Sunday, June 22, 2008

.Mac and MobileMe

I signed up for .Mac back in February when I was setting up my then new Mac Pro. I noted then that it seemed expensive at $A 139.95 per year, and I stand by that. I've since branched out from synchronisation to occasional use of iDisk, and uploading a few web galleries from Aperture. On a per-byte basis, I think Apple's making good money out of me. But the syncing Just Works. I cannot recall encountering a problem in four months.

Apple recently announced a makeover for .Mac, starting with a name change to ‘MobileMe’. To make a completely superficial observation, I don't like the name. Microsoft already tried it, and apparently it didn't work out too well. There's a brochure-like features list, as well as a transition FAQ, but I didn't see anything that made me sit up and take notice. More storage: Great, though I'm hardly pushing the current capacity. A new domain name: Wow. New web apps: Now, these look very cool.

Over at the Guided Tour page, there's a short video overview of the new system, and in particular the new web applications. The Mail, Contacts and Calendar applications look very impressive—very much like their desktop counterparts, Mail, Address Book and iCal. The video is worth watching just to see them in action. A lot of the demonstrations are taken from Safari running on Windows Vista, which I thought was a neat touch. (The presenter said ‘cloud’ way too many times, though.) It's not clear to me whether the Mail application is solely for reading mail sent to a MobileMe account, though, or whether it literally syncs up with Mail on the desktop. If not the latter, I can't imagine ever using it. It may well be occasionally handy to use iCal and Address Book as web applications, though.

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