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No Ubiquitous Mobile Computing for You

Apparently, iPhone applications will only allowed to run one at a time and never in the background. Whenever a user leaves an application to answer the phone or to open a new application, the last application has to quit.1

While this will likely go some way to making sure iPhones are stable, it seems to me some of the more interesting uses of iPhone are prevented by this limitation. For example, jailbreakers have successfully installed and run Apache on the iPhone. Apache really only makes sense as an always-on background application. Not that the iPhone would make the fastest or best web server, but the ability to deploy a web server (or a server of any type) that was truly mobile (and small enough to conceal) would profoundly affect certain aspects of Internet computing, perhaps to the point of bringing new ones into being.

I understand jailbreaking will never end, but if one wants the support of official APIs using an iPhone as a server will require the dedication of an iPhone to that service. This seems, to me, a serious lack of foresight on Apple's part. The iPhone represents, to my mind, the way forward for ubiquitous mobile computing, but Apple at present doesn't seem to want the iPhone to take on this role.

I guess the jailbreakers will have to show Apple the way. end of article

1 A slightly different version of this entry was first posted here.