MobileMe Defined

By Dan Hinckley

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Apple continues to improve the hardware and base software of their mobile platform but seems to pay less attention to one of their web based software services. MobileMe seems to be quickly becoming a forgotten project by Apple but is a service with rich features for users of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and even personal computers. Lets take a closer look at MobileMe and its offering to end users.

MobileMe, formerly called .Mac and iTools, is a payment-based assortment of online services and software. It takes the best of .Mac and adds additional admirable features. With MobileMe you will continue to be able to take advantage of the services offered similarly by .Mac, plus a set of new web applications at me.com and 20 GB of online storage for online use and backup.

MobileMe offers a number of services, one of which is related to storage. It has two different plans, the Individual plan and the Family Pack. The former includes 20 GB of email and file storage and 200 GB of monthly data transfer. The family plan includes 40 GB of storage – one 20 GB individual and four 5 GB email plans. Additional storage in 20 GB or 40 GB allotments can also be bought.

Another service offered by MobileMe is the synchronized address book and calendar feature. If a user modifies an event or contact on one device, it will mechanically be synced to the servers and all their other devices. These include the iPhone, Address Book and iCal on Mac OS X.

MobileMe also has a public gallery feature. Videos and pictures can be uploaded at me.com or from the iPhone ad iPod Touch, or synced by iPhoto or Aperture on Mac OS X. MobileMe also provides an email address that is exclusive for the upload of photos and videos. All uploads by the gallery’s viewers will be synced back to Aperture, iPhoto, and iMovie.

Another feature of MobileMe is the iDisk, which is a storage area that can be accessed through a web browser at me.com, Finder on Mac OS X, assorted applications for the iPhone OS, or as a remote disk in Microsoft Windows. iDisk permits the sharing of files and documents by storing them in the iDisk Public Folder. Users can also create secure passwords to protect such files.

Publishing to iWeb is another service offered by MobileMe. This allows the publishing of websites hosted on a MobileMe account, either to a domain or to a page on me.com. For users without iWeb, websites can still be created by putting files in the Web/Sites folder.

MobileMe utilizes Ajax and Dynamic HTML to give users a “desktop” like feel while accessing their content from a web browser. Web applications on me.com consist of Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Gallery and iDisk access. Most of these applications are built above the open source SproutCore Javascript framework. Because MobileMe’s web applications take benefit of the most recent technologies, it supports only selected browsers. These include Safari 3 – 5, or Mozilla Firefox 2 or 3 on your Mac and PC. Internet Explorer 7 is not fully supported due to compatibility issues with modern web standards.

MobileMe users could connect to AIM using their @mac.com or @me.com accounts. Also, iChat users who are using a MobileMe account can encrypt their chats with others using iChat. The MobileMe Chat account can also be accessed on an iPhone or iPod Touch using the AIM application. To synchronize MobileMe data with a PC, MobileMe Control Panel must be downloaded and installed.

Basically, MobileMe is an improved version of .Mac as it offers a wider range of services such as those mentioned above. Pushing various events and data into all your devices is a worry no more as MobileMe makes things a lot easier.

About Dan Hinckley
Dan Hinckley is an experienced Mac user who converted to Apple products when they introduced them on Intel Processors. He loves helping others get more out of their devices! Subscribe to Maciverse.com to get the latest from Dan and the Maciverse Team!! Find out more about Dan:

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