Monday, March 21, 2011

Mobile.me maybe soon free

Me, an old mobile.me customer (when it was still called mac.com) is paying every year $159 for an extended mobile.me family account. Since years I am paying it because of the benefits, but I never liked to pay so much. There are many other services for email and data storage free or much cheaper. The most famous one is for sure Google. Google offers a lot of cool features which are free, even cloud documents like Excel, Word etc without having the need to own such software to make changes in the documents.

But I kept the mobile.me accounts because all my devices are Apple products. The really beauty of mobile.me is the total sync of mail accounts, contacts, photos and calendar and even favorites. It is just amazing how well you think it works. As soon you have a new computer you can use your mobile.me account on this computer and all email accounts, contacts etc are synched. However it does not work well as it is supposed. Over the years all my contact and calendar entries got dirty. I had many contacts 10 or 20 times in my contact app and birthday reminders up to 30 times. The biggest issue is that you can't define one device as master and therefore the data gets dirty when you have many devices, it is not really good solved by Apple. Even if the data looks exact the same it still happens. Just last week I did spend 5 hours to clean the data. On such days I am asking myself why I am paying for this service so much.

One good thing with mobile.me is the total integration with I-tunes, iPhone/iPad, iPhoto and iWeb. It is so easy to share your photos over mobile.me or to generate cool looking webpages using iWeb an mobile.me account.
Nevertheless not to forget the ability to locate your iPhone and to locker erase it remotely in case you lost it.

Again a good (not perfect) service which is clear too expensive. I actually only know Apple geeks who have mobile.me accounts. Apple is now a mainstream company and can't afford anymore to offer too expensive services. First they opened the app world on MacOS to offer software much cheaper than the CD version. Now as a logical consequence mobile.me might go free.

Mobile.me is the Apple cloud system, still only limited to certain programs, but I believe the mobile.me cloud will soon offer music in the cloud (which you can partly do right now by saving your songs in the mobile.me folder on your mac).

The rumors about new version of mobile me started when Apple end of february selling mobile me in their online store. Students are recommended to use the 60 days trial for now till new version is out.

I believe Apple will have a free standard version for maybe 5GB and then offer more services and data storage for payed service.

My subscription year is running out in June and hopefully till then the new mobile.me is available. I remember a few years ago Apple had problems to merge .mac accounts with mobile.me. Because of the trouble I got 6 months in total free.

I guess we will know the latest at the Worldwide Developer Conference 2011 starting June 5 how the new mobile.me will look like.

Or as early as next month. Charles Starrett, Senior Editor of iLounge, cited "a trusted source" saying that Apple will announce a free version of MobileMe next month


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