MacMost Now 95: A Look At MobileMe

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at what the new MobileMe service will be like, and how it will differ from the old .Mac service.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary. On this episode of MacMost Now, lets take a look at the MobileMe service, and how it will be different from than .Mac.
[music]
The really big thing about MobileMe is this push technology that will allow you to sync data . That is your contacts, your calendar events, and your email between three locations. That is your computer, an online web interface, and your iphone or ipod touch.
When you say update a calendar event on your computer in iCal, it will also appear updated on your iphone. This will happen without syncing the iphone at all. It will automatically be put, so it will go from iCal up to the internet to me.com and then back down to your iphone automatically.
Where this is most impressive is mail. This means you'll be able to get mail from me.com or you old .mac address and if you read it on your iphone it will show up as read on your computer in mail. Not only that, but this will work in applications beyond mail. It promises to work in outlook, outlook express and windows mail for Windows users. It may in fact work in other mail applications as well, we have yet to see. Plus with the web interface you have a third place to go and check it. Let's say your traveling and your at a hotel you can log into your me.com account, go ahead check your email and next time you use mail on your computer or on your iphone you'll see that emails' been read, been updated , been put into different folders, all sorts of things. This will make it a lot easier for people to keep up with their email without having to worry about constantly syncing back and forth with different devices.
What remains to be seen is how this will work with non me.com email address. In other words if you have your own domain and you have email stored there, will this new system be able to go and get that email, and send email flawlessly? There are a couple ways you can do it and it will be interesting to see if any of them are supported.
Another thing that is being talked about a lot is the new photo gallery that will be in MobileMe. We already have photo galleries, several different types of them in fact, with the existing .mac service. From the very beginning you could actually put the photos on little mini websites stored in .mac. Now you have the ability to publish them easily from iphoto and be able to publish slideshows, and be able to publish somewhat updatable photo galleries. It will be interesting to see how the new MobileMe galleries work. It looks like you'll be easily able to publish from iphoto and when somebody add a photo, if you allow that in your gallery, it will automatically pull back down to iphoto for you. It's going to interesting to see how that works. Certainly it can replace photo galleries for a lot of people that they set up on their own websites, and it may replace something like fliker for a lot of people. That remains to be seen and also it remains to be seen how social this is. Is it easy to post a photo, for instance, to face book, or is it easy for somebody to search all the MobileMe photos to find some interesting shots.
I'm also leery how this is going to effect old photo galleries that have been up there. I've already got photo galleries stored under the last two types of systems and I'd really like to keep those up there. There are pictures of vacations, and pictures of family events and things like that. If worst comes to worst I'd have to republish all of those.
Another big part of .mac that will be part of MobileMe is the iDesk. The iDesk is like an external drive the exists up at the .mac server. You can store files there, or use it as a back up space, or use it as a place to share files. It's very useful and you share that space with stuff you publish to the web. A lot of people use the 10 gigs of space they have now, or 20 gigs of space they'll have under MobileMe to go ahead and publish something like pod casts.
One question is, what will the bandwidth restrictions be on the file storage on your iDesk? Right now, they are set pretty high, specially for use for pod casters. So you can put large audio and videos up on your I.mac account and set them up as a pod cast. Lets hope that those bandwidth restrictions go even higher or at least they stay the same.
Another thing that push technology and mobileme will do is allow you to sync email contacts and events over multiple computers. If you have more than one computer, lets say a desktop machine and a laptop, or you have one at home or work you can sync all that stuff between them. Not only that but you'll be able to do it with PCs as well. It works with outlook and with Vista.
This could be super useful for someone like me, but the devils and the details, well have to see exactly how it works weather or not its useful.
With MobileMe a few things from .mac will be dropped. One of them is the .mac slides, one way of viewing photos in .mac. The ability to view your bookmarks on the web. Also support for panther, for some things at least and the ability to sync things between multiple computers is going to be replaced by the new push technology. So maybe some unexpected changes.
Also iCards are going away. I've never really used them, have you?
Looking at the strategy here it's kind of interesting with the rumors that AT&T is no longer going to be giving a cut of the subscriptions of iphone users to Apple, the $99 a year might be a way for Apple to get recurring revenue from iphone users. I mean after all, I can't imagine having an iphone and not spending the extra money to get all these additional features. Well, anyway if you do plan on upgrading, one thing you may want to think about is buying .mac right now. You can get it pretty cheaply, as a matter of fact Amazon regularly has it for only $70. Apple promises that anybody with a .mac subscription right now, will be able to upgrade completely over to MobileMe. But it is likely that those cheap $70 accounts will probably go away. Thanks to Daniel for that tip. Anyway until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: One Response to “MacMost Now 95: A Look At MobileMe”

    Daniel
    6/17/08 @ 9:09 pm

    Hi Gary;
    Good review of Mobile Me. Hard to explain with out being able to give examples yet but good job.
    I for one, will miss “iCards.” My family used them all the time. As for work, I hope I can still sync my Mac’s! That’s been a life saver and well worth the cost of .Mac for me.
    Thanks for the mention too, glad it was news you could use.

Comments Closed.