it.gen.nz

Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MobileMe – what was the problem, again?

The biggest single thing I wanted MobileMe for, it won’t do – and it’s not clear in advance that it won’t. That thing is using MM email with your own domain name. I was hoping to move my email into it from a another provider, but I won’t be doing that now. So, for my money, the email provided with MM is useless because you can only reply from your @me.com address. Google have got this right – why can’t Apple?

Now I’ve got that off my chest, there are some things to like in MM. I like the way it syncs my calendars and contacts lists wirelessly with the ones on my iPhone. Critics might say that the iPhone should do that anyway, but let’s just accept that it doesn’t. MM is a welcome addition, then, to someone who has a Mac and an iPhone.

The iDisk looks cool. It’s 10-20 Gigs of storage which is always kept replicated onto and Apple server somewhere. In theory, you can recover your files onto a new machine or use it for sharing. I haven’t quite figured out yet how to use it to keep a permanent copy of my favourite document folders in the cloud without manually copying them or setting up an rsync, but there’s probably a way. And it will let you do a photo gallery online, along with various kinds of website. But, then, I am already well-supplied in that department.

There are a few other pieces of goodness I haven’t tried yet, such as getting into my Mac at home when I’m out and about, or getting remote access to my Time Capsule drive. But I already do these things without MM.

All in all, I suppose it’s okay for $140 NZ per annum.

You may have gathered that I’m not taken with MobileMe as much as some other products from the same stable. It strikes me as, well, too little, and surprisingly hard to set up. I expected more. I hope Apple will continue developing it into something a bit less underwhelming.

posted by colin at 5:00 pm  

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