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Calendars, Calendars, Calendars!

Besides missing a couple of .Mac features, there are some other fundamental problems I have with MobileMe and they revolve around calendars. It’s great to finally be able to see my iCals on the web without having to “publish” them. It’s also great to have them pushed out to my iPhone. However, what I want is more choices! As it stands right now, when you turn on syncing for iCal calendars to MobileMe, it’s an all or nothing proposition. I have a couple miscellaneous iCals that I DON’T need synched up to the “Cloud” or to my iPhone. More importantly, there are family member, holiday, and non-profit organization calendars that I subscribe to that I DO want on my iPhone.

As it stands today, subscribed iCals can NOT be synched to MobileMe and therefore are NOT pushed out to your iPhone. It even treats the built-in “Birthdays” iCal as a Subscribed calendar and therefore you don’t get your birthdays on your iPhone! The only way around this is to NOT use MobileMe for your iCals. However, then you lose the ability to have your calendars pushed out automatically and the only updates you would get would be when you physically connected your USB cable and performed a sync (a step backwards).

Also, if you have a corporate Exchange account configured for your work calendar (which I do), you lose the ability to sync your iCals via iTunes/USB, so you have no choice but to use MobileMe if you want to keep your personal appointments separate. The service is too much about “me” at this point.

With your MobileMe service, you also get online storage for files and backup. You can access these files anywhere you are on the ‘Net from either a Mac or PC via the web or the built-in OS support on the Mac for the iDisk. However, there doesn’t appear to be a way to view files from your iDisk via your iPhone. For example, the iDisk would be a great place to store sensitive data that you don’t want on your actual devices. You could log in to your MobileMe account with your password via the Safari browser. It would be great to then be able to view PDFs and other compatible files via your iPhone.

MobileMe is a good tool and I have no problem recommending it to users with basic needs. However, if you have lots of calendars or a complicated setup, you may want to wait until Apple works out some of these issues.

MobileMe goes for $99/year ($149/year for the Family Pack).

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