Google Apps or MobileMe?

By Tyler

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-When I say Google Apps, I’m talking hosted email, calendar sharing and contact management, not the document and spreadsheet capabilities. Let’s assume the rate I pay for monthly hosting and MobileMe is also the same.

I remember when having a .mac email meant you were part of a special club that only serious Apple fanatics bothered to enter. This email also meant you paid Apple $100-150/yr for them to host your email, sync your calendars and contacts over the air and give you 20ish gigs of storage/backup space on your iDisk.

This was my only option for a long time, but then Google Apps started to get really popular. As powerful and easy as gmail was, Google Apps took everything a bit further by allowing access to all your favorite Apps (email, calendar, docs and contacts, mostly) with your personal domain. No longer did I have to use .mac, .me or .gmail, I could now use .tdhurst.

But not everything works just as it should and here’s why I still use both Google Apps and MobileMe:

1. Google Apps email is better
Hands down the best email service I’ve ever had has been hosted by Google. Best spam protection, security and storage capacity. It has a decent web client and it offers IMAP. You can also use POP3 to check up to five other email accounts automatically.

2. MobileMe’s calendar and contact syncing is better
I’ve tried many times to get the Mac Address Book and the Google Contact List to sync properly, but the Google-Apple hate has made its way down to the customer level now. It always kinda works, but it never works quite right. The calendar syncing is also ridiculous, as I could never find a way to get iCal to show anything other than GMT when I subscribed to a Google Calendar and then tried to sync it with my iPhone.

3. I trust paid services more than free equivalents
I’m not always right on this and I do know that non-free apps are not guaranteed to be quality, but Google’s complete absence of customer support is enough to make me think twice about using their service exclusively. Things rarely go wrong, but at least with MobileMe I have something to go back to.

4. iDisk does, Google doesn’t
Dropbox notwithstanding, there’s no file storage or backup component to Google Apps. I know I can store attachment in my email, but I don’t always want to do that. iDisk works very well for me in storing, sharing and backing up my most important data. I know there are other options out there, but this works best.

5. Fits my workflow
On my iPhone, I use MobileMe for everything but mail, and Google Apps for mail only. My tdhurst.com address works just fine and all my contacts and calendars sync. Sure, I might be paying a little bit more than I need to, but Steve Jobs needs my help to pay for medical bills, so we all need to do our part.

What do you use? Are you web based?

About Tyler
Storyteller. Inspirator. Opens bananas like a monkey. Minimalist runner. Eliticist. Have my name on my shirt. Knows all the words to Baby Got Back.

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