MobileMe—Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back
I’m OK taking the bad with the good, but in this case there doesn’t seem to be any good reason to have the bad. With .Mac, I already had syncing of contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and other info between computers and the web. With MobileMe I now get that and I get my data pushed out over the air to my iPhone 3G. Great! If I make a change on my Mac (or PC), the change automatically gets synched up to the “Cloud” (MobileMe), where I can view it on the MobileMe website or moments later on my iPhone. If I make a change on the web or on my iPhone, within 15 minutes the change happens on my Mac. Cool! I welcome this kind of wireless connectivity with open arms.
However, as a former .Mac user, I can’t help but wonder why Apple chose to eliminate a couple of things that were already in place. For example, on Monday I went to send a friend of mine an iCard for her birthday. That’s when I realized that iCards didn’t make the cut over to MobileMe. Granted, Apple probably had to license the images for the iCards and, hey, this is an expense that could be cut, but there isn’t even the ability to make an iCard using your own photos anymore. Sure, someone could argue that with Leopard Mail we now have Birthday Stationary and I could use my own image there (which is what I ended up doing two days later), but the point is there was really no reason to eliminate this ability from the website.
The next thing that got lost in the transition is the ability to view your Bookmarks on the MobileMe website. This one is way more puzzling than the loss of iCards because Bookmarks ARE synched up to MobileMe. So, why not offer the ability to see them and use them on the MobileMe website? This was a very handy feature of .Mac. It saved my butt on more than one occasion. I remember being in my eye doctor’s office and telling him about a site that sold prescription swim goggles. I couldn’t remember the URL so I asked if I could use his PC. I logged on to .Mac via his IE browser. I brought up my bookmarks and went straight to the site. Perfect! Yeah, I know, I could now just bring up the site on my iPhone, but if the bookmarks are already in the Cloud, why not offer the ability to see them?