Good article on Apple’s MobileMe service.
Apple has finally assembled a set of features for its hosted MobileMe service that makes it worth its subscription fee for the right user. As a critic of the service in the past, I find myself with naught but praise these days.
I agree with the author. I was a critic of MobileMe when it first transitioned from MobileMe. In fact, I was critical of it before the bigger guns joined in. But over the course of nearly a year and a half it has become an indispensable tool I rely on daily.
Take a look at the chart below. Spanning three Macs, three iPhones, an iPod touch, and three PCs, look at all the information MobileMe is holding together for me:
The purple Ws denote using the web interface, the red Xs denotes using Webdav disk or other method to access documents on iDisk.
Notice that there’s one component I choose to keep consistent across every item: calendars. It’s amazing that any change made on any of the 10 devices will show up on the others in just a minute or two. Yes, it “just works”.
And setup is a breeze. Tying this all together was little more than visiting a system preference on the Macs, logging into MobileMe, and checking a few boxes. On the iPhone it’s pretty much the same, and on the PC there’s a MobileMe control panel to install. You set, then forget, it just keeps in sync after that; I never have to think about it.
I’m not even using every sync feature. I could also sync Dashboard widgets and Preferences across the Macs. I don’t do so only because the varying screen sizes means I use different widgets and prefs on these machines.
Further, I use other features not listed on the chart, like the excellent “Find my iPhone”, and the ability to wipe data off a device. I have these features enabled on all four mobile devices. It’s great.
Some people balk at MobileMe because they claim Google or Yahoo or Microsoft provide email, contacts and calendars for free. True, but MobileMe does so using powerful native apps on Macs and the iPhone, and is so much more than just email anyway.
Bottom line is I’d have to collect numerous third-party apps (e.g., mail, drop box, Google sync, etc.) to try to get all the above items in sync, and they still wouldn’t cover all the bases or be anywhere near as easy to administer. I consider MobileMe a bargain, and can’t imagine my computing/mobile life without it.