MobileMe: It Sucks When You’re That 1%.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that the MobileMe rollout was a disaster. It isn’t over yet.

Apple’s apologies (one to all users, another to trial subscribers erroneously billed early) were the right thing to do, and I appreciate Apple for doing it. And of course their 30-day subscriber extensions (one each to the two groups above) are also a great gesture.

But I can’t help thinking that despite Apple implying the problems are all behind them, they made the extensions for 30 days because they figured they’d need a month to sort this mess out.

To be sure, they’ve made good progress:

  • Totally unusable performance on the web apps has been fixed (for me) since Monday. I find performance now to be good, even better than the old .Mac.
  • Push email was down for me one day only, and had been fine until the subject of this post, though the current outage isn’t about Push so much as it is email in general.
  • My iWeb hosted family web site was all but garbage, and couldn’t be published to, until today. (My last check was Thursday night so this could have been fixed yesterday).

But I’m still having issues. And from reading numerous message boards and discussions it’s clear that some things working for me do not work for others, and vice versa. I think what Apple has managed to do is get past the more or less global issues, but as near as I can tell they still have a lot of fires to put out:

  • Address auto-correction in the Mail web app. You may have all your email addresses memorized, but I don’t. Without auto-correct it’s near unusable. The workaround would be to at least call up the address book from within Mail, but earlier this week that just generated an error message, and starting a couple days ago the button is grayed out! I can still reply to an existing email easy enough, but if I wanted to email a few people it would be tedious at best using web Mail.
  • Bookmarks do not push, and never have. Mail, Contacts, and Calendars push just fine, but Bookmarks do not.
  • Calendar colors do not work. My calendar is green, but I just get the same ol’ blue on the iPhone.
  • Calendars subscribed to do not push. This seems to be one remaining global issue.
  • The Account page says there is a problem with my credit card. There is not.

For any one jumping in to tell me it works fine for you, or what I can do to “fix” these, please read the following carefully:

“It works for me.”

Great, I’m happy for you. Really. But as I’ve already explained there are plenty of people seeing the same issues I’m seeing (and many seeing issues I’m not). There’s a lot here for Apple to sort out.

“Here’s how to fix it.”

Suggestions are appreciated, but bear in mind that Apple’s published support tips on this and I’ve done them all. Further, I’ve tried things that seem to have worked for some people in the discussion forums. So before you suggest what to do be aware that among other things I have:

  • Turned on and off syncing on the iPhone numerous times.
  • Blown away the old .Mac acount and created a brand new MobileMe account. (I tried this twice.)
  • Done numerous Sync “resets” (from the Mac to cloud and vice versa).
  • For the Calendar color issue I stopped iPhone pushing, changed the color of the calendar on the web app, watched that color push to the Mac (iCal) just fine. Changed it on the web back to my preferred color, again watched it push to the Mac, and then turned iPhone syncing back on. But, no, just the same ol’ boring blue.
  • Verified, re-verified, and triple-verified settings, etc. on the iPhone (let’s face it, there arean’t that many to begin with).

Of all my remaining problems the web Mail address book issue is the biggest. It makes web Mail difficult to use for new emails. Next in line would be Bookmark pushing. Not sure why the other three items push so well but Bookmarks do not. I get around this issue because Bookmark syncing with iTunes still works.

I should say that, when the pieces work, MobileMe is a thing of beauty. Now that the web sites are finally fixed, even in its current state it’s useful, and its potential when Apple gets everything ironed out is phenomenal.

There’s little question that, aside from me being the “1%” right now, Apple has come a long way in the MobileMe mess. That’s good. But there’s still more to fix and, frankly, I’d then need to see it functioning consistently for a while before I would breathe easy about this thing.

Finally, I was finishing this article when I noticed Apple’s MobileMe Support page says MMe will be down for maintenance for three hours starting tonight:

To implement the system they predicted six hours and it became around 41 (for me). Let’s hope this three hours doesn’t become 20. Seriously, I’m glad to see it’s going down for maintenance in that maybe some of the above will be rectified.

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6 thoughts on “MobileMe: It Sucks When You’re That 1%.

  1. My Mobileme account has been “currently unavailable” or down since at least 8am. Its now 6pm. Does anyone know a telephone number or email address where I can file a complaint? This is just ridiculous!

  2. Mobileme is the worst product. I have still not been able to sync my calendar properly. Furthermore, there is no proper support to handle my problem. I am truly disappointed. Is Apple becoming more like Microsoft?

  3. There is a setting on the iPhone at the very bottom of the Mail, Contacts, Calendar settings to select a Default Calendar.. not sure this helps with the problem you have though.

  4. My wife must be one of the infamous 1% – she has not been able to access any of her email at mac.com (er, me.com) since July 14th. mail.app returns various error messages when attempting to connect via IMAP, and, after she logs into the me.com webpage, her “Mail” page is blanks, except for te icons across the top. THe scariest thing is when she shows her Account Summary, it indicates that she is using 0kb of 512MB, she has (or had) all of her email on their system.

    Attempts at contacting Apple support have been useless. For the time being I’ve set her up with a gmail account, so she can send & receive email. It looks like Apple has lost a customer, since, she will have updated everyone on her new email address at gmail by the time they fix this. It’s a pity, we’ve been loyal and happy Apple customers since the Apple II+, and, had used mac.com since the beginning.

  5. One detail of the roll-out problems of MobileMe that seems to be missed in coverage is the fact that it does not work with Opera (Mac, Windows, or Linux, version 9.23 or 9.51.) If I try to logon to my existing DotMac account, I get an “unsupported browser” alert window urging me to use Safari or Firefox. Perhaps Apple should have fully tested their service to make it viewable with any browser on the market (http://www.anybrowser.org/campaign/), or contacted the company that wrote the Human Interface Guidelines for program development… their name escapes me for the moment.

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