iPhone background apps make me nervous

When I got my first Mac, the year was 1990, the OS was System 6, and -- I now confess something to you -- I turned MultiFinder off. For those of you who don't remember the stone age of the Macintosh, MultiFinder was the innovation that made it possible to run more than one application at a time; without it, the current application filled the whole screen, with even the desktop invisible. This was how I had learned to use a Mac, on my cousin's 512K model, and I was suspicious of change, new things, etc. At the tender age of 15, I was already showing signs of the curmudgeon I would someday become.

Flash-forward to today, when I seem to be the only person on the planet who's content to use the iPhone as currently designed: one app at a time. Honestly, even updating my Facebook status while playing music in the background makes me a little nervous. Everyone else, however, is salivating at the latest tidbit from Macrumors: Apple is planning on jettisoning its plans for push notification (which would allow apps to receive information without actually running), and instead will just allow third-party apps to run in the background, just like the Phone, Safari, Mail, and iPod apps already can.

Most people seem quite thrilled about this, but it makes me anxious. Considering how underpowered the iPhone is compared to a real computer (it's much more powerful than my original Mac Plus, but never mind that), I'm constantly impressed by how it almost never crashes, freezes up, or otherwise hiccoughs; I fear that keeping multiple apps open will change all that. Word is that on the current hardware, only one or two background apps can run at any time, with true multi-app freedom coming only with the presumably multicore next-generation iPhone. Still, your blogger will probably be using those apps one at a time until it becomes an embarrassing anachronism to do so.

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