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Apple’s MobileMe: Hot or Not?

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Author Terry White shares his likes and dislikes of Apple's new MobileMe service. If you use lots of calendars, you may want to read this before subscribing.
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If you haven’t been keeping score, Apple has just released its newly revamped group of online services that fall under the name MobileMe. MobileMe replaces the company’s former service “.Mac”. You might be wondering, “What’s up with the name? Why not continue to call it .Mac?” The reason that Apple renamed .Mac MobileMe is because .Mac was primarily a Mac-only service. MobileMe is cross-platform and offers the same benefits and services to Mac and Windows users.

What Does MobileMe Offer?

With MobileMe, you can sync your Contacts, Calendars, and Bookmarks to the web and you get the ability to host your photos and share them in various ways. The service also offers an email address at me.com as well as 20GBs of combined storage for your content.

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, then the service becomes much more useful as you can have your email, contacts, and calendars pushed out to your device. The idea behind “push” technology is that your device is instantly updated with the new information instead of you having to request it. For example, if an email comes in to the MobileMe server it is instantly sent to your iPhone instead of you having to hit the check mail button or wait for the timed interval for mail to be checked.

Changes or additions can happen from anywhere in the loop and get sent to the other two destinations. For example, let’s say you add a new contact directly to your iPhone. This new contact is then pushed up to MobileMe (the Cloud) and then pushed down to your Mac or PC. At this point the connection coming down from the Cloud to your Mac or PC is not a true “push”. Your Mac or PC can only receive this information every 15 minutes at best. Apple is hoping to make it a true push in a future update.

However, if you edit a calendar entry on the website http://www.me.com, then the information is pushed to your iPhone immediately and pushed to your computer within 15 minutes. The nice thing about this push technology is that you don’t have to plug your iPhone or iPod Touch in as often just to get every little update.

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