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Apple to launch new Find My Phone app, MobileMe updates

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Apple's MobileMe site is reporting that the system will undergo scheduled maintenance from 10PM PDT to Midnight tonight, Thursday June 17. The site is expected to reopen tomorrow with a finalized Mail update (now in beta), other interface improvements, and alongside a new iOS app that exposes "Find My iPhone" functions for the company's mobile users.

The "Find My iPhone" feature of MobileMe was introduced last year as a way for users to login to the web and locate and message an iPhone or iPod touch, sound its alarm, and remotely lock or wiped the device. The feature works on any iOS 3.x device linked to the user's MobileMe account, providing a unique level of secure remote administration usually only available for corporations with a centralized device management infrastructure. There is no similar consumer-level remote administration service available for Android, BlackBerry, Palm, Symbian, or Windows Mobile devices.

MobileMe users have had to access the feature via the web. Somewhat ironically, Apple blocks mobile iPhone and iPod touch users from visiting the standard MobileMe website, despite marketing the iPhone as begin able to browse the full Internet. However, Apple has subsequently exposed the Find My Phone feature to iPad users who login to me.com, although the iPad presentation is a customized web app, and not the same interface that desktop users get when visiting the MobileMe site.

New rumors indicate Apple will soon release a Universal iOS app for both iPhone and iPad users that will enable them to access the remote lookup features right from their mobile device. The new app would join others Apple has recently released, including its iTunes Mobile Connect app for developers, which allows them to monitor App Store sales, and the new Apple Store app for creating appointments and looking up retail locations.

In addition to the new remote admin app, Apple is also expected to make a series of improvements to MobileMe, including a new app switcher to replace the current button bar for Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Gallery, iDisk, Find MyPhone and Settings modules. The current beta of the enhanced Mail module presents a cloud icon that replaces the button bar, but clicking on the cloud simply dumps the user back to the previous user interface within Contacts. The revised Mail beta appears to style MobileMe more in harmony with the company's iPad look and feel, with simpler icons in a minimal web app presentation, but with more content visible.

post #2 of 37
good because it did not work on iOS4 beta 3 which i'm running now. I assume the reason was a mobile me update was in order.
post #3 of 37
And it's all Free, now! (response to Google) .....or 29.99 annually
After 3 netbooks from acer, toshiba, hp, I find contentment in my 11.6 MB Air. Hoping the 8-hr battery version shows up soon.
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After 3 netbooks from acer, toshiba, hp, I find contentment in my 11.6 MB Air. Hoping the 8-hr battery version shows up soon.
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post #4 of 37
I have had a MobileMe (.Mac) account for 3 years now. The main problem I find is that changes to mail metadata don't push. So if a message is read on one device, it will still appear as unread on all the others. The messages themselves push fine.

I am glad for any new features, but how can they be focussing on something as trivial as the "dock" icons when something as fundamental as email syncing only half works?
post #5 of 37
One wonders how long it will take before iOS 4 elements get backported into Mac OS X...
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I have had a MobileMe (.Mac) account for 3 years now. The main problem I find is that changes to mail metadata don't push. So if a message is read on one device, it will still appear as unread on all the others. The messages themselves push fine.

I am glad for any new features, but how can they be focussing on something as trivial as the "dock" icons when something as fundamental as email syncing only half works?

I've had my account for 3 years too. I don't have that issue though. The iphone stills sees the mail as unread until it wakes back up to find out it was already read or deleted. It may do it automatically but I find that often i have to do it manually. Is that what you are talking about?
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiracer1987 View Post

I've had my account for 3 years too. I don't have that issue though. The iphone stills sees the mail as unread until it wakes back up to find out it was already read or deleted. It may do it automatically but I find that often i have to do it manually. Is that what you are talking about?

Yes that's the issue. When I read an email on my iPad I expect the little red unread mail badge to disappear from the Mail icon on my Mac but it doesn't. It's only later, when another new email arrives that the Mac, in the process of being pushed the new mail, will also be pushed the fact that the earlier mail was read on another device. So the Mac is incorrectly showing an email as unread potentially for hours.
post #8 of 37
Hopefully we'll see an iPad version of the iDisk app this week too.
post #9 of 37
The boys in Cupertino are very aggressive this year - I love it.
post #10 of 37
Great news on upgrades. MobileMe is going to really shine for me when there's complete integration between the iOS, the apps, and Me storage. Moving things on and off the iDevices is a pain and network accessed file system make a great potential solution.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SinisterJoe View Post

Hopefully we'll see an iPad version of the iDisk app this week too.

And Gallsry!
post #12 of 37
I dont get it.. they're releasing a "find my Phone" app... to use on your phone?? AM I missing something??
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

I dont get it.. they're releasing a "find my Phone" app... to use on your phone?? AM I missing something??

I second that. I am a MobileMe user and find this article confusing.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

I second that. I am a MobileMe user and find this article confusing.

Sounds like an app for companies who use iPhones for their employees. A hook to use the service without needing MobileMe.

I think I'll keep my personal phone and just pay for unlimited minutes. I'd rather not be tracked.
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by min_t View Post

And it's all Free, now! (response to Google) .....or 29.99 annually

Check out how much AT&T and other carriers charge per month to have a similar feature to Find My iPhone on your account. .Mac was worth the price when it first came out and it's still worth the $69/year*.

I want more features, including Find My Mac by adding GPS chips to Macs and having the system startup with security in mind, like Orbicule's Undercover app, but more integrated.


* Anyone who pays $99 just to buy it through Apple is throwing away $30/year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

And Gallary!

I think a portal to photos on iDisk would be best served through the Photos app on the iPad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

I dont get it.. they're releasing a "find my Phone" app... to use on your phone?? AM I missing something??

The iPhone app makes perfect sense. I can see two primary functions.

1) lets you help someone quickly who has lost their iPhone. Think about it, if you lose your iPhone you aren't going to go home to use your computer if you lose it while you are out. You'd want to know pretty much immediately.

2) it let's you quickly locate people that may be on your account that you are following for whatever reason.
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 #16 of 37
I have been a mobileme user since the .mac days, and have decided not to renew. Between Google Sync and Dropbox, MobileMe is really hard for me to justify anymore. I can't figure out why Apple can't get this one right. With the vast majority of OSX users also sporting iPhones and/or iPads, you would think that cross-platform file sharing would be a higher priority than it seems to be.

It shocks me that third parties can do this more effectively than Apple, especially given the sandboxed nature of iOS apps.

Hopefully they will get mobileme polished up and doing what it is supposed to. I'd love to be able to justify coming back!
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

The boys in Cupertino are very aggressive this year - I love it.

Steve said this was going to be one hell of a year for Apple's products. He told us "just wait and see."

And it sure as heck is proving to be true! Next, September for new iPods, including the touch which will no doubt be just like it's big brother the iPhone.
post #18 of 37
I have to agree with jetlaw on that one.

Apple is seriously behind in syncing. Seriously. And if I were Apple, I'd be embarrassed.
post #19 of 37
I have been trying the MobileMe Beta now for a few weeks, and I have to say that I love it.

MobileMe has been thus far one of the most pathetic implementations of a software initiative by Apple, and I am finally happy to say that it seems to be coming along quite nicely (if the new mail interface is any indication).
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SinisterJoe View Post

Hopefully we'll see an iPad version of the iDisk app this week too.

Mobile Me App maybe?

the gallery app also still needs to get ported to iPad
post #21 of 37
I just don't get why someone would pay $70-100 per year for something that can be had for free or a fraction of that price with even better functionality.

Honestly, other than Find my iPhone, there is not one valuable feature.

Flickr, gmail, and drop box can do it all better for free or a fraction of the price.

I say this as someone who has 2 macbooks, an iPad, two iPhones, an iPod, and a Mac mini. Clearly, I'm not an apple hater.

Mobile Me feels like AOL from the early 2000s.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

I dont get it.. they're releasing a "find my Phone" app... to use on your phone?? AM I missing something??

Right now the only way to access "find my iDevice" is to be on a computer.

but what if you left your phone somewhere but have your ipad with you. You couldn't access the website until the last few adjustments. And you can't use your phone to find your missing ipad. Plus all that going to a site, logging in takes extra steps. But an app that opens in one click is quicker. Plus what if it's not you but your wife or child that lost the phone. According to some talk, if you are the master account holder you can find any iphone linked to your family account.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

I have been a mobileme user since the .mac days, and have decided not to renew. Between Google Sync and Dropbox, MobileMe is really hard for me to justify anymore.

Not me. I'd rather pay a reasonable amount and not have the ads and such of Google.

Quote:
Hopefully they will get mobileme polished up and doing what it is supposed to.

What it's supposed to do? Don't you mean "what I want it to do for the price I want to pay for it"

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 #23 of 37
We have been very happy with MobileMe and for this family with multiple Mac's and iPhones it does a great job. All of our stuff stays in sync no matter what device you are on.

We could do like others have been doing by piecing together multiple "free" products to get the same thing, or I could save myself a lot of time and grief (and avoid Google) by paying less than $10 month for MobileMe.

It may not be the choice for everyone, but it is for us.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Great news on upgrades. MobileMe is going to really shine for me when there's complete integration between the iOS, the apps, and Me storage. Moving things on and off the iDevices is a pain and network accessed file system make a great potential solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SinisterJoe View Post

Hopefully we'll see an iPad version of the iDisk app this week too.

DropBox works really well. 2 GB minimum.

And it's free!
post #25 of 37
At least iDisk and gallery
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SinisterJoe View Post

Hopefully we'll see an iPad version of the iDisk app this week too.

An iPad version of the MobileMe Gallery app would be nice too.

I find it a bit shocking that Apple launched the iPad without iPad versions of the apps that access basic services they supposedly provide to their "premium" members, but then the the iWork apps for the iPad still feel very beta-like as well.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

The boys in Cupertino are very aggressive this year - I love it.

That's because of good ole competition. it can light a fire under your (__!__)
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzmaster View Post

We have been very happy with MobileMe and for this family with multiple Mac's and iPhones it does a great job. All of our stuff stays in sync no matter what device you are on.

We could do like others have been doing by piecing together multiple "free" products to get the same thing, or I could save myself a lot of time and grief (and avoid Google) by paying less than $10 month for MobileMe.

It may not be the choice for everyone, but it is for us.

Same with me. I have been a subscriber for more than 5 years now (I think) and quite happy with it. It's only £69/yr and everything is in one place with auto syncing and 'find my phone' feature to boot not to mention .Mac e-mail addresses.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

I dont get it.. they're releasing a "find my Phone" app... to use on your phone?? AM I missing something??

yep, you're missing something.

currently, if you are in a bar and you lose your phone, you need to go home to your computer to access "find my iphone".

under the new approach, you'll be able to turn to your friend and say "can i borrow your iphone so i can find mine?"
15" uMacbook Pro 2.4Ghz 8GB 128GB SSD/500GB 7200rpm, iMac 27" i5 16GB 1TB, MacBook Air 8GB 256GB, iPhone 5s 64GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPad 4 64GB, Apple TV2/3, iPod Nano 2nd gen, iPod Touch 4th gen,...
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15" uMacbook Pro 2.4Ghz 8GB 128GB SSD/500GB 7200rpm, iMac 27" i5 16GB 1TB, MacBook Air 8GB 256GB, iPhone 5s 64GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPad 4 64GB, Apple TV2/3, iPod Nano 2nd gen, iPod Touch 4th gen,...
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post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

I just don't get why someone would pay $70-100 per year for something that can be had for free or a fraction of that price with even better functionality.

Honestly, other than Find my iPhone, there is not one valuable feature.

Flickr, gmail, and drop box can do it all better for free or a fraction of the price.

I say this as someone who has 2 macbooks, an iPad, two iPhones, an iPod, and a Mac mini. Clearly, I'm not an apple hater.

Mobile Me feels like AOL from the early 2000s.

Hi,

I'm a MobileMe customer since 2008 and find the price easy to justify. I know that there are other services which do basically the same thing, but here are my thoughts on the MobileMe features versus some of the other players.

MM versus Flickr:
I've had a Flickr account for a couple of months to experiment with it (did this like 3 months ago). I found it pretty easy to use especially with the integration in Aperture. But the website itself is to complicated. There too many buttons and whistles. When you compare the MobileMe gallery and the Flickr gallery MobileMe is clearly the nicer one to look at. The interface is very clean. This comes in handy when guiding people trough your gallery. I don't want to guide my grandma trough a Flickr page, MobileMe is fine though.

I also found the picture quality on MobileMe to be better then Flickr, al tough that's not really fair as I only have the free version of Flickr.

MM versus Gmail:
I've used Gmail for years before I turned to MobileMe. Still do for some newsletter testing. The problem I have with Gmail is that they, like Flickr, cramp 83 thousand features into there products without knowing if anyone will use it. Not that features are a bad thing, but you have to present them in a simple and easy to use way. The other is with the interface is that there are a million things going on when you login. On every part of the page there's some information or a couple of links. When you login to MobileMe mail you get a very aesthetically pleasing interface without any unnecessary buttons or links. Sure Gmail is free to use and Google has to place some advertising, but are all the links the other stuff really necessary?

MM versus Drop Box/CloudApp:
I don't really have anything on DB or CA. They both work great (although I prefer CA) and are very easy to use. MobileMe's iDisk works great as well, although I sometimes have the feeling it's a bit slower )especially when getting the directories when first opening a iDisk window on my Mac. I''m not saying that one is better then the other, but I like to keep everything together so I'll stick with iDisk for the moment.

MM versus the police:
MobileMe offers the Find My iPhone (and iPad) feature to locate your iPhone when you lost it (maybe in a bar with german beer somewhere). I have never seen this on any other phone. As far as I know the police is the only other party that can track a phone and relocate it. So basically it's the power of the police for just 99$*!
* not really

---

I'm a happy MobileMe user and recommend it to others as well, but you should choose for yourself: free with a couple account or paid with everything in one place and a easy to use interface.
iMac 24" early 2008 | iBook G4 12" late 2004 | iPhone 3G 3.5" mid 2008
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iMac 24" early 2008 | iBook G4 12" late 2004 | iPhone 3G 3.5" mid 2008
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post #31 of 37
The Find My iPhone app works for searching my iPad as well and it is a Universal app so if either of the devices comes up missing you can search for it on the remaining device.

MobileMe seems to be progressing nicely. I really need a one stop shop instead of cobbling together a trio of third party solutions.
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post #32 of 37
The FindMyPhone app for the iPhone/iPad is to easily locate someone else's phone or iPad. You obviously can't use it on the same phone that is lost - cause you don't have it anymore. You can use any computer or smartphone with a web browser to locate a phone by going to MobileMe and logging in using your MM account info. The web version of FMP was a pain to use on an iPhone (and probably any other phone) because, if you pinch to zoom you'll zoom the embedded map to expand to fill the entire screen, and then you can no longer find any buttons on the screen because when you pan that view all it does it move the map around. The new iPhone version is nice and is the way it should have been from day 1.

Also, finding an earlier non-3G ipad (without GPS) or finding an iPhone that isn't receiving a GPS signal results in the system using cell tower triangulation for its location. This results in a position that can be off by more than a mile (like finding my iPhone when it's in the basement). If it has a good GPS signal, as when it's on the first floor of most buildings, it can draw its little blue circle around the specific building. Good enough to know who's house to send the SWAT team to.

Edit - meant to say that I have no idea what results you get when you're trying to locate an iPad that is not signed up for a data plan. I do have an idea actually - I would think it won't work at all. How could it? Maybe it could if it was in a wi-fi spot. Anyone know?
post #33 of 37
I have used MobileMe since iTools and have always found it useful. People talk about how difficult it is to get document onto the iPad to edit, but with iDisk syncing and the iDisk app all of your docs are right there (as long as you are online, but I feel iDisk syncing is coming to the iPhone/iPad).

With this update though I see MobileMe becoming iOS for your mac. Once they add the iTunes app and the iPhoto app to it that will cure the wireless iPhone syncing issue. This is just the ground work for that change. That is why the new app switcher feels stupid right now. It will make sense once you can buy and add apps to MobileMe just like the iPhone.

I had a feeling that Dashboard would become iOS for the Mac, but after seeing this update I really think that MobileMe is Apple's future OS for all your large screen devices. People will still need OS X for Photoshop, WoW, Final Cut, etc. but the OS for Address Books, Mail, iCal, iTunes etc. will iOS/MobileMe. Think about being at friends house with a Mac Mini connected to his TV. You log into your MobileMe (with iTunes) and watch a movie from your account.

Once the new Apple datacenter opens I have a feeling MobileMe storage will jump to 50gig and unlimited iTunes storage. Then I will be able to sync my iPhoto/Aperture library along with my iDisk and my iTunes to the cloud. Now I have offsite backup, access to everything everywhere, and wireless syncing for the iOS devices. Now does MobileMe sound worth it for 99 dollars. I think it does, I don't think this future is more than a year away.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

I just don't get why someone would pay $70-100 per year for something that can be had for free or a fraction of that price with even better functionality.

Honestly, other than Find my iPhone, there is not one valuable feature.

Flickr, gmail, and drop box can do it all better for free or a fraction of the price.

I say this as someone who has 2 macbooks, an iPad, two iPhones, an iPod, and a Mac mini. Clearly, I'm not an apple hater.

Mobile Me feels like AOL from the early 2000s.

I could not agree more. My third year ends in July for good. This new version is just as slow as it has ever been. Hotmail and Gmail are both 100x faster, have more features and are Free. Heck the new Hotmail/Skydrive with 25gigs of space simply kicks the krap out of MobileMe.

This new inteface looks like romper room stuff.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyljohnson View Post

I have used MobileMe since iTools and have always found it useful. People talk about how difficult it is to get document onto the iPad to edit, but with iDisk syncing and the iDisk app all of your docs are right there (as long as you are online, but I feel iDisk syncing is coming to the iPhone/iPad).

With this update though I see MobileMe becoming iOS for your mac. Once they add the iTunes app and the iPhoto app to it that will cure the wireless iPhone syncing issue. This is just the ground work for that change. That is why the new app switcher feels stupid right now. It will make sense once you can buy and add apps to MobileMe just like the iPhone.

I had a feeling that Dashboard would become iOS for the Mac, but after seeing this update I really think that MobileMe is Apple's future OS for all your large screen devices. People will still need OS X for Photoshop, WoW, Final Cut, etc. but the OS for Address Books, Mail, iCal, iTunes etc. will iOS/MobileMe. Think about being at friends house with a Mac Mini connected to his TV. You log into your MobileMe (with iTunes) and watch a movie from your account.

Once the new Apple datacenter opens I have a feeling MobileMe storage will jump to 50gig and unlimited iTunes storage. Then I will be able to sync my iPhoto/Aperture library along with my iDisk and my iTunes to the cloud. Now I have offsite backup, access to everything everywhere, and wireless syncing for the iOS devices. Now does MobileMe sound worth it for 99 dollars. I think it does, I don't think this future is more than a year away.

If you are right and I can see this happening.....buh bye to Mac's for me. Its like they are dumbing it all down. No thanks. What will 10.7 have, a dock with big fact icons, 7 of them?
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

I dont get it.. they're releasing a "find my Phone" app... to use on your phone?? AM I missing something??

Is this a cut-down version of the Hello World app, then? It just says: Hello?, in a sarcastic way.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyljohnson View Post

I have used MobileMe since iTools and have always found it useful. People talk about how difficult it is to get document onto the iPad to edit, but with iDisk syncing and the iDisk app all of your docs are right there (as long as you are online, but I feel iDisk syncing is coming to the iPhone/iPad).

With this update though I see MobileMe becoming iOS for your mac. Once they add the iTunes app and the iPhoto app to it that will cure the wireless iPhone syncing issue. This is just the ground work for that change. That is why the new app switcher feels stupid right now. It will make sense once you can buy and add apps to MobileMe just like the iPhone.

I had a feeling that Dashboard would become iOS for the Mac, but after seeing this update I really think that MobileMe is Apple's future OS for all your large screen devices. People will still need OS X for Photoshop, WoW, Final Cut, etc. but the OS for Address Books, Mail, iCal, iTunes etc. will iOS/MobileMe. Think about being at friends house with a Mac Mini connected to his TV. You log into your MobileMe (with iTunes) and watch a movie from your account.

Once the new Apple datacenter opens I have a feeling MobileMe storage will jump to 50gig and unlimited iTunes storage. Then I will be able to sync my iPhoto/Aperture library along with my iDisk and my iTunes to the cloud. Now I have offsite backup, access to everything everywhere, and wireless syncing for the iOS devices. Now does MobileMe sound worth it for 99 dollars. I think it does, I don't think this future is more than a year away.

As someone who's had plenty of windows towers, doesn't mind getting into code or heavy configuration I'm looking forward to seeing the new type of computing. Call it virtualisation, SaaS or just cloud computing but I think some of the benefits may slowly offset some of the loss of control as hosted solutions increase.
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