As part of his piece on the continuing confusion surrounding the $99 iPhone SDK program acceptance/pending/rejection letters, Daring Fireball's John Gruber also dropped this very interesting nugget about the equally continuing and confusing situation surrounding the apparent Apple ban on multitasking and background apps:
[A] source confirmed to me that the iPhone AIM client AOL demoed during the iPhone Roadmap event does not cheat by continuing to run in the background — it quits when you switch to another app, but doesn’t log you out of AIM automatically. Such a client can’t notify you of IM messages from the background (a la the way the iPhone notifies of you SMS messages), but when you switch back to the AIM app, messages you missed should appear. Be wary of claims that “An app that does X is impossible without background processing.”
If accurate then that, as they say, is that in terms of any hope for multitasking apps before June. If Apple didn't grant AOL "special dispensation", they certainly won't give any to Johnny "Next Big Social Perpetual Ping App".
But is a non-background running AIM of any use to you? A welcome break from the constant connection demands of IM? A way to keep AIM second class to an eventual Mobile-iChat Touch app? Smart thinking on Apple's part or just a train wreck in the making?