Earlier today, Apple sent out an email (embedded below) to developers who are testing the latest iPhone 3.0 software, asking them to help do one final stress test the new Push Notification service. The app picked for this test was AOL’s AIM instant messaging application, which makes sense given that IM apps are likely to be the apps that end up using Push Notification the most.
Push Notification, for those who haven’t been following news about it for the past year, is the system Apple developed to alleviate the fact that it won’t allow third party apps to run in the background of the iPhone. Apple claims there are security concerns, battery life concerns and performance concerns that prevent background apps from being feasible at this time on the iPhone (though the company is considering ways to do background apps in the future). Instead, it has asked developers to use its servers to push out certain tasks (like IMs) that come to your phone even when that application isn’t running.
Apple first talked about Push Notification a year ago at WWDC, and said it should be available around September of 2008. When that deadline came and went, Apple was largely silent, only remarking briefly that the system wasn’t yet ready and it wanted to make sure it was perfect before rolling it out. A smart move considering the rough start its MobileMe service go off to. So we waited and waited, until finally Apple announced that it would be a part of the iPhone 3.0 software, due out June 17.
Watch the video below to see Push Notification in action with AIM. One quick note: The video makes it look like there may be a delay between an IM sent and received, but I’m told it’s basically instantaneous — under a second.