Linux News Today: "No Background Processing for Apps" in Ubuntu Touch Is Being Debated
One of the issues that’s been bothering some Ubuntu Touch developers and users is the fact that background processing for apps is now really permitted on this platform. A discussion has been started on the official mailing list, and it looks like there are a lot of supporters of the idea that “no background processing for apps” policy needs to change.
As it stands right now, Ubuntu Touch is following a very strict policy regarding apps running on the background. The fact that various third-party components are not running as background processes and don’t have access to stuff like notifications means a much better battery life, but it’s also a lot more restrictive than you might think.
Now, users and developers are debating on the official mailing list this very issue, although it doesn’t seem that the Ubuntu developers are budging.
It’s easy to understand the position of the Ubuntu developers, who are trying to preserve the battery life as much as possible. In fact, one of the reasons why the Ubuntu Touch is performing much better in terms of battery life on the same devices running Android or its FlyMe OS variant is that background apps are not running.
A compromise is needed
One of the community developers and supporters of the Ubuntu Touch platform, Sturm Flut, started this topic on the mailing list, and he got a lot of feedback. The response from an Ubuntu developer points towards the fact that battery life is one of the primary concerns, and changing the policy on how Ubuntu deals with this issue is not likely to change.
“In my opinion the ‘no background processing for apps on the phone’ design decision is wrong, is already hurting us too much and has to be revoked as soon as possible. A (tiny) gain in battery life. We have many apps that cannot be built/ported right now because we are waiting for APIs and system services that haven’t been coming for a year now and only have to be created because we can’t just run in the background. Do we even know if the effect on battery life is really worth it? I challenge you to run e.g,” wrote Sturm Flut.
Other users who agree with him are saying that they too want notifications, they want a navigation app to be able to run in the background, and the examples can go on. In fact, many users would welcome a compromise. Ubuntu devs could give this choice to the users so that they can get a shorter battery life, but more iterations and functionalities from their phone.
For now, they are still discussing, but we’ll try to keep you apprised about any decision that will be taken.