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Apple updates MobileMe file sharing, iPhone features

post #1 of 73
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Apple's MobileMe cloud services package has been updated to improve its public file sharing features and make it easier to locate the Find My iPhone page. The web apps still can't be accessed from the iPhone however.

The company issued the update Friday. Users who login will notice a new "radar sweep" icon in the navigation bar, which serves as a direct link to pull up the Find My iPhone page. This feature, which was introduced alongside the iPhone 3.0 update, was previously hidden in under the Settings page.

The update also addresses Public shared files in the user's iDisk, which can be made fully available to anyone or restricted to users who know a Public password set by the user. The revamped interface now allows users to password-protect their Public folder and provides the option to enable visitors to upload, move and delete any publicly shared files.

However, the new settings are hidden behind a Preferences item within the drop down menu displayed by the "gear icon" action button. This is an odd choice given the vast expanse of blank space available for adding a more obvious preferences or password setting control.

Apple also gave the public iDisk page MobileMe's SproutCore treatment, which provides a cohesive look and feel and supports direct drag and drop of files between folders within the web page (but not to or from the desktop). The update also enables users to connect to another user's Public folder while being currently logged into their own MobileMe account.

As was previously the case, MobileMe makes access personal and public iDisk files available from the desktop as a WebDAV file share on Windows or via the Finder using the Go/iDisk menu, and viewable from the iPhone using the free iDisk app.



Web apps still blocked from iPhone access

Apple has yet to address the most bizarre problem with MobileMe: the web service is completely and intentionally blocked to iPhone users. Rather than providing web-based access to the site via the iPhone's browser, users attempting to pull up me.com are sent to a special landing page that tells them to use the phone's native Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Photos apps instead.

This prevents iPhone users--the very demographic Apple is trying to reach as subscribers--from accessing their MobileMe account information (such as changing their password), looking up the location of other iPhones attached to their MobileMe account with Find My iPhone, logging into an alternative account (such as offering a guest web access to their own account on the iPhone) or troubleshooting problems with email connectivity (such as local SMTP mail delivery problems in a given location that could be resolved with direct webmail access).



The company has added some custom support for accessing MobileMe features from the web, including a mobile-optimized Gallery for viewing shared pictures. Apple's refusal to support access to more or most of MobileMe from the iPhone or iPod touch is particularly strange given the company's marketing that referred to the iPhone's browser as providing access to the "real Internet."

MobileMe also begs for HTML5 treatment, enabling features such as offline access to webmail and direct playback of media files and documents within iDisk folders. MobileMe currently only supports viewing of graphics and movie files saved within a Gallery.
post #2 of 73
I have been using this service for years now and think it's great. They just keep adding more and more little things.

The iDisk is a little slow though, is the only thing. But email with no ads is great and also the ability to remote wipe my iPhone if needed.
post #3 of 73
They want to update the service properly? Make it free.

Then create a Mobile me API, and let developers write paid apps for the service that Mobile me subscribers can buy/add-on. They get them added up the menubar. Apple can take a cut and provide Mac users with real value. The Mobile me API program could be $299 for devs to join. Or it could be free, but invite only.

Instead of charging $100 a year for stuff that should be free or very nearly free. Create bloody value.
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post #4 of 73
I recently needed to access my MobileMe page while on a trip and used my iPhone and was totally surprised that I was unable to. I thought I'd done something wrong! I am baffled as to the reason for this.

I like the easier to access find my iPhone but I'd like to see the ability to send a link to someone else so that for a period you specify (for security reasons and privacy) allowing them to track your phone. Just a simple example; someone is meeting you off a hike, an hour before you arrive you send this special e-mail and they can now see your location and know when to set off to go to the trail head to collect you.
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post #5 of 73
Maybe denying iPhone access is a security issue. If someone steals your phone, they can possibly access the account and change the password, preventing the owner from using the "find my phone" feature.
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post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Maybe denying iPhone access is a security issue. If someone steals your phone, they can possibly access the account and change the password, preventing the owner from using the "find my phone" feature.

No, cause they need to login.
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post #7 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They want to update the service properly? Make it free.

Then create a Mobile me API, and let developers write paid apps for the service that Mobile me subscribers can buy/add-on. They get them added up the menubar. Apple can take a cut and provide Mac users with real value. The Mobile me API program could be $299 for devs to join. Or it could be free, but invite only.

Instead of charging $100 a year for stuff that should be free or very nearly free. Create bloody value.

Free?... so we can start seeing ads on the .me pages?... ads glued to our .me emails?
The servers need to be paid for somehow... and making it free would only increase their bandwidth costs. (more people would use it ... including spammers.)
As others have said, I'm happy with the $99 annually to NOT have to deal with ad-based free crap.
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post #8 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Free?... so we can start seeing ads on the .me pages?... ads glued to our .me emails?
The servers need to be paid for somehow... and making it free would only increase their bandwidth costs. (more people would use it ... including spammers.)
As others have said, I'm happy with the $99 annually to NOT have to deal with ad-based free crap.

Have to agree 100%.
post #9 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Free?... so we can start seeing ads on the .me pages?... ads glued to our .me emails?
The servers need to be paid for somehow... and making it free would only increase their bandwidth costs. (more people would use it ... including spammers.)
As others have said, I'm happy with the $99 annually to NOT have to deal with ad-based free crap.

Totally agree.
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post #10 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Free?

Yes..
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post #11 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

so we can start seeing ads on the .me pages?... ads glued to our .me emails?

No...
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post #12 of 73
I've noticed these changes last night. I've just renewed my MobileMe Family subscription. I do think that Apple needs to enable account access using the iPhone.
post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I have been using this service for years now and think it's great. They just keep adding more and more little things.

The iDisk is a little slow though, is the only thing. But email with no ads is great and also the ability to remote wipe my iPhone if needed.

Yeah, its gotten better but its still pretty damn slow, especially when uploading large files. The best method I have found is to use Transmit, which use FTP instead of WebDAV or HTTP from the Finder or web browser. Transmit already knows your iDisk setup and connects automatically when clicked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They want to update the service properly? Make it free.

Then create a Mobile me API, and let developers write paid apps for the service that Mobile me subscribers can buy/add-on. They get them added up the menubar. Apple can take a cut and provide Mac users with real value. The Mobile me API program could be $299 for devs to join. Or it could be free, but invite only.

Instead of charging $100 a year for stuff that should be free or very nearly free. Create bloody value.

There is nothing that offers all the components of MM and if you try to put together non-ad-supported pieces you will just come out with a complex system that is either ridiculous high in price or just worthless to use, while not giving you some of the unique features that make it a product worth having.

That said, if you dont want all the features of MM, only a couple specific uses, then there are free and cheap services available.
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post #14 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I've noticed these changes last night. I've just renewed my MobileMe Family subscription. I do think that Apple needs to enable account access using the iPhone.

I dont get that either. If I am out and me or someone misplaces an iPhone I dont want to have to go home to get on my Computer to check out Find My iPhone. I want to be able to bring it up right then and there to locate and/or wipe.

Also, the way Find My iPhone can get turned on/of on the iPhone needs to be revised. Its not intuitive and there needs to be a PIN code associated with it that is required to turn it on off the way that changing a passcode. If you know about the feature and you snag someones phone before the x minute auto-lock is enabled (if there is one) you can disable easily without having to turn off the device.
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post #15 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yeah, its gotten better but its still pretty damn slow, especially when uploading large files. The best method I have found is to use Transmit, which use FTP instead of WebDAV or HTTP from the Finder or web browser. Transmit already knows your iDisk setup and connects automatically when clicked.

One feature I would like to see if the ability to sync folders with MM iDisk. I have few folders that I use everyday and sometimes I need to access the files when I don't have my MBP with me. Furthermore, I can't use Back to My Mac because of how our university IT configures our network
post #16 of 73
I definitely think the Mobile Me service should be a paid service. I just think it should offer everything that the other mail services and MORE. I think 20GB of online storage space is pretty damn sweet for $100/year, but I think the idisk should work much better/faster - especially when accessing it through Finder. (and thats just 2 of the many features that Mobile Me offers! well worth $99/year)

As for accessing the actual Mobile Me site on iphone:

If you purchase the Bolt app ($.99) you can access the same Mobile Me site you access from your computer. Its a browser app that will disguise itself as other browsers such as Firefox and it will access the proper Mobile Me page. This is a fact, I've done it myself. (you're welcome, makers of Bolt app.) I agree that Apple should find a better way to make all of those web apps accessible by default for iphone users, but this is a good and cheap alternative in the meantime if it really means that much to you!



(oops, I meant to make the title "Keep it Paid" not "Keep it Free" :-P
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post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

One feature I would like to see if the ability to sync folders with MM iDisk. I have few folders that I use everyday and sometimes I need to access the files when I don't have my MBP with me.

I had hoped that with SL they would put an option in the MM preference pane AND as a check box in Get Info for a file/folder that would auto sync with the iDisk folder without having you to specifically drag-n-drop it into the folder. For example, my Documents folder contains only important documents that I wish to have saved multiple times to be safe.

Also, they still need to offer secure data to and from MM. For example, after you securely log into the site with HTTPS, your emails and other data is being sent over in clear text. Not good if you are on a public network. MM is definitely not designed for businesses.
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post #18 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont get that either. If I am out and me or someone misplaces an iPhone I dont want to have to go home to get on my Computer to check out Find My iPhone. I want to be able to bring it up right then and there to locate and/or wipe.

Also, the way Find My iPhone can get turned on/of on the iPhone needs to be revised. Its not intuitive and there needs to be a PIN code associated with it that is required to turn it on off the way that changing a passcode. If you know about the feature and you snag someones phone before the x minute auto-lock auto lock is enabled (if there is one) you can disable easily without having to turn off the device.

Yeah, I this is big problem and this is why I use PIN and keep my iPhone locked.
post #19 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by FenixJosh View Post

If you purchase the Bolt app ($.99) you can access the same Mobile Me site you access from your computer. Its a browser app that will disguise itself as other browsers such as Firefox and it will access the proper Mobile Me page.

Buying now. Thanks!
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post #20 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I had hoped that with SL they would put an option in the MM preference pane AND as a check box in Get Info for a file/folder that would auto sync with the iDisk folder without having you to specifically drag-n-drop it into the folder. For example, my Documents folder contains only important documents that I wish to have saved multiple times to be safe.

Also, they still need to offer secure data to and from MM. For example, after you securely log into the site with HTTPS, your emails and other data is being sent over in clear text. Not good if you are on a public network. MM is definitely not designed for businesses.

If you want iDisk auto backup there is a Mac software by Apple that does that. I found it few months ago by chance and it is kind of useful if you have an important folder.
post #21 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Buying now. Thanks!

Glad to help.
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post #22 of 73
A service like this should be a paid service. It's critical enough that a yearly fee will hold the provider (Apple) to a certain standard of expectation. For what you're getting (especially as an iPhone and Mac user), the $100/year is a fair deal. And the service is getting better all the time.
post #23 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Free?... so we can start seeing ads on the .me pages?... ads glued to our .me emails?
The servers need to be paid for somehow... and making it free would only increase their bandwidth costs. (more people would use it ... including spammers.)
As others have said, I'm happy with the $99 annually to NOT have to deal with ad-based free crap.

Absolutely.

There's plenty of value in not having to waste bandwidth and time with ads and spam and such.
$8 a month isn't too bad.
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post #24 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

If you want iDisk auto backup there is a Mac software by Apple that does that. I found it few months ago by chance and it is kind of useful if you have an important folder.

Thanks. I thought that was just old software hanging on from the iTools days. Id check it out but there is still that issue with unencrypted syncing. I do it manually after putting my files in an encrypted DMG periodically.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

Absolutely.

There's plenty of value in not having to waste bandwidth and time with ads and spam and such.
$8 a month isn't too bad.

Amazon.com has it for $6.04 a month. I pay more than that for a beer at a pub.
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post #25 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I had hoped that with SL they would put an option in the MM preference pane AND as a check box in Get Info for a file/folder that would auto sync with the iDisk folder without having you to specifically drag-n-drop it into the folder.

For me, I just create an alias to folders on my iDisk in my Documents folder and keep my whole iDisk synchronized. You could even create aliases to specific files if you want more fine grain control.
post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by FenixJosh View Post

I definitely think the Mobile Me service should be a paid service. I just think it should offer everything that the other mail services and MORE. I think 20GB of online storage space is pretty damn sweet for $100/year

You think 20GB for $100 is a good deal? Sure, in 2002 maybe. For $100, you can get web hosting with unlimited storage, a registered domain name, email, plus more a PHP and MYSQL server with unlimited databases. MM doesn't even offer PHP/MySQL which are essential for any real website (Wordpress, Drupal).

I think ME should be free for users who own both a Mac and iPhone. You paid a lot for the hardware and it's a value added feature that makes the hardware more attractive and creates a better Apple ecosystem, which makes people like the Mac experience even more and recommend it to others. The actual features offered by MM are pretty basic and more worth of $30 a year at most.
post #27 of 73
One feature I'd like to see added is the address of the lost phone. While one can see the street names, it's still hard to find the city, state, and zip. I should be able to click on the location and get a drive-to directions or a Pin location on Google Maps website.

BTW why is Find My Phone not as accurate as the iPhone's GPS? I'm sure it uses the phone's GPS for the location.
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post #28 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

No...

He just bashed your argument and his is much more valid. "No" is not a coherent rebuttal to a somewhat week argument.
post #29 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Free?... so we can start seeing ads on the .me pages?... ads glued to our .me emails?
The servers need to be paid for somehow... and making it free would only increase their bandwidth costs. (more people would use it ... including spammers.)
As others have said, I'm happy with the $99 annually to NOT have to deal with ad-based free crap.


I'll also gladly continue to pay the $100.

It's an excellent value for the money, IMHO
post #30 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They want to update the service properly? Make it free.

Then create a Mobile me API, and let developers write paid apps for the service that Mobile me subscribers can buy/add-on. They get them added up the menubar. Apple can take a cut and provide Mac users with real value. The Mobile me API program could be $299 for devs to join. Or it could be free, but invite only.

Instead of charging $100 a year for stuff that should be free or very nearly free. Create bloody value.

I like the concept of expanding Mobile Me this way (so long as it never impacts performance and no ads) in theory but doesn't the effort (that is paying off) to have Mobile me accepted by corporate IT departments preclude this due to the stringent requirements they demand. Having said that I suppose there could be a pro version that is fee based that is 'clean' for corporate use ... maybe renamed 'MobileThem' .
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post #31 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

One feature I'd like to see added is the address of the lost phone. While one can see the street names, it's still hard to find the city, state, and zip. I should be able to click on the location and get a drive-to directions or a Pin location on Google Maps website.

BTW why is Find My Phone not as accurate as the iPhone's GPS? I'm sure it uses the phone's GPS for the location.

Uhh.... I don't think it does use the iPhone's GPS as the GSP does not broadcast it position. It is a passive receiver. It does however use the GSM network's triangulation data to send out your position. If you have your GPS running and an application uses that application to broadcast your position, then you might be correct, but as it stands you are a bit off.
post #32 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Free?... so we can start seeing ads on the .me pages?... ads glued to our .me emails?
The servers need to be paid for somehow... and making it free would only increase their bandwidth costs. (more people would use it ... including spammers.)
As others have said, I'm happy with the $99 annually to NOT have to deal with ad-based free crap.

Could not agree more with you.
It's well worth the service level that I have come to receive from Apple for a measly $99 bucks.
post #33 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cisco_Kid View Post

Could not agree more with you.
It's well worth the service level that I have come to receive from Apple for a measly $99 bucks.

Well, I'll throw my vote into the "mobile me is well worth the $100 annual cost" pile as well.

On another topic, this whole "find my phone" thing (in my opinion) is a bit handicapped because location services have to be on. Of course that's obvious, but as we all know, that'll eat up the battery like there's no tomorrow.
post #34 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Well, I'll throw my vote into the "mobile me is well worth the $100 annual cost" pile as well.

On another topic, this whole "find my phone" thing (in my opinion) is a bit handicapped because location services have to be on. Of course that's obvious, but as we all know, that'll eat up the battery like there's no tomorrow.


Catch 22 eh, would be neat if it could be enabled at anytime from the MobileMe site.
If that happens I will have to head out and get a lotto ticket ;-)
post #35 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cisco_Kid View Post

Catch 22 eh, would be neat if it could be enabled at anytime from the MobileMe site.
If that happens I will have to head out and get a lotto ticket ;-)

Now that would be a neat solution. Remotely enabling location services from within the "find my phone" area on the Mobile Me site. Either that, or somehow dramatically improving battery life so the charge would last as long with LS on as it does now with LS off.
post #36 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Uhh.... I don't think it does use the iPhone's GPS as the GSP does not broadcast it position. It is a passive receiver. It does however use the GSM network's triangulation data to send out your position. If you have your GPS running and an application uses that application to broadcast your position, then you might be correct, but as it stands you are a bit off.

The GPS does not "broadcast" your position, but your phone send the position that it receives from the GPS and sends it to your .mac account. .mac then googles it inside your .mac screen.

Hence if you have that feature turned OFF on your phone you cannot track it.
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post #37 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

I think ME should be free for users who own both a Mac and iPhone. You paid a lot for the hardware and it's a value added feature that makes the hardware more attractive ...

As a compromise, it should be free for the first year when you buy a new Mac or iPhone. And then offered at a discount if you buy an actual copy of Apple's latest OS or Boxed Set. Reward long-time Apple customers with an integrated ecosystem and loyalty discounts on multiple product purchases.

I think Me.com should offer more value tied to the iTunes store, as well. Everything you buy from the store should be automatically backed up to your me.com account, available for download again if you manage to lose the original copy.
post #38 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They want to update the service properly? Make it free.

Then create a Mobile me API, and let developers write paid apps for the service that Mobile me subscribers can buy/add-on. They get them added up the menubar. Apple can take a cut and provide Mac users with real value. The Mobile me API program could be $299 for devs to join. Or it could be free, but invite only.

Instead of charging $100 a year for stuff that should be free or very nearly free. Create bloody value.

Brilliant idea! I've had .Mac/MobileMe since day one and love it. But yours is a better idea! Providing of course, not ads!
post #39 of 73
iWeb should be a free download for every .mac subscriber.
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post #40 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

You think 20GB for $100 is a good deal? Sure, in 2002 maybe. For $100, you can get web hosting with unlimited storage, a registered domain name, email, plus more a PHP and MYSQL server with unlimited databases. MM doesn't even offer PHP/MySQL which are essential for any real website (Wordpress, Drupal).

You write that as if it's the only feature you get with MM. That is right up there with the "they want me to pay $100 a year for email". It's disingenuous, at best.
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