or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Inside MobileMe: Apple's Push vs Exchange, BlackBerry, Google
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Inside MobileMe: Apple's Push vs Exchange, BlackBerry, Google

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Apple's MobileMe provides mobile device push and an innovative Wide-Area Bonjour push sync mechanism for securely updating desktop clients over the Internet. There's currently nothing identical to the service on other platforms, but there is some feature overlap with Microsoft's Exchange Server in corporate settings, RIM's BlackBerry mobile push messaging, and web-based service offerings from Google and others. Here's a look at how MobileMe compares in price and features.

Inside MobileMe series segments

Inside MobileMe: Secrets of the Cloud and Mobile Push (Friday)
Inside MobileMe: Mac and PC cloud sync and mobile push (Saturday)
Inside MobileMe: Apple's Push vs Exchange, BlackBerry, Google (Today)

The push for push messaging

Push messaging was brought into the mainstream by Research In Motion, which got started selling two way pagers. RIM gradually advanced its network with a bolt-on system that interfaces with corporate messaging servers (such as Exchange Server or IBM's Lotus Notes Domino server), grabs any updates from the server, and sends them to RIM's own servers at its Network Operations Center, which then relays the messages over the mobile network to BlackBerry devices. This works out well for RIM, as it gets to sell the BlackBerry devices, the BlackBerry Enterprise Servers that connect to each company's mail server, rather expensive client access licenses (CALs) for each user served by the BES, and then on top of that charge steep monthly messaging fees for every user served by its relay system.Â*

In response to RIM's success, Microsoft advanced its own competing push messaging component to Exchange Server (somewhat confusingly called Exchange ActiveSync or EAS, although it bears little in common with the desktop ActiveSync tool), which pushes out updates to mobile devices directly. Microsoft is currently still in a distant runner up position behind BES, so it does not yet charge for CALs for using EAS, and does not bill companies per-user service fees to relay messages to their own employees. Of course, Microsoft does still require per-mailbox CALs for every user on Exchange, which results in making it an expensive solution once you start adding users.

Apple touted Microsoft's EAS direct messaging architecture as a security and reliability feature when it announced that it had licensed Exchange ActiveSync for use on the iPhone. When using EAS to send Exchange messages to the iPhone, companies push messages directly to their employees rather than paying RIM to forward these through its BES and NOC (below, as illustrated by Phil Schiller in the iPhone 2.0 announcement). RIM's BES has exposed users to a variety of serious critical security vulnerabilities, while RIM's NOC has experienced high profile blackouts this spring that left millions of subscribers unable to receive new messages for hours.Â*



For MobileMe, Apple hosts the messaging servers itself and similarly pushes updates directly to any configured mobiles. However, it also pushes messages to subscribers' desktop email, as well as to Address Book and iCal on the Mac OS X desktop. This is still quite a unique feature for any service provider to offer, particularly to consumers. Microsoft's Hotmail, Google Gmail, and Yahoo Mail all offer push email-only services for mobile users, but nobody currently offers low cost push email, contacts, calendar, and bookmark support as MobileMe does, let alone matching the integrated iDisk file share, web hosting, photo and video gallery, and PC sync features that are also bundled into MobileMe.Â*

The high cost of push services

Just to match the push messaging features in MobileMe, you'd have to pay steep fees for a hosted Exchange Server account. The cost for a 10GB, hosted Exchange plan is $24.95 per month, per mailbox from Microsoft-certified partner DNAMail, plus a $2 monthly fee for Windows Mobile or BlackBerry mobile push service, or $324 annually (the BlackBerry plan does not get mobile push calendar and contacts and incurs an additional $20 fee, for a grand annual total of $344). Despite being more than three times the retail price of MobileMe, DNAMail only offers half the storage; Apple gives MobileMe subscribers 20GB to allocate between email and iDisk use.

DNAMail offers cheaper plans with even less storage, while Apple offers a $49 upgrade to 40GB, and a $99 upgrade to 60GB or storage. So Apple's most expensive option is just shy of $200 at full retail, but provides six times the storage of DNAMail. Apple also offers a $149 family plan, which supplies 20GB of storage for a primary account, plus four family member accounts, each with its own email address and 5GB of storage. Â*

In some cases, hosted Exchange Server accounts are only available to businesses buying multiple accounts for their employees. Many of the features of a hosted Exchange account are also only useful in a shared office setting. Microsoft itself does not currently offer individuals any type of hosted Exchange account, nor has it yet released its Live Mesh service, which would sync files and settings between computers as MobileMe also does (and as .Mac has been doing for years now). Further, Exchange is really designed to be used over a high speed local network, not over the Internet.Â*



On page 2 of 2: MobileMe's industry standard protocols vs. Exchange proprietary RPC; Google and Yahoo's web services and RIM's mobile push; Other features missing in MobileMe vs BlackBerry and Exchange.


MobileMe's industry standard protocols vs. Exchange proprietary RPC

Microsoft's proprietary MAPI RPC (Messaging API using Remote Procedure Calls), used by Exchange Server to deliver messages between the server and Outlook client software, was designed only for use over a secured LAN and does not provide the security required to pass messages over the open Internet. That means remote connections to Exchange typically require an externally secured VPN connection. Further, features and responsiveness that business users expect from Exchange over a 100/1000 megabit LAN are not going to translate well to service hosted over a typical 1.5 megabit Internet connection.Â*

That's why Apple has rolled out MobileMe using a combination of industry standard IMAP email with IDLE push updating on the desktop (using SSL encryption for security), Wide-Area Bonjour push sync updates on Mac OS X (secured through Back to My Mac's ad hoc IPSec sessions), and regularly synced updates via Sync Services (also secured via SSL) rather than trying to deliver an "always on" desktop client that would be compared to Outlook with a high speed, direct MAPI RPC link to Exchange Server.Â*

MobileMe's architecture allows the cloud to provide push services for mobile devices, like RIM's BlackBerry services and Microsoft's EAS, while also delivering rapid updates for desktop clients receiving regular updates back, all without requiring any complex network management, VPN concentrators, or other setup. MobileMe's integration with SyncServices also ensures that any applications or devices that sync calender or contact data will also stay up to date with the MobileMe cloud. This includes third party tools designed to sync alternative mobile phones, PDAs, or similar devices.Â*

The tradeoff in MobileMe's design is that users currently may have to wait up to fifteen minutes for their desktop apps to sync with the cloud, although an immediate sync can be initiated manually as well. Apple has already solved the more difficult task of developing a mechanism to securely push updates to the desktop; enhancing the service to also support push updates from the desktop to the cloud is much easier to address, and Apple has indicated that's in the pipeline. Adding push updates for Notes and ToDo events (and other data types) will also be relatively simple now that the foundation for mobile data sync has been laid.

Google and Yahoo's web services and RIM's mobile push
Â*
MobileMe critics like to point out that many of the services in Apple's package can be assembled from ad-supported services such those from Google and Yahoo. However, both of those services lack push support for anything other than email. Google's push email only works via a Java applet (which can't be installed on the iPhone). Yahoo offers free push email service for the iPhone, but neither it nor Google's service supports push calendar or contact updates for mobile devices. Additionally, to obtain a similar allocation of online email storage space from Google, you have to pay $50 a year for its commercial offering, and that still does not offer unrestricted WebDAV disk access, data sync between Macs and PCs, nor native app integration on the iPhone as MobileMe does.

RIM's BES pushes updates to BlackBerry devices or to other phones running the BlackBerry Connect client software (below: from left to right: BlackBerry, Palm OS, Symbian OS, and Windows Mobile), but it does not push messages to desktop email, calendar, or contact apps. And despite being far more expensive than MobileMe, it also delivers none of the PC sync features, online apps, or file and web hosting services of MobileMe. Â*



As Steve Jobs might point out in a keynote, the trash mailbox on the iPhone (below) looks better than the main mailbox of the other smartphone platforms (above). Even so, looks aren't everything. MobileMe doesn't currently support any ability to filter messages by sender or subject or to search messages on the server as BES does, or to set up server side mail rules as Exchange Server allows. Exchange also supports group sharing features that make less sense in a consumer-oriented offering like MobileMe, including access to a shared, corporate directory (Global Address Book) and shared mailboxes of email, contacts, or calendars data.

There's currently no way to pool MobileMe accounts together to do group scheduling or share directory services, but Apple's solution for that is to use Mac OS X Server to administer those kinds of services locally. It would be interesting to see MobileMe begin to offer more business-oriented functionality, including not only grouped accounts but also other collaboration services from Leopard Server, including blogs and wiki services. It also makes sense that Apple might soon begin offering third party developers the ability to offer subscription access to their online web applications as add-ons to MobileMe, acting as an application merchandiser and payment coordinator just as it does with the iPhone App Store.



Other features missing in MobileMe vs BlackBerry and Exchange

There is a provision for filtering junk mail in MobileMe, but no plugin architecture for installing third party spam or antivirus filters. The junk mail filtering Apple provides doesn't seem to be very adept at catching the increasingly clever junk mail sent out by spammers, which is a huge pain when you get lots of spam pushed to your device at regular intervals. Both BES and Exchange (often used together) support more sophisticated junk and antivirus filtering, so Apple needs to improve in this regard.

MobileMe also currently lacks push and sync support for task/todos events and notes. However, readers have forwarded in findings that indicate that task and note syncing is in the works, and the emphasis on ToDo and Notes in Leopard Mail harmonizes with that as well. MobileMe already syncs Notes (but not Events/ToDos) among Macs, it just doesn't push those updates to the iPhone yet. The iPhone is even still conspicuously missing any support for ToDos at all.

The iPhone also still lacks mobile messaging features many BlackBerry users have grown attached to, including voice memos and voice-to-text, which transcribes voicemail so you can reply with a text or email. The BlackBerry can also capitalize letters while typing by holding down the key, can automatic insert a phrase after you type in a short text replacement, and there's a way to copy and paste text, as well as the ability to save an email as a draft. You can look up a contact to dial by typing their name, and you can grab a listed phone number hyperlink and create a contact from it. Apart from a copy and paste system, none of those features would be too difficult for Apple to add in upcoming software updates however. As long as the company keeps up its rapid iPhone sales, it will continue to invest in updating its software.

For an initial offering, Apple's MobileMe really gives even the entrenched enterprise-grade competition a run for its money with its low consumer price tag. MobileMe's low price is all the more interesting because nobody is currently even competing in the consumer market for comprehensive push messaging. And despite the attention Apple has been getting for the rough rollout of the service, MobileMe is now working smoothly enough to be well worth the $99 retail price. The next segment will look closer at how MobileMe works on the iPhone, what you can expect from the service in exchange for your subscription fee.Â*
post #2 of 55
Two statements look incorrect in this otherwise useful piece:

1. I quote: "Exchange is really designed to be used over a high speed local network, not over the Internet. "

Tell that to millions of Outlook users traveling with their laptops, connecting to Exchange over the Internet, using Cache Mode when not connected. Same for Entourage users and their MacBooks.

2. Again: "That means remote connections to Exchange typically require an externally secured VPN connection."

No, that's not typical. Use RPC over HTTPS. See this tutorial on MSExchange.org: <http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/outlookrpchttp.html>
It says, among other things: "This solves the problem remote Outlook 2003 users have when located behind restrictive firewalls."

I find it ironic I have to defend some Exchange features... On second thought, Apple seems to like Exchange enough to include "native Exchange support" in Snow Leopard.

Good series, though, just a little more fact-checking.

Jean-Louis Gassée
post #3 of 55
Another great informative article.

On the junk mail filter, I must say Apple has performed very poorly indeed. I know articles here and on Roughly Drafted regularly *mention* the crappy junk-mail filter problem, but ... let's be honest, this is being really "soft-pedalled" as it were. The junk mail filtering is so bad it's one of those things that once fixed, we will all look back (this site included) and scream about how bloody awful it was.

Personally, I would appreciate a little less bias on these kinds of issues from AppleInsider reviewers.

Junk mail filtering on Apple's MobileMe mail is almost non-existent. In fact the *only* way you can even get it to work is to have the filtering take place on the server, a choice that immediately removes the majority of the options available to the user. You can store it on the server (requiring the extra step of syncing that folder) or you can have it non-functional. The choices for deletion once it's on the server are: automatic deletion after 60 days or manual deletion. This is not a big deal, but requiring users to change all their mail habits just to use the new MobileMe system is not so cool. There is a lot of "downside" here (to do with the MobileMe transition) that simply isn't being reported.

In my experience, I find MobileMe mail to be (so far) crudely done, slow, and almost perpetually out of sync. I'm not being a hater here, those are just the objective facts.

I also like to see the positive side of things, so I can see where the reviewer is coming from here, but the PR battle for Apple is basically over. Apple *is* seen as a contender to Microsoft, and people *are* buying Apple computers in droves now. Perhaps the time is right for a bit more *objective* reporting.

While I enjoy the "Prince McClean" articles for their detail and rather high information content, it would be nice if they were a bit more critical and a bit less obvious about covering over the mistakes and the rough spots that Apple truly does make. Apple is not a god-like entity, and they don't need to have apologists writing in the media for them anymore.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
post #4 of 55
Nice post, but I think you're missing the point on the BlackBerry side: it's supposed to be a network-independent way to access your corporate information. Exchange and Lotus Notes are the main corporate email systems, so that's why BlackBerry bolts onto the side of those.

The point of the BlackBerry NOC is to tie into hundreds of wireless networks with a true push model (ie not a poll every 15 minutes model) service. Each wireless carrier does things in their own way, and to get push times down below 5 seconds on most carriers you need to do some serious customization. I'm sure MobileMe is doing work in that direction too, but then basically you've got the same single point of failure that the NOC is. The BES component's job is to yank messages out of the mail server and push them to the NOC in real-time. MobileMe is effectively this component as well.

I'm not bashing MobileMe, just pointing out that BlackBerry does similar things, but with the requirements of near-real-time message delivery and complete end-to-end encryption. If you start with those design constraints, the BlackBerry model makes a lot more sense. For the average user, 15 minutes and mostly-secure is a reasonable delay, so you don't need to jump through all those hoops, and the added features of MobileMe more than make up for those considerations.

S
post #5 of 55
OK,

I admit first off that I don't understand the technology behind e-mail well; so if my comment is stupid, please keep your snarky comments to yourself.

I'm using the MobileMe trial - and I like the speed of the push technology.

However, my primary e-mail is gmail, with a couple other personal e-mail accounts forwarding to my Gmail account.

As I understand it, the only way I can get my Gmail to my iPhone is to either (1) set-up my Gmail on my iPhone using IMAP, and then waiting for the prescribed sync intervals or manually synch; or (2) forward all Gmail to MobileMe for push sync.

Does e-mail technology allow MobileMe to sync to my GMAIL using IMAP? If it does, shouldn't this feature be integrated into MobileMe?

At the very least, shouldn't the iPhone and MobileMe allow me to set the return/reply to e-mail address to an address of my choosing?

This problem to me is the biggest barrier to using Mobile Me in a few weeks when my trial runs out.
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post

OK,

I admit first off that I don't understand the technology behind e-mail well; so if my comment is stupid, please keep your snarky comments to yourself.

I'm using the MobileMe trial - and I like the speed of the push technology.

However, my primary e-mail is gmail, with a couple other personal e-mail accounts forwarding to my Gmail account.

As I understand it, the only way I can get my Gmail to my iPhone is to either (1) set-up my Gmail on my iPhone using IMAP, and then waiting for the prescribed sync intervals or manually synch; or (2) forward all Gmail to MobileMe for push sync.

Does e-mail technology allow MobileMe to sync to my GMAIL using IMAP? If it does, shouldn't this feature be integrated into MobileMe?

At the very least, shouldn't the iPhone and MobileMe allow me to set the return/reply to e-mail address to an address of my choosing?

This problem to me is the biggest barrier to using Mobile Me in a few weeks when my trial runs out.

I personally don't use Gmail. But this should help you get going: http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post

(2) forward all Gmail to MobileMe for push sync.

That is what I do; it works great.

Quote:
Does e-mail technology allow MobileMe to sync to my GMAIL using IMAP?

If by sync you mean respond back to Gmail with what mail is read or deleted, then no. But if you forward your Gmail to MM mail they will have the same mail. It's fast, too. My iPhone with that setup will vibrate before my mac Mail app set to check every minute will tell me there is a new message.

Quote:
At the very least, shouldn't the iPhone and MobileMe allow me to set the return/reply to e-mail address to an address of my choosing?

You can, that is what I do, but you need to change the SMTP for your MM to Gmail after it's setup.

» Settings icon » Mail, Contacts, Calanders » MobileMe account » Account Info » SMTP » Add Server* » input smtp.gmail.com your gmail address, minus the @gmail.com part and your password. Save, then choose yes for SSL.

* Or use smtp.gmail.com if it's already listed


Quote:
This problem to me is the biggest barrier to using Mobile Me in a few weeks when my trial runs out.

At Amazon it's $80. You can't beat $6.67/month for 20GB of cloud storage.
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?"
Reply
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?"
Reply
post #8 of 55
Like many here I am a bit of a fanboy, but some of the stuff in this article is just too slanted to be credible.

It is a nice piece. And factyully spot on too. But there are some really questionable statements too.

For example: "Further, Exchange is really designed to be used over a high speed local network, not over the Internet". Huh??!? where did this come from? I have been accessing an Exchange account over the internet for years now. And it works fine. No, scratch that, actually it works great. And I have never heard a network admin, an exchnage admin or an exchange user complain about this. Bottom line: Exchnage over the internet is great. Period.

And the other one that got me going was the price comparison! yes, there is NO doubt that MobileME is currently THE price leader. Who else gives you all that for $9 a month? no one.

BUT, and this is a sizeable BUT, the pricing cited by the author ($hundreds per year) is factually correct, but way out of line in reality. $7 a month will get you a 1 gigabyte Hosted Exchange account with a Windows Mobile push device - i.e. pretty much the same as MobileMe, without the photos and the storage.

And if you then factor in the cost of the device (an iPhone locks you into a contract which is virtually ALWAYS more expensive than any Windows Mobile dvice contract), the costs are NOT all that different, even if the solutions are.

What I am saying is the following: horses for courses. If you want some OTA mobile push solution that does messaging, contacts and calendars, Exchange is a good choice that WORKS right now and is very cost effective (I use 1and1.com for $7/month).

If you want more (i.e. a more web 2.0 experience!), but dont mind some glitches, some Beta behaviour, and also dont mind the small possibility of becoming quite schackled to Apple (they are after all the ONLY MobileMe provider out there...), then MobileMe is OK too.

Bottom line: caveat emptor. Make sure you KNOW what you are gtting here!
post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snegbert View Post

Nice post, butI'm not bashing MobileMe, just pointing out that BlackBerry does similar things,

Snegbert, From all your 4 posts, it is obvious that you really like your Blackberry.

I gather that it has everything that you need. Do I take it that you don't have an iPhone and perhaps don't plan to? Just a question.
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cseilern View Post

Like many here I am a bit of a fanboy, but some of the stuff in this article is just too slanted to be credible.

Give him a break, Daniel just had a blow of Apple sauce.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean-Louis Gassée View Post

Two statements look incorrect in this otherwise useful piece:

1. I quote: "Exchange is really designed to be used over a high speed local network, not over the Internet. "

It doesn't mean that it isn't or couldn't be used over the internet, it just means that it is (was)really designed to be used over a high speed local network

Which is true.
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Snegbert, From all your 4 posts, it is obvious that you really like your Blackberry.

I gather that it has everything that you need. Do I take it that you don't have an iPhone and perhaps don't plan to? Just a question.

Mostly correct, though I won't say I'm not tempted. I've used a Touch for a few weeks in lieu of my BB, and the browsing experience is fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing how RIM responds with the Bold's browser. I got up to a reasonable speed on the Touch's virtual keyboard, but it's still not where I'd want it to be for me to give up a real keyboard (I won't be using a BB Pearl/Kickstart/Thunder for the same reason).

The other really tempting thing about the iPhone is the availability of apps. RIM has tons of stuff out there, but nothing approaching the breadth of apps that the iPhone has.

I don't think any of my posts have said that the iPhone sucks, just that I'm not the target market.

S
post #13 of 55
I think the author forgot one really important thing.

BIS (Blackberry Internet Service)

Basically it's RIMS free hosted exchange server. Every operator has a BIS plan and it's the most common over consumers and small businesses (where apple aims with mobileme.

Anyways, with BIS you get push email from Blackberry Mail, Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail out of the box. But also push Google Calendar (Wich by the way also supports CalDav so it can be syncronized in real time with iCal) via Google Sync (http://www.google.com/mobile/blackberry/sync)

With other emails addresses the mail is pulled every 5 minutes.

But if your mail server (with your domain) is hosted on Google Apps (wich is free for 50 mailboxes at 6GB each, and has great junk filters and supports IMAP), you get push email and calendar (with your domain email) also.

All of this with no extra charge over the blackberry plan (like apple does with mobileme).

Plus with BIS you get free push apps like Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo Messenger and Microsoft's Live Messenger.

So to sum up:

With BIS you have push email, calendar and chat all included at no extra cost.

Simon
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by user828 View Post

I think the author forgot one really important thing.

BIS (Blackberry Internet Service)

Basically it's RIMS free hosted exchange server. Every operator has a BIS plan and it's probably the most common (at least in Europe).

Anyways, with BIS you get push email from Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. And also push Google Calendar (Wich by the way also supports CalDav so it can be syncronized in real time with iCal).

With other emails rather than these, the mail is pulled every 5 minutes.

But if your mail server (with your domain) is hosted on Google Apps (wich is free for 50 mailboxes 6GB each, ans has great junk filters AND supports IMAP), you get push email and calendar (with your domain email) on Blackberry BIS.

All of this with no extra charge over the blackberry plan (like apple does with mobileme).

Plus with BIS you get free push apps like Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo Messenger and Microsoft's Live Messenger.

So to sum up:

With BIS you have push email, calendar and chat for free.

Why isn't this written in the article?

Thank you

Simon

Could you elaborate this free service, i.e., what do I need to use it, can any phone access or use it, do I have to have a Blackberry phone or will the iPhone be OK, do I need cell carrier, etc. Perhaps an example of your current plan would help me understand.
post #15 of 55
The comment that Exchange isn't meant to work over the Internet is just wrong. It works just fine, and it actually performs very well. Whenever you connect, only changes that have been made on the server of the client are transmitted, so it is quite fast. Not really any slower than working on a LAN.

With Exchange 2007, it is also setup automatically. You don't even have to do anything on the client side for this feature to work; just open Outlook (and I presume Entourage) and it just works.

But there is a fundamental point missing (or possibly a gross misunderstanding) here. MobileMe isn't meant to compete with Exchange at all. People who need personal email syncing will use MobileMe, people who need corporate email will use Exchange. They are two totally different products. I can't see any corporation attempting to use MobileMe for their messaging solution, and likewise I don't see people getting Exchange servers or accounts just so they can have email synchronized with their mobile device. Comparing the two really isn't fair to either product. They both offer a few of the same features, but they are really two totally different animals, and neither replaces the other.
post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can, that is what I do, but you need to change the SMTP for your MM to Gmail after it's setup.

» Settings icon » Mail, Contacts, Calanders » MobileMe account » Account Info » SMTP » Add Server* » input smtp.gmail.com your gmail address, minus the @gmail.com part and your password. Save, then choose yes for SSL.

* Or use smtp.gmail.com if it's already listed


Are you saying you can send from mobileMe using your own domain so your email sent from mobileMe would appear to be from solipsism@yourdomain.com? I haven't been able to figure this out and it is a dealbreaker for me. I don't understand your settings above. Can you republish with more details? Sorry but email and domain setting drive me nuts because I am so useless at them.
I use gmail (apps for domains) and I have a hard time getting my various domain emails come to the same account. Setting up Gmail to pick up email from another pop account is a non starter as it can take an hour for Google to check and there is no way I can change the settings.

Generally I find gmail to be OK but I HATE the way it threads. And the fact that I can't change the threading prefs is VERY annoying.
post #17 of 55
[QUOTE=djdj;1292288]The comment that Exchange isn't meant to work over the Internet is just wrong. /QUOTE]

Where did you read that?
post #18 of 55
How does Apple do the wireless sync? Wouldn't they need to have a special connection to every wireless carrier? Does this mean wireless sync doesn't work if you are not using an Apple-approved carrier?
post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Are you saying you can send from mobileMe using your own domain so your email sent from mobileMe would appear to be from solipsism@yourdomain.com? I haven't been able to figure this out and it is a dealbreaker for me. I don't understand your settings above. Can you republish with more details? Sorry but email and domain setting drive me nuts because I am so useless at them.
I use gmail (apps for domains) and I have a hard time getting my various domain emails come to the same account. Setting up Gmail to pick up email from another pop account is a non starter as it can take an hour for Google to check and there is no way I can change the settings.

Generally I find gmail to be OK but I HATE the way it threads. And the fact that I can't change the threading prefs is VERY annoying.

This hint should explain it in more detail and walk you through setting it up.
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...80720093316215
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?"
Reply
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?"
Reply
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Could you elaborate this free service, i.e., what do I need to use it, can any phone access or use it, do I have to have a Blackberry phone or will the iPhone be OK, do I need cell carrier, etc. Perhaps an example of your current plan would help me understand.


You get a blackberry from your operator (including the blackberry plan). In my case i chose a consumer/small business plan (the ones that use BIS instead of BES) because I don't have any exchange servers. It's like the iphone plan, only that it's for blackberry. In Italy where I live it costs about 20 euros per month and I also get a Blackberry curve included. Just like the iphone it has minutes and sms included. Plus it has unlimited data.

Once you have the phone/plan you set up your account on the blackberry page (for example: http://att.blackberry.com/). Insert phone's IMEI and setup your mailboxes (it takes 10 minutes). That's it! There's no extra cost like mobileme. It's all included.

With yahoo, gmail, hotmail and blacberry's address you'll have push email. You can also setup any email other than these but they wont be pushed but pulled every 5 minutes.

(Blackberry though lets you set up a fwd so that you can also have any other email pushed in the "@att.blackberry.com" mailbox and reply with your address).

Included with every blackberry consumer/small business plan you have chat (bb messenger, google talk, aim, yahoo, msn ecc). My operator supports only google talk and Yahoo though I think in USA att supports also AIM and Messenger. These use push tecnologies so batteries don't wear out when you keep them active.

To have push calendars on the blackberry you need to use Google Calendar and Google's blackberry sync: http://www.google.com/mobile/blackberry/sync), wich basically pushes your calendar on the blackberry in real time automatically.

(Google Calendar can also be syncronized in real time with iCal: http://www.google.com/support/calend...y?answer=99358)

In my case I have my email servers over at goolgle apps wich basically is the same exact thing as gmail but with your domain name instead of gmail.com. So I also have mydomain emails and calendars pushed automatically also. Google apps is free for 50 mailboxes: http://www.google.com/a

I hope I have been clear enough.
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean-Louis Gassée View Post

Two statements look incorrect in this otherwise useful piece:

1. I quote: "Exchange is really designed to be used over a high speed local network, not over the Internet. "

Tell that to millions of Outlook users traveling with their laptops, connecting to Exchange over the Internet, using Cache Mode when not connected. Same for Entourage users and their MacBooks.

The fact remains that Exchange is designed for LAN use, and is built around MAPI RPC (too messy to even be called a "protocol"). It is not an Internet messaging server. MAPI RPC is as insecure as Windows' SMB file sharing. Both need to be encapsulated within a secondary VPN, which requires the complex corporate infrastructure noted in the article.

This is, incidentally, why IT administrators think that email is "insecure" if they haven't externally secured it, because they assume everything else is as badly implemented as Exchange.

Being able to use Outlook in Offline Mode is *required* because it isn't updated correctly unless you have a dedicated, externally secured connection configured and open. Incidentally, even Microsoft is backing away from the MAPI mess of the mid 90s, as Exchange ActiveSync uses OWA (Internet messaging!) and Entourage on the Mac uses IMAP (again, standards!)

MAPI offers the luxury of email built as a database-file system, which is wonderful until you hit the reality that it also requires a very fast connection, is entirely insecure and needs external help to not expose your critical business data, is entirely proprietary, costs craploads of money to license and maintain, and encourages users to dump GB of junk into your enterprise messaging server, a logistical nightmare of epic proportions.

Talking about features and price independently is a great way to troll, which is why I like to bring up price and features in the same context. I also have administered Exchange Server for a decade, so I'm not talking out of my ass or just repeating things I happened to Google up.



Quote:
2. Again: "That means remote connections to Exchange typically require an externally secured VPN connection."

No, that's not typical. Use RPC over HTTPS. See this tutorial on MSExchange.org: <http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/outlookrpchttp.html>
It says, among other things: "This solves the problem remote Outlook 2003 users have when located behind restrictive firewalls."

Yes great job using Google. However, setting up you own way to externally secure Exchange via a HTTPS hack is really not any different than using a VPN. The point is that Exchange is, like Windows, a proprietary platform that was designed to sit in an secured office LAN, and it can't be used on the Internet without external securing via firewalls and wrapping it up with external security diapers.

Apple is not only using industry standards (where any exist), but it's also using industry standard security for messaging between desktop clients and its cloud, all of which is so simple and automatic that there's no need for an army of consultants to build out an expensive, external security infrastructure diaper around it as there is with Exchange.

Quote:
I find it ironic I have to defend some Exchange features... On second thought, Apple seems to like Exchange enough to include "native Exchange support" in Snow Leopard.

Good series, though, just a little more fact-checking.

Jean-Louis Gassée

Apple is using Exchange ActiveSync because it is a (somewhat) standards based (web-based, at least) system for interfacing with Exchange, and its customers need that. Apple is not using Exchange because it likes it so much it can't get enough.

And don't confuse "able to be quibbled with" with "requiring fact checking."
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielEran View Post

The fact remains that Exchange is designed for LAN use, and is built aroundAnd don't confuse "able to be quibbled with" with "requiring fact checking."

Well done.
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cseilern View Post

the pricing cited by the author ($hundreds per year) is factually correct, but way out of line in reality. $7 a month will get you a 1 gigabyte Hosted Exchange account with a Windows Mobile push device - i.e. pretty much the same as MobileMe, without the photos and the storage.

Congratulations on fitting your mailbox into 1GB and having no need for web hosting, file sharing, etc. But while the article noted that you can buy cheaper hosted Exchange plans for less, you are already getting far less in the top plan. 1GB is not "pretty much the same" as 20GB.

Quote:
And if you then factor in the cost of the device (an iPhone locks you into a contract which is virtually ALWAYS more expensive than any Windows Mobile dvice contract), the costs are NOT all that different, even if the solutions are.

Where are these cheap WiMo phones with low cost service? Oh right, fantasy land! Where hosted exchange is also free, and where the iPhone costs soooo much money. I think the presentation in the article is pretty balanced and fair all around, noting omissions on the iPhone and comparing the strong and weak points of other services. There's no need to arch over backwards and put a bunch of exclamation points on what you perceive to be underreported flaws of the iPhone. There aren't any unreported flaws, and nobody is being tricked into buying it.

Also, before you get going on how there are glitches and beta behaviors in MobileMe, look at the downtime for RIM BES, BIS, hosted Exchange, and other services, and then tell me how it is that WiMo phones are glitch-free when I have actually experienced the joy of supporting them in an enterprise environment for years. WiMo is simply embarrassing.

Quote:
dont mind the small possibility of becoming quite schackled to Apple (they are after all the ONLY MobileMe provider out there...), then MobileMe is OK too.

MobileMe uses Mac OS X apps and Outlook. There is no lock in here. If you decide you'd rather migrate to another IMAP email service, you can move your mail over easily. You can export your calendars and contacts using standard file formats, or in many cases, simply sync to a different service, such as Google's, or connect to Exchange using the same Sync Services for a smooth transition.

You can't attack the even-handed article for being "slanted" when you post comments that are simply false and intentionally misleading, and pile the ham on one side of the scale.
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by user828 View Post

I hope I have been clear enough.

Just to be sure. Your cell phone, i.e., BlackBerry Curve is free, and your monthly cell phone costs you $30 US per month. Email and your calendar are free. How many minutes and text messages per month?

Unfortunately MobileMe does cost me about $8 US a month on top of my cell bill. Of course I do have to contend with the free storage space.
post #25 of 55
Great article. Quite informative.

Thanks for the write up.
post #26 of 55
What exactly was the point of mentioning Live Mesh? It's not a remotely comparable service to Mobile Me. Offering 1/5 of the functionality of Mobile Me doesn't make it a competitor. It seems like you only mentioned it so you could get a nice column chock full of red in your pretty table at the end.
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Unfortunately MobileMe does cost me about $8 US a month on top of my cell bill. Of course I do have to contend with the free storage space.

That 20GB of storage and 200GB of transfer per month is a great value compared to other options. Everything else is just gravy.

I hope that Apple ties your iDisk to your MM so I can use it to email and save attachments from both the web app and the iPhone. The web app is easy as I'm already accessing Apple's servers.

The iPhone would be trickier and would require a non-standards use of the way the iPhone sends emails. What I propose is that I can choose and attachment to send from the iPhone's MM mail, which will then offer a list of folders and files, their dates and size. These would just be a list and not the actual the contents.

After I choose my attachment the email is essentially sent (at from your POV) from the iPhone but Apple's servers would then attachment the appropriate file(s) before sending it to it's destination. This setup would only work if using MM as your SMTP, which I don't currently use.

Saving an attachment that you receive would work the same way but would require no additional data transmission to send the attachment from the iPhone back to your iDisk for safe keeping (though not really necessary since it is your mail). Since the attachment is already on the MM mail servers all you would have to do is send a message back to MM that you wish to save the file. This could be as simple as clicking the attachment in the iPhone mail, choosing to save to iDisk and what folder you wish to save it in. Once that is complete the iDisk will then sync your Mac(s) and PC(s) iDisks to match.

I hope that didn't seem overly complex. Since it doesn't look like using the iPhone for file storage is an option we'll get anytime soon I think this would be a useful option that would be an added value to MM that would help make it and the iPhone harder to touch by competitors.
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?"
Reply
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?"
Reply
post #28 of 55
Apple makes fun of Blackberry because information has to travel through the Blackberry server before it can get to the user's device. But isn't that how Apple's iPhone notification service is going to work?

As for security, aren't communications between the Blackberry server and Blackberry devices already encrypted?
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

MobileMe already syncs Notes (but not Events/ToDos) among Macs

With which Apple applications can Notes be synced with?
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Apple makes fun of Blackberry because information has to travel through the Blackberry server before it can get to the user's device. But isn't that how Apple's iPhone notification service is going to work?

Yes, but the Notification Servers are for 3rd-party apps to still function as if running in the background and they don't need to send sensitive information, it can be as simple as a notification of a new message arriving.

Quote:
As for security, aren't communications between the Blackberry server and Blackberry devices already encrypted?

They are encrypted but it's still a single point of failure for everyone using RiM's Push service. If I'm not mistaken, this has caused more downtime in the past year than with MM mail service.
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?"
Reply
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?"
Reply
post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

With which Apple applications can Notes be synced with?

With Mail.app. MM is basically making a saved copy of it on its servers like it does with your Mac's Keychains, Widgets, System and Dock Preferences, et cetera. They can't be accessed by the MM web app or on the iPhone.
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?"
Reply
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?"
Reply
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielEran View Post

Being able to use Outlook in Offline Mode is *required* because it isn't updated correctly unless you have a dedicated, externally secured connection configured and open. Incidentally, even Microsoft is backing away from the MAPI mess of the mid 90s, as Exchange ActiveSync uses OWA (Internet messaging!) and Entourage on the Mac uses IMAP (again, standards!)

One area of constant annoyance in Entourage is its poor ability to handle large mailboxes. Entourage simply does not scale well. It has to constantly synchronize and download copies of every message and attachment in every folder of the user's mailbox. Even when configured as an Exchange client. This results in long sync times and large Entourage databases on the user's Mac. If an Entourage user accesses a shared calendar or someone else's shared mailbox folder, those items are also cached to the user's computer. It makes no sense at all.

In contrast, Outlook for Windows can be configured to run in Online mode which works directly off the Exchange server rather than caching everything to the user's machine. Using Outlook in Online mode over a VPN is still faster than using Entourage over the same connection.

I don't care whether Entourage as an Exchange client uses MAPI, WebDAV, or whatever protocol. Just give me something where I don't have to constantly wait for Entourage to copy and sync everything for no reason.

http://apcmag.com/macbu_interview_of...ge_support.htm

Quote:
Entourage 2004 caches all data from the Exchange server onto the Mac's hard disk, which has impact on the Mac's disk space, slows network traffic, makes for long sync times and means you can miss just-updated information made between Entourage's periodic updates.

Outlook for Windows, on the other hand, supports a useful alternative in 'online only' mode, which doesn't cache data but works directly against the server, with all data kept on the server rather than caching it all to the hard drive. Will Entourage 2008 also support this online only mode? "No, Entourage 2008 doesn't support that online-only mode" confirmed Wilfrid.
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Just to be sure. Your cell phone, i.e., BlackBerry Curve is free, and your monthly cell phone costs you $30 US per month. Email and your calendar are free. How many minutes and text messages per month?

Unfortunately MobileMe does cost me about $8 US a month on top of my cell bill. Of course I do have to contend with the free storage space.

I have a regular cell bill and on top of that I pay a blackberry fee. The cell plans vary. Some have more minutes than others. And cost vary from 10 euros per month to whatever... like on the iphone... On top of that you pay 10 euros/month for the blackberry curve wich includes push email, chat and unlimited data. So over here it's as low as 20 euros per month.

The calendar is done through the google servers so it's not part of the blackberry plan. It's a service that google offers for free to blackberry users that have gmail (or google apps wich is also free).

But Italy is no example because it's one of the very few countries in the world where the number of mobile phones have surpassed the land phones, so prices are low. I pay 7 cents a minute for every phonecall mobile or land in the country... And in Italy you don't pay if you recieve calls. Only if you make them.
post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yes, but the Notification Servers are for 3rd-party apps to still function as if running in the background and they don't need to send sensitive information, it can be as simple as a notification of a new message arriving.


They are encrypted but it's still a single point of failure for everyone using RiM's Push service. If I'm not mistaken, this has caused more downtime in the past year than with MM mail service.

Blackberry has had push applications in years already. Plus the device is just made to make it easy to communicate. Apple has a long road ahead before being able to mach only the options you have on the blackberry operating system. If only iPhone had the little blinking light as the blackberry... So useful...

It's not windows vs macos here... it's a matter of miscommunication. Blackberries are simply better communication devices. They just have a couple of marketing problems and need to fix a couple issues on the looks and system ergonomics. But the bold and the thunder models seem to be going in the right direction. iPhone is cool, for now. I have them both, and I'm a big apple fan since 84 but for now I'm not leaving my blackberry.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That 20GB of storage and 200GB of transfer per month is a great value compared to other options. Everything else is just gravy.

I hope that Apple ties your iDisk to your MM so I can use it to email and save attachments from both the web app and the iPhone. The web app is easy as I'm already accessing Apple's servers.

The iPhone would be trickier and would require a non-standards use of the way the iPhone sends emails. What I propose is that I can choose and attachment to send from the iPhone's MM mail, which will then offer a list of folders and files, their dates and size. These would just be a list and not the actual the contents.

After I choose my attachment the email is essentially sent (at from your POV) from the iPhone but Apple's servers would then attachment the appropriate file(s) before sending it to it's destination. This setup would only work if using MM as your SMTP, which I don't currently use.

Saving an attachment that you receive would work the same way but would require no additional data transmission to send the attachment from the iPhone back to your iDisk for safe keeping (though not really necessary since it is your mail). Since the attachment is already on the MM mail servers all you would have to do is send a message back to MM that you wish to save the file. This could be as simple as clicking the attachment in the iPhone mail, choosing to save to iDisk and what folder you wish to save it in. Once that is complete the iDisk will then sync your Mac(s) and PC(s) iDisks to match.

I hope that didn't seem overly complex. Since it doesn't look like using the iPhone for file storage is an option we'll get anytime soon I think this would be a useful option that would be an added value to MM that would help make it and the iPhone harder to touch by competitors.

I do hope that you realize that I was being sarcastic. I have been a .Mac user since Jan 6, 2000. And don't have any intention to quit using it.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by user828 View Post

I have a regular cell bill and on top of that I pay a blackberry fee. The cell plans vary. Some have more minutes than others. And cost vary from 10 euros per month to whatever... like on the iphone... On top of that you pay 10 euros/month for the blackberry curve wich includes push email, chat and unlimited data. So over here it's as low as 20 euros per month.

The calendar is done through the google servers so it's not part of the blackberry plan. It's a service that google offers for free to blackberry users that have gmail (or google apps wich is also free).

But Italy is no example because it's one of the very few countries in the world where the number of mobile phones have surpassed the land phones, so prices are low. I pay 7 cents a minute for every phonecall mobile or land in the country... And in Italy you don't pay if you recieve calls. Only if you make them.

Love to know what your monthly usage and costs are.
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

I do hope that you realize that I was being sarcastic. I have been a .Mac user since Jan 6, 2000. And don't have any intention to quit using it.

I know. I was just elaborating on the cloud file storage that is usually overlooked.
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?"
Reply
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?"
Reply
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielEran View Post

Congratulations on fitting your mailbox into 1GB and having no need for web hosting, file sharing, etc. But while the article noted that you can buy cheaper hosted Exchange plans for less, you are already getting far less in the top plan. 1GB is not "pretty much the same" as 20GB.



Where are these cheap WiMo phones with low cost service? Oh right, fantasy land! Where hosted exchange is also free, and where the iPhone costs soooo much money. I think the presentation in the article is pretty balanced and fair all around, noting omissions on the iPhone and comparing the strong and weak points of other services. There's no need to arch over backwards and put a bunch of exclamation points on what you perceive to be underreported flaws of the iPhone. There aren't any unreported flaws, and nobody is being tricked into buying it.

Also, before you get going on how there are glitches and beta behaviors in MobileMe, look at the downtime for RIM BES, BIS, hosted Exchange, and other services, and then tell me how it is that WiMo phones are glitch-free when I have actually experienced the joy of supporting them in an enterprise environment for years. WiMo is simply embarrassing.



MobileMe uses Mac OS X apps and Outlook. There is no lock in here. If you decide you'd rather migrate to another IMAP email service, you can move your mail over easily. You can export your calendars and contacts using standard file formats, or in many cases, simply sync to a different service, such as Google's, or connect to Exchange using the same Sync Services for a smooth transition.

You can't attack the even-handed article for being "slanted" when you post comments that are simply false and intentionally misleading, and pile the ham on one side of the scale.

Interesting little exchange here, no? Any predictions as to whether the Be Man has a response, or if he's realized he's out of his league?
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by djdj View Post

The comment that Exchange isn't meant to work over the Internet is just wrong.

You've misunderstood what was said.

It's not that Exchange isn't meant to be used over the internet now, it's that it wasn't originally written for that purpose.

Later, it was extended to be able to work over the internet. but the original use was in high speed LAN's.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Just to be sure. Your cell phone, i.e., BlackBerry Curve is free, and your monthly cell phone costs you $30 US per month. Email and your calendar are free. How many minutes and text messages per month?

Unfortunately MobileMe does cost me about $8 US a month on top of my cell bill. Of course I do have to contend with the free storage space.

Of course, Apple isn't a phone provider, so these services must be charged for if Apple isn't going to lose money on them as Google seems to be willing to do.

If Apple were a cell company, then it could wrap these services in some plan of its own.

RIM has many layers of hardware and services that they charge for, while Apple doesn't (we're just talking about phones and plans, of course).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac Software
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Inside MobileMe: Apple's Push vs Exchange, BlackBerry, Google