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iPhone Jailbreaking Still Going Strong 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-touch-the-apples dept.
snydeq writes "Despite the productivity promises of Apple's forthcoming 3.0 firmware update, jailbreaking should continue to push the iPhone's productivity envelope, as users increasingly demand the Holy Grail of smartphone power use: applications that run in the background, InfoWorld reports. Copy and paste, video recording and streaming, Internet tethering, and content search are just a few of the features over which iPhone users have sought to jailbreak their devices — a practice Apple itself has done little to crack down on. Jailbreak apps circumvent hardware and software restrictions that Apple says ensure a consistent, responsive user interface and optimal battery endurance. In particular, jailbroken phones can run apps in the background, a capability Apple reserves for its own apps but prohibits in third-party programs. Jay Freeman, creator of the Cydia iPhone installer and Cydia Store, however, believes a free-market approach is the best way to satisfy power users' demands for features without compromising the performance of their iPhones. And given Apple's App Store overcrowding, it seems likely that jailbroken phones and app venues like Cydia Store will continue to be popular with iPhone customers and developers, even after the 3.0 firmware ships."
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iPhone Jailbreaking Still Going Strong

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google still a good option for search.

    Vista sales not picking up much.

    ipod is a popular choice of mp3 player.

    In surprise development, dog doesn't bite man.

  • by WatcherWatching (1521565) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:22PM (#27561373)
    Yes, and why should it not? It is similar to the how users run Mac OS on non-apple computers. If users want to do something, they should be allowed too! Consistency of user interface is no excuse, because it wouldn't even affect users with non-jailbroke phones. Apple just likes to control what users see and do, and jailbreaking is just evidence that some people don't like being told what to do!
  • Not to mention... (Score:4, Informative)

    by something_wicked_thi (918168) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:24PM (#27561403)

    You have to first jailbreak the phone if you want to unlock it. But I recently switched to Google Android so I don't have to deal with this. It's a less nice experience, but I imagine a lot of people who are willing to go through the trouble of jailbreaking a phone are also willing to put up with the less polished UI.

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:45PM (#27561715)

      Why? When you can just jailbreak and have the polished UI?

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday April 13, 2009 @04:55PM (#27562897) Journal
        Because then you're getting an unsupported product, which takes away a lot of the attraction of something like an iPhone, and because you're supporting a company that believes that control of the device belongs to them, not the customer.
      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Why? When you can have the polished UI without jailbreaking?

        [Plenty of phones have polished UIs. If you disagree, the burden is upon you to provide evidence and objective examples of how the Iphone's UI is better than all other UIs, rather than simply making assertions. Since when has a mere assertion been insightful? Oh right, that's moderation on Apple stories for you.]

        • by kchrist (938224)

          Plenty of phones have polished UIs. If you disagree, the burden is upon you to provide evidence and objective examples

          That's what's known as an "opinion", genius. No objective evidence required.

      • Why? When you can just jailbreak and have the polished UI?

        ... until the next update.

    • Re:Not to mention... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:57PM (#27561909)
      jailbreaking (in windows) requires about 5 clicks from an installshield type application. That's it. Jailbroken, done.

      All your purchased apps (and free apps from the Apple store) still work just fine. The UI is still the same (if you want it to be the same). Just two new icons (to let you download non-Applestore apps).

      I'm not sure what you mean by "go through all the trouble of jailbreaking"
    • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Monday April 13, 2009 @04:19PM (#27562297)
      Polished UI on a phone is worth something though. It's nice to have a phone that does fewer things but it's a pleasure to use. Like any phone, it's too small to do any serious work with, and the things I, and I dare say most other people, use it for the most often - email, sms, gps, internet (quick lookups, too small for anything else), ipod and (gasp) making phone calls - it does incredibly well, far better than any other phone I know of.

      Yes, cut and paste and one or two other things are sorely missed, but honestly all these other features people are asking for just make me worried if the future versions will have the clean and beautiful interface like the last one. "Power users", while the most vocal, tend to be a small part of the market. Hope Apple keep their head and not trip over themselves trying to please that segment of the market and make the product cluttered, ugly and crash prone like all the other "smart" phones out there.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday April 13, 2009 @04:35PM (#27562571)

      You have to first jailbreak the phone if you want to unlock it. But I recently switched to Google Android so I don't have to deal with this. It's a less nice experience, but I imagine a lot of people who are willing to go through the trouble of jailbreaking a phone are also willing to put up with the less polished UI.

      Given that Jailbreaking is essentially an O(1) operation over the life of the device, and day to day use is O(n), I'll take the better UI thanks!!

      On Android you also still have to deal with hunting down apps not approved for the store, just like looking at Cydia apps on the iPhone...

      • by GigsVT (208848)

        What is the big O notation for dealing with and supporting a company that is actively hostile toward their users?

      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Why choose between two inferior alternatives? I'll take phones with good UIs, and that don't require jailbreaking to just work.

        I don't know if it's true that Android has a poorer UI than the Iphone (a poorer UI than one that doesn't even support copy and paste? That is bad), but even if that was true, these are only two phones, that are both niche players in a large market. For some reason, we never hear about any of the other phones here though.

        • I didn't say the Android's UI was bad. I know reading carefully and recognizing nuance is a dying art, especially around here, but please try to pay at least some attnetion.

          What I did say was that the Android was less polished than the iPhone. I've yet to see any other phone come close to the iPhone in that way. But I do like the Android quite a lot, TYVM.

      • by Em Ellel (523581)

        Given that Jailbreaking is essentially an O(1) operation over the life of the device, and day to day use is O(n), I'll take the better UI thanks!!

        On Android you also still have to deal with hunting down apps not approved for the store, just like looking at Cydia apps on the iPhone...

        Actually jailbreaking is a rather frequent event. Every month or two Apple releases an OS update which promises a few less crashes, and maybe an ability to make phone calls inside a building and every time you are hoping that its true and update and all that was useful in your phone goes away...And you have to start all over again...

        Plus, better UI on iPhone is a matter of opinion. iPhone always feels to me like running a 30" monitor with 600x480 resolution. Everything is HUGE and CLUNKY (even if not actual

        • by mcvos (645701)

          Plus, better UI on iPhone is a matter of opinion. iPhone always feels to me like running a 30" monitor with 600x480 resolution. Everything is HUGE and CLUNKY (even if not actually pixelated). Like, who's brilliant idea was it to make selection of a date via those stone age wheels? They may be pretty, but it takes forever to set the date you actually want. Was it that hard to use a standard calendar? And why do we need to switch to a separate screen for editing each field?

          I actually like the way the calender works on the iPhone. It has a far better UI than iCal on my Macbook, which just doesn't let me edit trivial fields without jumping through all sorts of hoops.

      • You clearly are a programmer, but you're not very good at it. At least if your use of O notation is any indication. I've lost count of the number of times I had to jailbreak my iphone. I've lost several hours of my life doing all the nasty things required to make it work after it's eaten itself for no apparent reason. I've spent quite a bit of time reading poorly written blogs to see if they have finally figured out how to jailbreak the most recent update so I can install it, and whether I need to run some

  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:25PM (#27561419) Journal

    "Despite the productivity promises of Apple's forthcoming 3.0 firmware update, jailbreaking should continue to push the iPhone's productivity envelope, as users increasingly demand the Holy Grail of smartphone power use: applications that run in the background, InfoWorld reports.

    Seriously? The two items that comprise the Holy Grail of smartphone power use are background apps and Infoworld reports?

    Just look at the source of the TFA -- it's Infoworld themselves! Methinks they have a slightly overdeveloped sense of self-worth.

    Also, I'm not sure why I would need to jailbreak my iPhone to access Infoworld, they must have some serious issues in their web design department.

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by oGMo (379)
      I would sortof find this amusing but the grammar is wrong; for two items, you use only "and" with no comma. Of course, given slashdot's excellent track record for precision grammar...
      • by SeePage87 (923251)
        I'm guessing you've never read a newspaper headline. Using just a comma is a pretty common convention and any linguist will tell you that something is "proper" grammar so long as the reader understands it.
      • Please check the style handbooks; use of "and" without a comma is generally preferred when enumerating a list of only two items.

        Use of "and" with a comma is preferable for the last item of a list whose elements are separated by commas.

        And speaking of precision grammar, how about the use of "sortof"?

        But, in the end it doesn't matter, this is the internet, for Christ's sake. No one misunderstood my post, or yours, because of grammatical errors or inconsistencies.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)

          Use of "and" with a comma is preferable for the last item of a list whose elements are separated by commas.

          This is only true when you are using the Oxford rules (adopted by most of the USA). In other areas, the last comma is omitted.

          And speaking of precision grammar, how about the use of "sortof"?

          Maybe he's a C programmer?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:28PM (#27561467) Journal
    They know not what they do, tinkering with the perfection of Jobs' vision. Apple will have to work even harder to cryptographically protect them from evil...
  • ...is there a more stupid faux-tech-neo-nerd-speak expression than "Jailbroken?"

  • by alen (225700) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:30PM (#27561511)

    i swear there was a story last month how Apple had it in the newest SDK EULA that you can't make jailbroken apps with it. Apple gave up a technical solution and just told people that if you want to write jailbroken apps then do it from scratch and don't use their code

    • by Legion303 (97901)

      Yep, and you can get an awesome vmware iphone toolchain distro from these people: iphonefix.de ...which apparently obviates the need for Apple's SDK, although I haven't messed with it enough to say for sure yet.

  • by bwcbwc (601780) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:36PM (#27561583)

    Apple's prohibition on 3rd party software running in background is probably the best line of defense against spyware infecting the average idiot/user's phone. Once you let un-vetted apps run in the background, you create the opportunity for keyloggers, spam software and all the other fun stuff that runs on PCs to infect the iPhone without the user even being aware. Plus you end up going down the path of requiring anti-virus and security software to run on the phone all the time, reducing the battery life. What's basically going on is that no one is willing to pay the costs that would be required to develop a "trusted application" framework where Apple could test and approve 3rd party apps. Plus, there's always the paranoia factor that someone's great idea would get stolen as part of the approval process.

    But given the state of windoze computing these days, I'd say Apple's approach has to be viewed more as a security feature than an anti-competitive fair trade violation.

    • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gm a i l . com> on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:44PM (#27561703)

      Yes, that's right. You are being restricted for your own good!

      It must be nice to be so naive...

      • by eleuthero (812560)
        I haven't jailbroken my phone yet because of security concerns. While I would enjoy being able to tether and record video (the only two things I am mildly interested in apart from what's already available), it doesn't make sense to me to go beyond a trusted system and potentially open all the financial apps I run to spyware (etc.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Thing 1 (178996)
        Yeah, and the men with guns aren't here to keep you in, they're here to protect you. Sure. Just ask Alice, indeed.
    • then explain how the music player runs in the background while you surf the net and use other apps, so my bet is that it would not be a reliable way to prevent a virus from running in the background. They're basically relying on their ability to control apps from the app store and their SDK limitations to prevent malware from popping in.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by alen (225700)

        The phone, ipod, email and Safari apps that run in the background are Apple apps. Apple can make background apps, no one else.

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        then explain how the music player runs in the background while you surf the net and use other apps,

        From the GP

        Once you let un-vetted apps run in the background,

        From the OP

        jailbroken phones can run apps in the background, a capability Apple reserves for its own apps but prohibits in third-party programs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664)

      Whenever you get into that situation, someone else vetting the apps, you no longer own the device. They own it and you just rent it.

      Once they decide not to bother with the app store or with vetting new apps you are stuck with a dead device. If jobs decides tomorrow that the iphone is too big and only the new iphone-nano will be sold and as such the appstore for the now old device is to be closed, you are boned. You will be holding a $200 paperweight.

      Do you really want to pay for a device you don't own? Do y

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by realmolo (574068)

      Windows Mobile phones have no restrictions on the software you can run, and as far as I know, there haven't been any viruses or security issues. Even if there HAVE been, they have to be obscure, and limited to people who installed specific, weird applications.

      Windows Mobile phones are SO much better than an iPhone for *actually doing stuff* that it isn't even funny. There are REAL applications for Windows Mobile phones, because anyone can make an app. The only thing the iPhone has going for it is, well, I d

      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Windows Mobile phones have no restrictions on the software you can run, and as far as I know, there haven't been any viruses or security issues. Even if there HAVE been, they have to be obscure, and limited to people who installed specific, weird applications.

        Windows Mobile phones are SO much better than an iPhone for *actually doing stuff* that it isn't even funny. There are REAL applications for Windows Mobile phones, because anyone can make an app. The only thing the iPhone has going for it is, well, I d

      • by karnal (22275)

        I just have to hope that they're better at phones than an iphone.

        I made the decision after a week or so of reading reviews to get myself a Fuze. I've had an old Motorola V551 for 4 years now (maybe more? maybe less?) and prior to that, the two phones I've owned were also Motorola. I've found myself chomping at the bit to have a phone with a true datebook, as well as the ability to tinker without too much fuss.

        In addition to the fact that I used to have a Dell Axim PDA from work before I'd done some of the

      • by westyvw (653833)
        Windows mobile's stability has been a nightmare for most of our users. I am not sure what you mean by doing stuff; if you mean cursing at the phone as doing stuff, then yes, we have had lots of that activity.
    • I'd say Apple's approach has to be viewed more as a security feature than an anti-competitive fair trade violation.

      Why? Particularly, why more?

      As far as I can tell, Apple's concern for your security are solely your interpretation.

      It might be a usability decision made by Apple. It is undeniably simpler and easier to understand when you can't have applications running in the background.

      Given Apple's history, I would think that "We want to provide fewer but more usable features" is the simplest explanation for this particular design choice.

      ISTR Apple's offering being the first to die in pwn2own. It's a stretch to take t

    • by dara (119068) on Monday April 13, 2009 @04:06PM (#27562055)

      If this is a significant issue, I would have expected to see a bigger problem on Android phones by now. I had a G1 for 30 days, and then switched to the iPhone as the G1 in November was too flaky for me, but the one thing I absolutely hate is not being able to put a program I write or download from a trusted source onto my phone. I'll probably go back to Android in another 1 1/2 years and by then, hopefully the hardware will be better. Or maybe Apple will remove this annoying restriction at some point before then and they might keep me. My iPhone is a bit flaky too, they need better hardware also - I've reinstalled twice when it wouldn't turn on. I'm a bit hesitant to jailbreak and potentially be causing myself more headaches.

      Dara

      The one app I'm willing to pay for is at least out for the iPhone (in 4 flavors) and is unavailable for the G1 - the ability to view topographic USGS maps offline with your position (search for topographic on the app store). So there is something to be said for being on the more popular platform. I sure hope Android gets more popular - I wish I could have helped, but that first phone was driving me crazy.

    • by amorsen (7485)

      Apple's prohibition on 3rd party software running in background is probably the best line of defense against spyware infecting the average idiot/user's phone.

      Yes, spyware writers are known for their unwavering obediance of license agreements.

      • by bwcbwc (601780)

        No, but the end-users who are the targets of spyware authors by and large obey the license agreements. The security benefit isn't from preventing the WRITING of software, it's from preventing PHB's and other idiot users from infecting themselves in ways that are hard to see.

        That said, I'm not saying there isn't an anti-competitive benefit to Apple in blocking the 3rd party background apps. From their point of view, the security, device management and anti-competitive benefits are synergistic.

        From my POV, be

        • by amorsen (7485)

          You're saying that Apple would allow spyware on the App Store, but because they have the EULA saying that background applications are forbidden, spyware will never be submitted to the App Store. This is absurd.

          Apple can reject spyware with or without the EULA. They control the App Store.

    • by vertinox (846076)

      Plus you end up going down the path of requiring anti-virus and security software to run on the phone all the time, reducing the battery life.

      Yes, just like OS X requires anti-virus and security software!

    • by Kalriath (849904) *

      Windows Mobile.
      Symbian.

      Two reasons your entire argument is a load of hogswash.

    • Apple's prohibition on 3rd party software running in background is probably the best line of defense against spyware infecting the average idiot/user's phone. Once you let un-vetted apps run in the background, you create the opportunity for keyloggers, spam software and all the other fun stuff that runs on PCs to infect the iPhone without the user even being aware.

      Oh! That's why Windows XP Starter Edition was the raging success that it is, surely.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Apple's prohibition on 3rd party software running in background is probably the best line of defence against spy ware infecting the average idiot/user's phone.

      Because 1st party app's are always secure. Apple acknowledges and fixes every security hole (Quicktime) and malware authors certainly wont target an app which is guaranteed to be on every single device, that would just be plain stupid.

      But given the state of windoze computing these days, I'd say Apple's approach has to be viewed more as a security fe

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have one. I'll stick with OS 2.1.2 until 3.x is jailbroken. Between netatalk, the ssh server/client, mobile terminal, and functional teathering, there's absolutely no way I'd go back to a closed and locked OS on that phone. If AT&T and Apple don't like it, cancel my account.

    I'm of the opinion now that these companies have got too uppity. I've canceled cable television and Internet service, then put an antenna on my roof. I've canceled my land line. If AT&T wants my iPhone - they can have it.

    Live w

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Go to an AT&T store and tell them you're tethering, they'll be happy to cancel your account for you I'm sure.

      That'll surely show them how much of a bad ass you are.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mcvos (645701)

        Go to an AT&T store and tell them you're tethering, they'll be happy to cancel your account for you I'm sure.

        I'm not so sure about that. An iPhone is (in Netherland at least) a lot cheaper than an iPod Touch exactly because it comes with a cell phone subscription. The subscription is where they make the real money. If the same is true in the US, then I really doubt AT&T is just going to cancel that subscription. They're more likely to severely restrict your bandwidth while still charging the same amount of money, or something like that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by averner (1341263)

      I've canceled cable television and Internet service

      Cable television may not be terribly important, but I don't know how you can "live better" without internet service. Either way, you're posting here, aren't you?

  • Functionality! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by registered_after_8_y (1445553) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:51PM (#27561801)
    The reason i have a jailbroken iPhone (legally unlocked, bought it in Italy) is the way the App Store apps are crippled. The apps from cydia have much better functions in many cases, as a simple example the flashlight app, the one from cydia can override the screen brightness settings, which makes it actually work, whereas the official doesn't. Also apps like intelliscreen and others like it make it clear that I will still jailbreak my phone at 3.0.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335)

      The reason I jailbreak is because my favorite app will NEVER be approved for the App Store. MxTube - lets you download YouTube videos for watching later. Do it over WiFi, 2G (ouch), or 3G. Load up your phone with YouTube videos and watch them at your convenience.

      As for background apps, Apple's case is fairly strong. Developers suck. Writing a battery-friendly app is extremely difficult. Even something as simple as polling for data every hour has a huge impact on battery life. And most developers will pick a

  • by richtaur (1234738) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:57PM (#27561919) Homepage
    iPhone is great, but a jailbroken iPhone is AWESOME! Oldschool emulators (Genesis, Nintendo), bash terminal, custom text ringtones, scp/ssh ... it's a fantastic device by itself, but without restrictions it's unbelievably good.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mr2001 (90979)

      Heh. Android users can get those without having to hack anything.

      You're telling me you can't change the text ringtone on a stock iPhone? Seriously?

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        You're telling me you can't change the text ringtone on a stock iPhone? Seriously?

        My coworkers and I all have iPhones, and we all have custom phone ringtones (that's easy to do), but the only guy that doesn't whip out his phone when the "Glass" text-ringtone chimes is the guy who jailbroke. The worst thing about Apple's restricted text-ringtones is that there is only one that can be heard in a server room.

    • by trawg (308495)

      That does sound awesome, as long as you don't mind being a criminal [eff.org], at least in the eyes of Apple.

  • Apple are doing everything but condone jailbreaking because they know it's a nice feature and they are selling iPhones because of it.
    • by mcvos (645701)

      Exactly! Chasing devoted developers and users to the competition would be the stupidest thing Apple can do.

      They have good reasons to keep the iPhone locked, and for legal reasons they probably don't want to have to support unlocked iPhones, but the ability to unlock it and do awesome things with it adds a lot of value to the iPhone. If Apple didn't quietly condone jailbreaking, people who like the added value would switch to Android.

  • Anything that justifies itself on the basis of "the user's experience" should be viewed appropriately - as a load of BS.

    Apple contends that they want us to have a smooth, consistent user "experience".

    Isn't that MY DECISION? If I choose to want concurrent apps (which I don't, the device doesn't have enough power to make it useful), who is the vendor to dictate my "experience"?

    The reality is that they want their massive cut of the app store revenue, and alternate app stores cut their revenue stream out of the

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by onefriedrice (1171917)

      Anything that justifies itself on the basis of "the user's experience" should be viewed appropriately - as a load of BS. Apple contends that they want us to have a smooth, consistent user "experience". Isn't that MY DECISION?

      Yeah, it is. So... what's the problem? If you want to make the decision to customize your user experience, go ahead and jailbreak. Otherwise, the user experience Apple provides is good enough for most people.

      Seriously, Apple's not going to haul you off to jail any more than will KDE for adapting their desktop software to fit your needs. Nobody is saying you have to do it Apple's way, but Apple is under no obligation to provide support to you if you try to make their software work in ways it's not yet

  • The lockin forces the app-store, which forces the dev eula which forces the non-competition, which perpetuates apples distribution monopoly, which keeps the dump trucks full of cash coming in. Artist 'reward' as a justification for repression, etc. They don't care too much about jailbreaking because the avg buyer is not going to bother... and most people will continue to fork over cash, instead of stripping the nasty, avoiding the cash grab and using it as the more flexible and useful device it could be.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday April 13, 2009 @04:41PM (#27562681)

    The iPhone lacks background Applications - however, a percentage of the cases for making use of background processing are addressed by the notification service (which is finally going in with 3.0).

    Once you eliminate the entire class of polling apps, are the remaining set truly the "holy grail" of iPhone use? I don't think so.

    That said, Jailbreaking will thrive because there will always be stuff you can do with Jailbreaking you cannot otherwise, if nothing else just the opportunity for raw experimentation.... I seem to recall there has been some proof that Apple looks over these jailbroken apps, I'm sure they draw ideas from them and can even use them as a measure of just what areas people most want to see a deeper API exposed. So I don't think Apple will ever get serious about stopping this, not to mention they have been intelligent enough to know to spend only the most minimal time developing protection mechanisms that will be hacked anyway (which is all of them).

  • So, in order to use this product, I have to partially break it?

    There is only one product [google.com] that I have to partially break to use that I am OK with.

    It isn't a phone.

    • by mcvos (645701)

      So, in order to use this product, I have to partially break it?

      You can use it, but if you want to get more use out of it, you need to upgrade it. That's the only good way to look at it.

  • by stalky14 (574130) on Monday April 13, 2009 @05:31PM (#27563355)
    1. File Sharing. My Touch shows up just like any other shared Mac in the Shared bar in Finder windows. Once I log in, I can drag files back and forth across the entire directory structure just like any NAS situation. This includes pulling out iTunes music, albeit with funky filenames. iTunes can still figure them out, though.

    2. Ad Block. Either by the shareware Adblock or a hosts file.

    3. Emulators. The GBA emulator has gotten quite good.

  • What for whom? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joh (27088) on Monday April 13, 2009 @07:14PM (#27564433)

    The trouble is that as soon as you have arbitrary apps deciding to run in the background, you have to look *very* closely what they do. Because if you don't, these apps will suck at your battery until it is empty.

    And most normal users most certainly don't want to have to do that. At least with the appstore apps you can rely on them to stop doing anything as soon as you return to the home screen or click the phone "off". And Apple has done a really good job when it comes to power management. You may easily overlook this fact on an iPhone, but if you look at the iPod touch this thing runs (sleeps) for weeks if you press the off button. Having apps running in the background and then return to an empty battery two hours (or one day) later surely is *not* in the interest of the users. Constantly having to check for (and kill) running apps in some task-manager is no solution either.

    Say what you will about Apple, but power management is one thing they are very serious about, not only with the iPhone. The new MacBook is able to even put most netbooks to shame when it comes to minimum power draw and this is not due to magic but just to lots of hard work and smart hard- and software. I've seen my MacBook drawing about 6 watts from the battery with WiFi on, display on 50% and writing things. This is outright impressive, they must have some really clever people working on that while most other hardware vendors just don't care and either stuff fat batteries into their machines or give you two hours of battery life. Limitations like "no background apps on the iPhone" are there for a good reason, so be careful what you wish for.

    • by dwpro (520418)

      Those who value life (battery) over freedom deserve neither.

    • by KZigurs (638781)

      Easy solution - define a power envelope background apps have to operate. Something as in average cpu/network load/battery drain over 5 minutes, or in those lines.
      Easy to define, clearly communicable to developers and measurable in runtime and clearly killable if required.

      I would surely appreciate clear limits to operate within and even if they are ... all but unattainable for mere mortals, fine. If I have an application that needs some network in background (not IM, btw), but keeping a socket open is too ex

  • An update for an application I bought failed to install through the craptastic itunes, and none of Apple's checklist solutions made it work. So I unpacked the app into the original directory via the docking cable (something Apple won't let official apps do), fixed the perms via ssh (something else Apple doesn't allow), and was on my merry way with my working, paid-for upgrade.

    I can see Apple wanting to do something about piracy, but the irony in this case is pretty obvious.

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