear that something is holding up the Push notification service. While we aren’t sure what the specific issues are, we’ve heard that as an alternative Apple is considering allowing applications to run as user selectable background processes. If so, this feature would likely come in the rumored iPhone 3.0 software update, but would be limited to only one or two processes on the current hardware. The next generation of iPhone, however, would likely see less restricted background process support, due to it’s improved hardware.

     For now, those who have jailbroken devices, can use Cydia apps such as Backgrounder and Insomnia to do this. It’s just a shame that we have to wait so long for an official app that can be used without a jailbreak. Instead of giving us temporary alternatives, it’s about time Apple started taking note of what their consumers desire most.

Source thanks to MacRumors