Oh background push, how I yearn for you. You bring tidings of fun and communication, whether the application is in the foreground or not. Imagine: the ability to receive instant message notifications, even when the application is off screen. This is the future, people. Our jet packs arrive next week.
As of last night, select developers have begun receiving the tools required to create constantly-aware applications. By tying the applications to Apple’s Push Notification Service server via a persistent connection, applications can continue to receive notifications even when they’re pretty much closed.
As the tools aren’t actually tied to a live server yet, it may still be a while before background-enabled applications hit the App Store. Progress is progress, though, and Apple still has plenty of time before their self-set deadline in 2 months.