The next iPhone multitasking stopgap: sync?

November 20, 2009 · 1 min read

Recently I've started using two iPhone apps that sync data with servers: Evernote and Kindle. Evernote syncs the notes; Kindle syncs your last-page-read, so you can go back and forth between devices (Kindle, iPhone, desktop, etc.) without having to find your place again each time.

Unfortunately, apps can only sync when they're running, and they can't run in the background. This is a problem, because it's easy to quit an app before it has a chance to sync completely—for instance, if I'm jotting down quick notes in a meeting and quickly close Evernote, or if I'm reading a Kindle book on the subway without connectivity.

Apple provided push notifications as a relief valve for problems caused by lack of multitasking. Will they provide a special sync API next? Or will this problem go unsolved until the devices become powerful enough that Apple feels comfortable allowing background apps?

These days I do most of my writing at The Roots of Progress. If you liked this essay, check out my other work there.


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