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Is MobileMe the .Mac Replacement We All Hope It Will Be

Have you ever been a .Mac Subscriber? I was. And on the whole, it was a fairly pleasant painless experience. But, for $99 it seemed like I could solve most if not all of the .Mac features with other services (often free services). But MobileMe could be the answer to all that.

The Old Features

The greatest thing about the old .Mac service was the natural behind the scenes integration with your Mac software. The iLife suite, system preferences, and many independently developed applications all had ways to either publish straight to the .Mac service or synchronize across computers through your .Mac service.

The problem was speed and reliability. I quit using the features of my .Mac acocunt long before they expired because they were simply too much of a pain to use. iDisk was slow and I wouldn’t always be able to connect.

The New Features

Of course the new name is because of the new features. Instead of a set of tools that helps you keep your Mac synced, it is now a set of tools that helps you integrate your mobile self.

They’ve doubled the amount of storage you get for mail and iDisk Storage. Instead of a manual or scheduled sync, your calendar, email, and contacts push their changes from device to device. They’ve also included web versions of all of the applications so you can access your mobile stuff any time and any where you have web access.

The Obstacles

My biggest complaint about the .Mac service was speed and reliability. $99 wasn’t too much for a service that worked, but for something that didn’t quite work, even free would be too much.

One of the other possible problems for iPhone users is going to be battery life. With a constant IP connection, what kind of battery life is the phone going to be left with. The Keynote only lists 5-6 hours of high-speed internet surfing. If perpetual connection only takes 25% of the battery life of surfing, that’s still only leaving 20-24 hours of use. Of course this sounds like all day, but as anyone with a cell phone knows, an hour of speaking not only reduces the talk time but the standby time as well.

I guess we have to wait and see some real life numbers. Personally I would like to see that “Exchange for the rest of us” line actually apply to the rest of us. I would love to have the option of having MobileMe to sync my multiple computers and have it push contacts, calendar, and email to my Blackberry or Windows Mobile Phone just like exchange.

What do you think? Are you already a .Mac subscriber looking forward to the free upgrade? Do you think they left something out?


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