Good-bye, Mac.com, hello Me.com. In early July, Apple is replacing the six-year old .Mac suite of internet tools a new, drastically overhauled service called MobileMe. MobileMe was demoed at WWDC, and it looks like an awesome service – definitely much better than .Mac, and very strong contender among other clunkier web services. The gateway to MobileMe will be Me.com; you can also access the site at Mobileme.com.
First, Apple says MobileMe its “new Internet service for Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, and PC that takes the best of .Mac and adds many new features. With MobileMe you will continue to get services that take advantage of Mac integration such as iDisk and photo sharing from iPhoto ’08. You also get a suite of new web applications at me.com; push email, push contacts, and push calendar; and 20GB of online storage.” Apple also describes MobileMe as “Exchange for the rest of us,” after Microsoft’s widespread Exchange Server software.
Second, Apple hopes to make all MobileMe application as clean and ad free that it will almost be like you’re on a Mac. I’ll outline some of the major aspects of MobileMe, and then discuss what it means for you (especially if you’re currently using .Mac).
1. Push email, contacts, calendar: “Push” is a powerful technology that automates the updating and synchronization of data across the internet. MobileMe uses push technology to keep your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and even PC in sync with each other. New contacts, calendar events, and bookmarks are automatically pushed to your Mac or PC and over the air to your iPhone or iPod touch. Add a calendar event on the web, and the change is automatically pushed to your Mac and iPhone. New email is pushed to your iPhone in seconds, so you don’t have to check for messages manually. MobileMe Calendar pushes calendar changes over the air to your iPhone or iPod touch, so you don’t have to sync manually with a dock or do anything at all. Also, the web-based email and calenders have been substantially upgraded, with a clean new look, intuitive interface, and easier-to-use controls.
2. Sync all your Mac computers: You might have a Mac at home, a PC at work, along with an iPhone or iPod touch. The challenge is keeping multiple devices always in sync. Enterprises can use a server like Exchange. For everyone else, there’s MobileMe. Use MobileMe to push email, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks to all of your Mac computers and even a PC. With Mac OS X Leopard, you can also sync Dashboard widget preferences, Dock items, many application and system preferences, and Mail notes with all of your Leopard-based Mac computers. If you have more than one PC, use MobileMe to keep email, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks the same on all of them. If you have a Mac and a PC, they can share the same information. MobileMe will keep your computers, iPhone, and iPod touch in sync and up to date.
Also, MobileMe works with the native applications you already know and use, including Mail, Address Book, and iCal on a Mac; or Microsoft Outlook on a PC with Windows XP or Vista; and the built-in applications on your iPhone or iPod touch.
3. iDisk – With a new web interface that looks like the Mac OS X Finder, iDisk features drag-and-drop filing and an easy way to share large documents. Because MobileMe iDisk is built into the core of Mac OS X, accessing it on your Mac is as easy as opening a Finder window. From there, just drag and drop to upload files or manage your folders. Share with anyone by dropping files into your iDisk Public folder. And when you’re away from your computer, you can always access your iDisk from a web browser at me.com.
4. Share from iPhoto, iMovie, and Aperture: With a couple of clicks, you can upload entire photo albums from iPhoto ’08 or Aperture 2 to your MobileMe Gallery. Now you can share photos and manage your albums from any web browser. Friends and family can view, download, and contribute photos to your gallery right from the web. Upload pictures, rearrange the order, and set sharing preferences. And when someone does add photos, the images are automatically pushed down to your iPhoto or Aperture library on your Mac so you never miss a shot. With iMovie ’08, you can upload high-quality movies to your gallery in a variety of sizes perfect for viewing on the web, iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV.
5. Behind the scenes with iWeb. MobileMe is built to work seamlessly with iWeb. You simply create your site, click Publish, and it’s online. There are no settings or configurations to remember — MobileMe does it all behind the scenes and all you see are the beautiful results. MobileMe will also host your personal domain name so you can publish your site directly to www.youraddress.com.
You can read more about MobileMe and watch a guided tour by clicking here.
Read about the eight-year history of the evolution of iTools to .Mac to MobileMe by clicking here.
Read about one of Apple’s earliest internet suites, Cyberdog on Wikipedia by clicking here.