Loopt’s Background Location Update Feature Only Occurs Once Every Hour or Two: Not Exactly Real-time

I’m guessing that most iPhone users consider this a good and welcome development…

Loopt Location To Update In The Background On iPhone

But, don’t get too excited. This Loopt background update isn’t the same as a backbround process. The Silicon Alley Insider article (see above) itself says that the app isn’t running in the background. So, what is it doing? And, will it slow down the iPhone or reduce battery life? Here’s what I found after reading Loopt’s FAQ:

Loopt Always-On Location Service for the iPhone (Trial)

– “we (Loopt)will automatically update your location to the Loopt servers when your iPhoneTM is powered on”. I’m not sure what Loopt means by “on”. My first assumption was that the screen was on but without the Loopt app in the foreground. But, it may be in the electronic sense of “on”.
– “Updates usually occur once every 1 to 2 hours.” This statement leads me to believe that the iPhone must be in use for Loopt to initiate its location update.

If the update is occurring only once every hour or two, it probably won’t cause much (if any) of a slowdown of other iPhone operations. And, it probably doesn’t cause a siginficant (noticeable battery drain).

However, if we have dozens of these kind of pseudo-background processes running on the iPhone in the future, we might see the kind of slugglish behavior we see on Windows Mobile smartphones which supports background processing.