Like many other iPhone developers, I received an email yesterday inviting me to test the new Associated Press app. Apple are using this application to test how their servers handle large scale Push Notifications.
Those of you who don’t know what Push Notifications are, it’s Apple’s solution to not having background applications. It leaves a persistent connection open between your iPhone and Apple’s servers which allows for Sound, Alert or Badges (those numbers on top of your app icon) to be pushed to your device, even when you’ve closed the app. This will allow apps like ‘breaking news’ or instant messaging applications to become infinitely more usable.
This morning (at 5:30am) I received my first push notification. I had the Sound alert enabled so it woke me up (something you may want to consider when this launches in 3.0).
The good news is that Push Notifications is here and working. This has been a feature Apple said we were getting a loooooong time ago, but never delivered.