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Apple announces new MobileMe Mail upgrade beta program

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
MobileMe subscribers can now join a new beta program to access the upcoming version of MobileMe webmail app right now.

The opt-in beta program allows MobileMe users to test drive new features of the online Mail web app, including a new widescreen view interface, improved performance, server-side email rules, a formatting toolbar for adding rich text to emails, and new SSL security when composing and sending email.

Users opt in by clicking on a "request an invitation" link inside MobileMe. Joining the beta program has no effect on how MobileMe mail works with desktop or mobile clients, and users can leave the beta program at any time.

New features

Apple says the new widescreen view "lets you see more of each message with less scrolling. Choose compact view to hide your folders or classic view to see more of your message list." The new view is more like the user interface for Mail on iPad, and less like the "Classic" three pane display of Outlook (below).

New support for "server-side" mail rules "help you reduce inbox clutter by automatically filing messages into folders you select ahead of time. Set them up at me.com, and your rules organize your incoming email on the web and everywhere else on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC."

Apple's previous Mail strategy lacked a strong server side component because Apple didn't sell a server. Mobile Me should now act a lot more like "Exchange for the rest of us," enabling sorting rules that work even when the desktop client isn't open, and therefore work across multiple mobile clients as well.

Apple also touts "single-click archiving" as a new feature. "Click the Archive button and the selected message is quickly filed into the Archive folder where it's always available for future reference."

A new formatting toolbar allows you to "create great-looking email messages using formatting buttons to bold or italicize text, change font color, insert images, and more. You can even create formatted web links to hide long URLs." The new beta also supports a range of keyboard shortcuts to allow web users to apply bold, italics, underline, or indent text in emails, as well as select, undo, redo, open, and print within emails.

Apple says Mail at me.com "loads your inbox and messages faster. And with interface refinements such as the ability to scroll through your entire inbox without having to manually click to load the next set of messages, you'll be able to work more efficiently." Performance is a significant problem for MobileMe today, so gains in

Thanks to increased security with SSL, "accessing your email on the web is more secure than ever," Apple says. "Your inbox is protected to prevent anyone from eavesdropping on your webmail. As always, you receive SSL protection when you use your MobileMe Mail account on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC."

As noted earlier, Apple's existing MobileMe service has been criticized for not offering SSL security within its web interface, enabling the potential for users to have their data spied upon while using, for example, an open WiFi network.

While the addition of SSL security is nice (as long as it doesn't slow the interface down noticeably), users should be aware that email is inherently insecure, and even SSL security between the email client and serve means nothing once the email leaves Apple's server and heads across the internet to its destination server as an insecure, plain text communication.
post #2 of 79
Wow they were not kidding, it's much faster !!!
I like the new layout as well.


Excellent !
post #3 of 79
Just signed up...new format kind of resembles iPad...although I have not used an iPad yet!
post #4 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post

Wow they were not kidding, it's much faster !!!
I like the new layout as well.


Excellent !

I signed up, but no change yet?
post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I signed up, but no change yet?

Yeah, I signed up this morning but it's still the same so far. Well the SSL seems turned on, but the rest is the same.
post #6 of 79
Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!
post #7 of 79
Is there any editorial control at all? There is a sentence in here that is at best only half written.

It is really not that hard to get it right. Simply get the Apple PR then select copy and then select paste.
post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!

What
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

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MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

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post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I signed up, but no change yet?

As did I - Apple will likely send out email to those who are accepted into the Beta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!

Um, this is the MobileMe webmail client. While it does allow you to connect an external email account via POP, I don't see Apple opening that up to everyone gratis!

I'm really looking forward to this - I do like the current webmail interface, but its lack of formatting capability is very limiting. Being able to set up what I assume are server-side rules/filtering is also gonna be awesome!
post #10 of 79
pretty
Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!

it's basically modeled on the ipad mail program.

and who knows what will happen with future OS updates.

right now they just want feedback and doing it on the web version is a way to get that.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #12 of 79
With the server side rules are these going to be just rules or are they going to be Smart Mailboxes?

I use Smart Mailboxes all the time in Mail as they are a lot handier and simpler to set up.
post #13 of 79
Can someone who's got access please load up some full size screen shots so we can set what it looks like.
post #14 of 79
I've signed up for it, but haven't received my invitation yet. Base on the screenshot, it looks great! I wish Apple would offer that layout in OS X Mail.
post #15 of 79
It looks like Outlook, looks like Apple is now copying Microsoft
post #16 of 79
I wonder if Apple built this new web mail app using Sproutcore or if they are using Gianduia...
post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

A
Um, this is the MobileMe webmail client. While it does allow you to connect an external email account via POP, I don't see Apple opening that up to everyone gratis

um, so that makes it impossible to tweak the UI in mail.app? see there's a native version of mail client for the mac (comes with OSX) I think they posters were saying it might be nice if the mail.app client adopted the same look/feel.
post #18 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmage View Post

um, so that makes it impossible to tweak the UI in mail.app? see there's a native version of mail client for the mac (comes with OSX) I think they posters were saying it might be nice if the mail.app client adopted the same look/feel.

It's not that big of a deal. Instead of summary headers up top they moved them to the left in a column.
post #19 of 79
Hopefully your email won't get lost this time.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
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post #20 of 79
their webmail app has been a piece of crap forever

lost emails, poor performance, etc

I stopped using it a long time ago - it was basically unusable

massive numbers of complaints in Apple's support forums on it

hopefully it works now, but I have little interest in going back to it...
post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple says the new widescreen view "lets you see more of each message with less scrolling. Choose compact view to hide your folders or classic view to see more of your message list." The new view is more like the user interface for Mail on iPad, and less like the "Classic" three pane display of Outlook (below).

Err no, Mail on iPad and this both just look like Outlook. Particularly this with the 3 column design. Mail on iPad was more of a trimmed down Outlook. No getting away from it, the 3 column design is basically a copy of outlook.
post #22 of 79
Signed up... no invite yet. Wonder how they are choosing the testers?

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #23 of 79
it's about time they used SSL for more than the login.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #24 of 79
Webmail is for the less fortunate.
post #25 of 79
This is quite an exaggeration. When Mobile Me first launched two years ago, the system was overwhelmed some people had performance issues and lost emails. Most MM users were not effected.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rmb View Post

their webmail app has been a piece of crap forever

lost emails, poor performance, etc

I stopped using it a long time ago - it was basically unusable

massive numbers of complaints in Apple's support forums on it

hopefully it works now, but I have little interest in going back to it...
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This is quite an exaggeration. When Mobile Me first launched two years ago, the system was overwhelmed some people had performance issues and lost emails. Most MM users were not effected.

While all true, it does show why a controlled and well thought out release is not just a good idea, but possibly a great idea as first impressions can stick.

The service was working fine by Sunday afternoon for me, just a couple days after the launch. Apple really should have opened up the MM changes to old iTools and .Mac users first or an opt-in program like they are doing now for MM. They also shouldn't have released the iPhone 3G, v2.0 for all iPhones and the new MobileMe all at the same time.

However, I'd say the single, biggest issue with the MM launch was the ability to sign up and test it for 30-days without first having to submit a CC, like they do now. Too many people at once wanting to try the new features with iPhone OS v2.0. It looks like they learned their lesson, at least a little, that they can't act like a "boutique shop", but MM still has this silly stigmata that it doesn't work.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #27 of 79
Solip and Teno.

Do you all find that MM is slow to load mail and browse mail folders?

It s funny, while I generally like MM, I am most annoyed by how slow MM's mail loads and how slow it is to browse folders.

Conversely I love iDisk. I'm might be the only one though. Most seem to hate it. I use Accountedge and love how iDisk is integrated into it. Its probably the only reason I keep MM. I actually like hotmail better for mail.
post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Solip and Teno.

Do you all find that MM is slow to load mail and browse mail folders?

It s funny, while I generally like MM, I am most annoyed by how slow MM's mail loads and how slow it is to browse folders.

Conversely I love iDisk. I'm might be the only one though. Most seem to hate it. I use Accountedge and love how iDisk is integrated into it. Its probably the only reason I keep MM. I actually like hotmail better for mail.

I find Gmail faster for all things webmail, but I don't find it unbearably slow.

I do have a problem with iDisk. Even when using Transmit, which still using WebDAV, it's just too slow. I have issues with it timing out that I've moved exclusively to DropBox.

I wish Apple would by or emulate DropBox. it's pretty awesome. For instance, if the file I'm uploading is already on the DropBox servers it will simply say add a resource fork to my folder saying it's there. This is invisible to anyone else who has uploaded that file. I can even change the name of the file at will. This really makes moving common items very simple and fast. DropBox integrates with your OS and there are is even and iPhone app for it.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #29 of 79
How long did everyone have to wait to receive their Beta Invite? I signed up about three hours ago and am still waiting.
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Owen stop reading my posts.
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post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I find Gmail faster for all things webmail, but I don't find it unbearably slow.

I do have a problem with iDisk. Even when using Transmit, which still using WebDAV, it's just too slow. I have issues with it timing out that I've moved exclusively to DropBox.

I wish Apple would by or emulate DropBox. it's pretty awesome. For instance, if the file I'm uploading is already on the DropBox servers it will simply say add a resource fork to my folder saying it's there. This is invisible to anyone else who has uploaded that file. I can even change the name of the file at will. This really makes moving common items very simple and fast. DropBox integrates with your OS and there are is even and iPhone app for it.

I am embarrassed to discuss web services in forums. Everything I like most people scorn. The stuff others rave about I'm just 'meh'.

I haven;t tried DB but everything I read is positive. I thought about giving it a try but like I said earlier I really like how AE is integrated with iDisk. It leaves a backuo copy in iDisk and as worked flawlessly for me. I like how I don't have to expend mental energy to accomplish this task. I also keep backups of a few important files on iDisk and I've never had a problem. I'm not a demanding user so I suspect thats why I'm satisfied.

Gmail for me is only ok. Again most people I know love it but its never really been that appealing to me.
post #31 of 79
This is one of those few times, where I am going to go against apple's choices, because although this is a welcome change, it leaves by far a lot to be desired from mm. Idisk should eventually be used to sync folders across macs, and not be a mere repository for files, more security features need to be implemented too, and there's a whole list of wants, or rather have to happens, to elevate mm to a proper cloud service. For the money we pay for it, it just doesn't cut it, as simple as that. It only wins in integration, and loses in all other terms because better (but less integrated) approaches exist, most of them free, or far cheaper.

It's clear to anyone who likes apple products, that the mm team lack vision, or in any case are too slow to implement whatever vision they have.

It's still nice to see however one well implemented feature going to beta (and I think it has something to do with letting off the mm boss a few months ago...). But still, it's just not enough.
post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

This is one of those few times, where I am going to go against apple's choices, because although this is a welcome change, it leaves by far a lot to be desired from mm. Idisk should eventually be used to sync folders across macs, and not be a mere repository for files, more security features need to be implemented too, and there's a whole list of wants, or rather have to happens, to elevate mm to a proper cloud service. For the money we pay for it, it just doesn't cut it, as simple as that. It only wins in integration, and loses in all other terms because better (but less integrated) approaches exist, most of them free, or far cheaper.

It's clear to anyone who likes apple products, that the mm team lack vision, or in any case are too slow to implement whatever vision they have.

It's still nice to see however one well implemented feature going to beta (and I think it has something to do with letting off the mm boss a few months ago...). But still, it's just not enough.

I completely disagree with the general statement of syncing all your files across Macs. There is no reason for it and HDDs store way too much data to make this viable. MobileMe and the previous .Mac did a great job of syncing your user accounts across Macs. the things that make the computer look and function the same.

I have about 60GB of files on my Desktop, 120GB in my Photos, a few hundred in my Music folder and so one. These syncing across the the internet or even a local network just isn't realistic. If you have files you want synced then copy them to the iDisk folder and they will be synced.
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post #33 of 79
Good to see some work being done on MM. I wonder if this new update will also eventually add meeting invites etc. I recall that OS 4 is likely to offer that and will need the server side to fully function. Time will tell!
post #34 of 79
MobileMe is one if the most pathetic offerings by Apple. Lousy, clunky, slow, unintuitive.

Let's see if this does any better. I am planning to sign up, but don't hold out much hope.
post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I completely disagree with the general statement of syncing all your files across Macs. There is no reason for it and HDDs store way too much data to make this viable. MobileMe and the previous .Mac did a great job of syncing your user accounts across Macs. the things that make the computer look and function the same.

I have about 60GB of files on my Desktop, 120GB in my Photos, a few hundred in my Music folder and so one. These syncing across the the internet or even a local network just isn't realistic. If you have files you want synced then copy them to the iDisk folder and they will be synced.

I am not talking about syncing across the board, but a few mission critical folders have to be synced, and synced securely. Chronosync to mm and then to the respective mac doesn't cut it, neither does chronosync via wifi or saving to idisk solely.

Certain files and folders have to be synced, on the fly and securely, with folders on the mac (and not just dropping everything to idisk and re-arranging the whole structure of folders on you desktops to do so) and on the cloud. Its a sine qua non for me. I have two desktop, a lappie, an iphone, and I am going to have an ipad. Idisk should be the server for these, and the master sync-er, I should not be expected to hunt down files I want to have across the board in all my devices.

A folder I choose to have always synced, should be just that, there and available to all devices via idisk, and mirrored in the appropriate folder in every mac. I am working on my lappie, I won't to go to my macs at home, or in my cottage house and find the folders synced there too, without going into the hassle of choosing a separate disk (idisk) to store them.
post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

MobileMe is one if the most pathetic offerings by Apple. Lousy, clunky, slow, unintuitive.

Let's see if this does any better. I am planning to sign up, but don't hold out much hope.

For sure, it's the ugly duckling, the relative you want to hide, and it's sad because there's such great potential to it.
post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

I am not talking about syncing across the board, but a few mission critical folders have to be synced, and synced securely. Chronosync to mm and then to the respective mac doesn't cut it, neither does chronosync via wifi or saving to idisk solely.

Certain files and folders have to be synced, on the fly and securely, with folders on the mac (and not just dropping everything to idisk and re-arranging the whole structure of folders on you desktops to do so) and on the cloud. Its a sine qua non for me. I have two desktop, a lappie, an iphone, and I am going to have an ipad. Idisk should be the server for these, and the master sync-er, I should not be expected to hunt down files I want to have across the board in all my devices.

The security I understand. I think this is the biggest issue for entirely of MobileMe, as my first post in this thread suggests.

I would like to have an option in the Get Info window on each file/folder and/or in the MM preference pane to choose folders/files to auto sync to iDisk without first having to put them in the iDisk folder.

There are a couple work arounds to achieve that same goal of" in-place syncing" of files, but it would be nice for it to be included by default.

For security, I suggest using DropBox with uses AES-256 for transmission. Of course, I can't attest to the security of their servers or their employees, but for local privacy it should work great.
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post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The security I understand. I think this is the biggest issue for entirely of MobileMe, as my first post in this thread suggests.

I would like to have an option in the Get Info window on each file/folder and/or in the MM preference pane to choose folders/files to auto sync to iDisk without first having to put them in the iDisk folder.

There are a couple work arounds to achieve that achieve that same goal of in-place syncing, but it would be nice for it to be included by default.

For security, I suggest using DropBox with uses AES-256 for transmission. Of course, I can't attest to the security of their servers or their employees, but for local privacy it should work great.

Exactly Soli, covers what I am saying completely. I haven't gone the dropbox way because I am holding out for the sub par offering that is mm to lose the teething problems.
post #39 of 79
I would love to purchase a family pack; however I believe Apple should give the purchasing account the option to administer the other five computers in his/her home, office or wherever they might be.

It would be so helpful when I am away on business and my son is having a problem if I can use back to my Mac to get into his computer to fix it, all five of the accounts are their own distinctive accounts.

There should be something in the "Family Pack" that gives the option to administer all of the accounts somehow.

That is my MM wish.....
post #40 of 79
I got my invite to the beta and have been using it for a solid 2 hours. I typically didn't use webmail unless I was traveling outside of the country where my iPhone would get murdered on data.

I want to be the first to say...HOLY SMOKES! The new webmail is super fast. Never have I experienced webmail from Apple be this fast...not even close. It is actually faster than Gmail/Google Apps for me. I'm serious folks, this is a top class performer. The entire experience has been sped up. It is almost client-side speed. Bringing up the compose window doesn't take forever and a lifetime. Moving/deleting and overall mailbox management is a treat. Messages load in the preview pane almost instantly (mileage may vary based on internet speeds).

The UX has been improved. The new 3-column view is great. Infinite scrolling of mailboxes is great, as is real-time search. I'm so happy about server-side rules.

If the rest of the MobileMe services get this kinda love, we are all in for a treat.

The only thing I wish...MobileMe for domains. If we could use MobileMe instead of Google Apps, I would probably cry tears of happiness.

I know this all might seem kinda weird and all, but Apple has finally got webmail right and I can't wait to see the rest of the services get revamped.
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