Apple introduces MobileMe "push" internet service

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Alongside the iPhone 3G, Apple on Monday introduced MobileMe, a new Internet service that delivers push email, push contacts and push calendars from the MobileMe service in the "cloud" to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs.



MobileMe, which replaces the company's ailing .Mac service, also provides a suite of rich Web 2.0 applications that deliver a desktop-like experience through any modern browser, including Mail, Contacts and Calendar. A Gallery for viewing and sharing photos, as well as an iDisk app for storing and exchanging documents online, are also included.



"Think of MobileMe as 'Exchange for the rest of us,'" said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "Now users who are not part of an enterprise that runs Exchange can get the same push email, push calendars and push contacts that the big guys get."



With a MobileMe email account, all folders, messages and status indicators look identical whether checking email on iPhone, iPod touch, a Mac or a PC. New email messages are pushed instantly to iPhone over the cellular network or Wi-Fi, removing the need to manually check email and wait for downloads. Push also keeps contacts and calendars continuously up-to-date so changes made on one device are automatically pushed up to the cloud and down to other devices.



Push works with the native applications on iPhone and iPod touch, Microsoft Outlook for the PC, and Mac OS X applications, Mail, Address Book and iCal, as well as the MobileMe web application suite.



MobileMe web applications are 100 percent ad-free and provide a desktop-like experience that allows users to drag and drop, click and drag, and even use keyboard shortcuts, all in a unified interface. Users can even switch between applications with a single click and use the Gallery web app to share photos in high quality.



MobileMe's Mail Web Interface.



MobileMe's Contact Web Interface.



MobileMe's Calendar Web Interface.



MobileMe's Gallery Web Interface.



MobileMe's iDisk Web Interface.



Using any browser, the new Gallery web application allows users to upload, rearrange, rotate and title photos; post photos directly from an iPhone; allow visitors to download print quality images; and contribute photos to an album.



Meanwhile, MobileMe iDisk lets users store and manage files online with drag and drop filing. The iDisk web application also makes it easy to share documents too large to email by automatically sending an email with a link for downloading the file.



MobileMe includes 20GB of online storage that can be used for email, contacts, calendar, photos, movies and documents. The service is set to launch on July 11 alongside iPhone 3G, with a yearly subscription fee of $99 for individuals and $149 for a Family Pack. The Family Pack includes one master account with 20GB of storage and four Family Member accounts with 5GB of storage each. MobileMe subscribers can purchase an additional 20GB of storage for $49 or 40GB of storage for $99 annually.



Users who wish to try out the service with no obligation can sign up for a free 60-day MobileMe trial. Current .Mac members will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe accounts.



Using an iPhone or iPod touch with MobileMe requires iPhone 2.0 software and the soon-to-be-released iTunes 7.7 or later. For use with a Mac, MobileMe requires Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11 or the latest version of Mac OS X Leopard. For a PC, MobileMe requires Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP2), and Microsoft Outlook 2003 or later is recommended.



MobileMe is accessible on the web via Safari 3, Internet Explorer 7, and Firefox 2 or later. Internet access requires a compatible ISP; fees may apply. Broadband Internet connection recommended. Some features require Mac OS X Leopard and iLife '08.



A Guided Tour of the MobileMe service is available at me.com.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    jawportajawporta Posts: 140member
    If it works like advertised I'll keep my .Mac as Mobile Me. If not I'm done after this year.

  • Reply 2 of 57
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    I'll be passing on MobileMe. Even the name is dumb, considering it came from Apple I expected more.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I think they did a tremendous job of integrating iPhoto, iCal and other functionality into a web-based cluster of apps. Pretty amazing.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    It appears that the new web-based applications would finally address the serious deficiencies in .Mac's currect offerings...with one major caveat. If it's going to require Safari 3, Firefox 2, or IE 7, the entire .Mac/MobileMe online services become completely useless to me! My major use of the online clients is from work where IE 6 is the only browser available (can't install anything else).



    If IE 7 is required, I'll lose access. Today, photo Galleries "recommend" but don't require newer web browsers. You just don't have as nice an interface using IE 6. The rest of .Mac is accessible from IE6. So will I get a downgraded experience on IE 6, like today's Gallaries, or no access at all?



    Apple needs to keep in mind that when you are accessing your data from other computers (the whole point of the online apps!), you don't always have control over which web browser is available (work, internet cafe's, friend's house, etc).



    Considering I just signed up for .Mac a few weeks ago (and online contacts never worked right), I'll be pretty peeved if come July I lose access to the online services.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    dmarrerodmarrero Posts: 3member
    Mobile me is a lame name. I much prefer .mac. As for the service it provides, it may prove useful for iphone users but others may find more utility in the free gmail accounts. It has potential if apple dropped the price.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    Enough about you, let's talk about Mobileme! What will be next.... mobile mini me??
  • Reply 7 of 57
    tomkarltomkarl Posts: 238member
    I currently consider the sync features of .mac one of the best reasons to pay $100 a year.



    I'll love the push features to my phone.



    Very glad that I can continue to use my mac.com e-mail address. [email protected] sounds silly.



    the "Cloud" ?!?
  • Reply 8 of 57
    The MobileMe website is up at http://www.me.com and includes a guided tour.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tomkarl View Post


    I currently consider the sync features of .mac one of the best reasons to pay $100 a year.



    I'll love the push features to my phone.



    Very glad that I can continue to use my mac.com e-mail address. [email protected] sounds silly.



    the "Cloud" ?!?



    The "cloud" ("cloud computing") is one of those trendy phrases that is hot this year. It'll be something else eventually, but will still mean the same thing.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    k2directork2director Posts: 194member
    It looks like Apple has once again omitted To Do support in the MobileMe calendar, along with neglecting To Dos on the iPhone itself (despite being on the market for a year).



    Thanks very much, Apple, for encouraging me to use To Dos in iCal and Mail on the Mac, but then leaving me high and dry when I use my iPhone, or when I access my MobileMe account.



    Seriously, if you're not going to support such a common feature across ALL of your products, then why not just remove To Dos from iCal and Mail, so people don't start to depend on them? It's **asinine** that I can create a bunch of To Dos on my **Apple** Mac running **Apple** iCal and **Apple** Mail, but when I go to use my **Apple** iPhone or **Apple** MobileMe account, I can't see the same To Dos.



    Pathetic...
  • Reply 11 of 57
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    It looks like Apple has once again omitted To Do support in the MobileMe calendar, along with neglecting To Dos on the iPhone itself (despite being on the market for a year).



    Thanks very much, Apple, for encouraging me to use To Dos in iCal and Mail on the Mac, but then leaving me high and dry when I use my iPhone, or when I access my MobileMe account.



    Seriously, if you're not going to support such a common feature across ALL of your products, then why not just remove To Dos from iCal and Mail, so people don't start to depend on them? It's **asinine** that I can create a bunch of To Dos on my **Apple** Mac running **Apple** iCal and **Apple** Mail, but when I go to use my **Apple** iPhone or **Apple** MobileMe account, I can't see the same To Dos.



    Pathetic...



    Email Apple and let 'em know they overlooked this. Maybe they can fix it before it goes live.
  • Reply 12 of 57
    tomkarltomkarl Posts: 238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    The "cloud" ("cloud computing") is one of those trendy phrases that is hot this year. It'll be something else eventually, but will still mean the same thing.



    Well, who knew? Thanks. Interesting stuff.



    I thought Apple just named it that so that the average joe wouldn't have to wrap their mind around how it actually works - but could easily imagine the magical cloud handling the sync.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Yes, MobileMe sounds like a dorky piece of pc free ware ... EXCEPT:



    1. It will attract the dorky pc masses who don't get the Apple aesthetic anyway.

    2. It is efficient looking and allows me to basically run my Mail, iCal and AddressBook on any computer in the world! That is more awesome them many of you seem to understand. It is like a quick and dirty virtual apps sitting on Windows for productivity and that means the dumb pc's at work. I don't understand the IE7 requirement though.

    3. If this can be done in MobileMe, why are Mail, iCal, AddressBook still separate apps? Why not run them all from the same window?



    Problems: I still think with TimeMachine, Backup, iSynch, iDisk that things are still to fragmented and complex for people like my mom. Hopefully with MobileMe things will start working together better.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 529member
    Looks good. Good job I got into .Mac before the upgrade. I want an @mac.com, not @me.com.



    I for one will buy Apple's service.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    mrjoec123mrjoec123 Posts: 223member
    Is it me, or is this exactly what all .Mac users have right now, plus double the storage space and the push features on the iPhone?



    Don't get me wrong; I'm one of those people who thinks .Mac is worth every penny. But journalists are writing about this as if "Apple finally got it right." All they really did was put a fresh coat of paint on the web apps.



    The current .Mac web mail program is pretty much the same thing I'm seeing in the demos. The .Mac web gallery is pretty much the same as the new one. The drag and drop on the calendars is cool, I guess. Maybe a few other minor features that are new.



    It's just funny to me how the right marketing and branding can evoke a more positive response from essentially the same product.



    Now, adding the iPhone sync integration is really, really, awesome. It essentially takes away the need to plug my iPhone into my computer, except for major firmware updates or when I want to add movies or music.



    But that feature is only going to be good for iPhone users. Useless to Blackberry owners.



    I guess what I'm saying is that I wonder how good the press would have been if Apple had simply announced iPhone push sync as a new feature of .Mac. People would probably still be up in arms about how "out of touch" Apple is with its online services, and how much better Google is at this sort of thing.



    .Mac was already a pretty cool service. If calling it MobileMe helps people understand that, then so be it.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member
    I agree with MacGregor. The web interface sorta combines a few of the Apps in a nice, efficient way. Maybe they'll update the desktop Apps to perform the same way?



    This is a BIG BIG deal for businesses that have to resort to 3rd party apps or workarounds to get .mac to function as it should, syncing all ways from any source.



    It's a very nice upgrade. Hopefully amazon.com will continue to offer the annual upgrades for $69. The pricing and the name both leave me wanting.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    We also seem to get Push Bookmarks according to the FAQ's here :-



    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1932



    "What will I need for my iPhone or iPod touch to use MobileMe?

    You will need to update to software version 2.0 or later to enable push mail, push contacts, push calendar, and push bookmarks. This software update will be available when MobileMe launches."



    A few things are going :-



    "Are any other .Mac features affected?

    As part of this transition to MobileMe, some features are being discontinued: Web access to bookmarks (bookmark sync between your Macs and/or PCs is still supported), iCards, .Mac slides, and support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther sync."



    I will miss iCards!
  • Reply 18 of 57
    wplatewplate Posts: 4member
    It all sounds good but it isn't helpful if I can't use my own domain. Our business doesn't have Exchange, though I'd like Exchange for the Rest of Us so I can have my email pushed to my phone.



    But this is only for me.com email addresses, right?
  • Reply 19 of 57
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post


    If this can be done in MobileMe, why are Mail, iCal, AddressBook still separate apps? Why not run them all from the same window?



    I agree with your observation... this could eventually replace or just add iTunes to MobileMe functionality.



    If I were Apple, I'd think real hard about turning MobileMe into a free service. It would be like honey attracting flies to the Apple aesthetic and platform.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post


    2. It is efficient looking and allows me to basically run my Mail, iCal and AddressBook on any computer in the world! That is more awesome them many of you seem to understand. It is like a quick and dirty virtual apps sitting on Windows for productivity and that means the dumb pc's at work. I don't understand the IE7 requirement though.



    It appears that MobileMe uses AJAX for it's online apps. You need a modern browser to support AJAX. Currently, the only online service on .Mac that uses AJAX is the photo Gallary. If you visit a Gallery using IE 6, for instance, you get a warning message that you should upgrade your browser to Safari 3, Firefox 2, or IE 7. It will still let you visit the Gallery using IE 6, but the interface is a little bit different (more limited) and it's S-L-O-W. I don't know if the IE 6 presentation is still using AJAX, or if they have a non-AJAX version of the Galleries for older browsers. If those new browsers are a requirement for MobileMe, rather than a "recommendation", then I've lost all usefulness for the online apps as my only need is when I'm at work where I only have access to IE 6.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post


    Is it me, or is this exactly what all .Mac users have right now, plus double the storage space and the push features on the iPhone?



    Don't get me wrong; I'm one of those people who thinks .Mac is worth every penny. But journalists are writing about this as if "Apple finally got it right." All they really did was put a fresh coat of paint on the web apps.



    The current .Mac web mail program is pretty much the same thing I'm seeing in the demos. The .Mac web gallery is pretty much the same as the new one. The drag and drop on the calendars is cool, I guess. Maybe a few other minor features that are new.



    It's a pretty signifcant upgrade of the online apps. If you've only used Mail online, it probably appears pretty much the same. But the .Mac Address Book doesn't show all of your contacts information. For example, it will only show a Work and a Home email address, regardless of how many addresses you may have for your contact on your Mac. But the biggest upgrade is the calendar. Unlike contacts, which you can view online (well, mostly) just by syncing your Mac's Address Book to .Mac, you have to explicitly publish your iCal calendars. And then they are static, read-only calendars that you can't edit online. You can't get to them from your .Mac home page, and there is also no security on them! Want to see if your buddy's calendar is online? Just enter ical.mac.com/username/Home or ical.mac.com/username/Work. There's a good chance you can view a lot of people's calendars since Home and Work are the two default calendars in iCal. I'm sure a lot of people don't realize that by making their calendars available for themselves to read online, they are really publishing them for anyone with their .Mac email address to view!
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