UPDATE: Dear Apple: You Can Shut MobileMe Down Again.

See the end of this article (and the comments) for a couple of updates. 

Soon I’ll write about how I put on the iPhone 2.0 software this morning, and have been running it all day. It went smoothly and works wonderfully. 

I’ll write that Exchange sync works great (just email, I’m not using it for contacts or calendars). 

I’ll write that the new MobileMe “push” services work great so far. Tried emails, contacts and calendars and it’s working just like it’s designed. That is, comparing the phone to my desktop apps I can see data entered in either place move back and forth. 

I’ll write about the App store and how sweet it is, and that the new freebie Remote app is so cool. 

But that will all come later, for now I just want to say to Apple that the MobileMe site was up early today, and then shut down (I didn’t try it then). Now it’s back up and, Apple, you should shut it down again. Quickly. Before you become the laughingstock of the industry. 

S-L-O-W. Disgustingly and embarrassingly slow. Setting new world records in slowness. So slow that, for all practical purposes, it’s unusable. And that’s the good news, because at least when it’s slow it’s working. I have yet to get contacts to pull up on this thing. I get calendars — sometimes — but then get server crashes. Or Safari will tell me it can’t display the page. It’s a miserable experience

Apple, shut it down and fix it. Google and Microsoft are both laughing their asses off at your first real step into cloud computing. They may have been a little worried yesterday. Not now.

[UPDATE:] Not very long after I wrote this post the MobileMe site was shut down again. Good. Apple has stated that everything about MobileMe is working except the web aps, but the push features that worked for me all day today are no longer functioning, and other people are having issues as well. This is more than just the web apps. 

Meanwhile, to keep informed about if MobileMe is up just check here.

[UPDATE #2:] As of noon on 7/11, things are no better with MobileMe than yesterday. Apple’s having a bad day today, what with their app store and activation servers getting barraged with requests. No surprise there, and I do not believe Apple should add hundreds of servers just to get over the peaks this weekend. All the issues related to activity will sort themselves out over time, and do not necessarily point to any bugs on Apple’s (or AT&T’s) part (though I think Apple should have staggered the 2.0 availability, i.e., roll out the iPhone 3G for a week and then make the 2.0 software available for the 2G unit). 

However, the MobileMe fiasco does not fit into the above category of issues with the new iPhone, software, and App Store. This is not about server activity because only valid .Mac subscribers and trials would be accessing the servers. And yet Apple’s been at it now for over 40 hours!! There is a problem there. I don’t know what it is, but it’s big, and they can’t seem to find it.

13 thoughts on “UPDATE: Dear Apple: You Can Shut MobileMe Down Again.

  1. People, I understand your frustration but I feel like I’m watching someone take their car to the shop because it is broken, knows it is broken but drives it anyway while it’s being fixed and complains that it won’t work and the mechanic sucks! Yes, it isn’t ready. But leave the judgments until everything is up.

  2. Jeremy,

    Can’t say I disagree. About an hour after my last update yesterday was the first time I could login and actually get to all the Web app screens. It only took Apple about 42 hours. :-/ But performance is so bad it’s unusable.

    Previously, .Mac was no performance freak, but I used the email component every day and it was at least acceptable. With MobileMe, email looks different (though the features are pretty much the same) and they’ve significantly beefed up contacts and finally added calendars, so there’s no question it’s a great improvement. But when performance drags for sooooo long, what is the point? I’d trade the web apps right now for the old interface in a heartbeat.

    Here I was hopeful that performance would get BETTER with MobileMe; I certainly wasn’t expecting this. People who trial this will not likely sign up if the web interface was their chief concern.

    As for me, the “push” syncing works again, as does the regular Mac-to-Mac syncing. For me, this was the chief reason I used .Mac, and with push it becomes even more so with MobileMe. But the web app performance is unacceptable, and the truth is I don’t know if Apple has the expertise to fix it (they’ve given no indication of it in the past).

  3. MobileMe finally is coming up for me, but I wish it wasn’t!

    I am seriously disappointed both in the style and quality of the product. After 8 years of a spotty .Mac service with an almost unusable interface, they have finally replaced it with …

    a spotty mobileme service with an almost unusable interface. 🙂

    Here’s hoping it gets better, but on Saturday morning at 7:34 PST, it’s still so slow as to be unusable. 30 seconds to log in 10 seconds or so to change between mail and storage etc., but worse, it takes three or four seconds for *any* click to register with the system. This makes mail completely unusable if things happen literally three or four seconds behind your choices.

    Also, the online contacts app has ruined half my contacts (they all say “no name,” hundreds of them), all my google calendars that I was syncing with my work calendars are MIA, drag and drop file transfers have apparently been *eliminated* in the iDisk section (why?), and there seems on first blush to be no way to even edit most of the information.

    – Why screw up my contacts, if I can’t even spend an hour or so editing them back into shape?
    – Why give me more storage, if I can now only upload files one at a time?

    sign me: .Mac user since 2000, seriously unimpressed, and very disappointed.

  4. Clearly there has been a bog cock up at Apple over the migration to Mobile Me – Suspicion is that Apple thought they could launch the new website and migrate at the same time… bad call…

    Still I have my new shiny iPhone on my desk beside me as I write this… will look at opening a Mobile Me account next week….

  5. quote:
    “…(though I think Apple should have staggered the 2.0 availability, i.e., roll out the iPhone 3G for a week and then make the 2.0 software available for the 2G unit). …”

    Why piss off old users? Delay the launch one week!
    Both are bad decisions! The took the rought trail and they got messed-up!

    (Do you remember the WGA episode of Microsoft?)

    OTOH, your tone –althought with 40 hours of silence to fuel it up– is back to normality, showing up that it was only an upset, Congrats.

  6. Rus,

    .Mac users were informed the service would be down from 7/9 8pm PDT for six hours. You’re saying that after that, with .Mac now allegedly MobileMe, it was still “unsupported”? In other words, you’re saying that Apple fully intended, despite the six-hour claim, to take the online service from existing customers for over a day? I didn’t read it that way at all, and do not think that’s what Apple intended.

    Besides, yesterday is moot. No one disputes that TODAY the service should be available, and of course it’s just as much of a joke as it was yesterday.

    Some are using the “the servers are getting hammered” excuse, but this should not apply to MobileMe at all. Who’s supposedly hammering these servers? No one but existing .Mac subscribers and new trial signups can do anything but look at the MobileMe login page! Traffic is not the issue with MobileMe, a very poorly executed (or tested) rollout is.

  7. Tom … MobileME wasn’t official until today – your using it yesterday was unsupported, Apple’s own help pages and MANY websites covered that. That being said, .MAC being down that long is unacceptable. I have a number of customers that depend on .MAC – maybe a small courtesy credit is due.

  8. Exactly Tom. As I said, I see it as a problem for .mac subscribers. Sorry for your pain. 😦

  9. I am a .Mac subscriber, and I was to lose the service for six hours — but it’s now been over 27. Not sure why people would think this is no big deal.

  10. The main point is that .mac subscribers are not able to access their data.
    As far as I know, mobile me has not been launched by Apple yet. So complaining about something that isn’t released doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  11. Luis and Boris,

    I think you’re both missing the point. .Mac was supposed to be down for six hours — starting 7/9 at 8p PDT — to make the switch. As I type this it’s been down for over 25 hours, and the two times it’s been up have been a disaster.

    It’s NOT traffic-related, since it’s never been up long enough to even generate any. Once it’s up without crashing, and at a usable speed, there will be REAL traffic, so heaven help Apple if this is even partially traffic based.

    25 hours, guys, and still no web site. Further, the mail, contact and calendar syncing that HAD been working is busted now.

    Just what will it take for the two of you to be convinced this is not going well?

  12. Yeah… slow down with the trolling…. you can see what has happened – the .Me site has been hammered by far more traffic than Apple anticipated and that has plunged the servers into crawl model.

    Apple needs a kick for not provisioning its services to cope with the jump in traffic, but when you are launching a new service how much is enough. Under deliver and you get smacked a.k.a this post or over deliver and have idle systems sitting around which people will kick you for.

    Once the volume settles down and Apple can bring more capacity on line then things will start to work better… but to condemn MobileMe to the knackers yard after just a few hours is being churlish in the extreme

  13. I think you are acting a little histerical.
    Was MobileMe “open” to the public or just go online?

    OTOH, with Microsoft releasing Surface (to compete with the iPhone?), promising ads against “Get a Mac” and not to speak of Yahoo! dispairs; and Google developing Android… I think that both companies are more than alert to every move of Apple.
    And they also know that Apple solve its problems.

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