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My impressions of MobileMe

by Philip Sellers

Its been a little while since MobileMe has been released and the dust has started the settle. There was a lot of attention to the botched launch and even the Steve has weighed in on it with an internal email circulated through Apple. And while the launch had major issues, the service is really impressive.

I should start with a disclaimer – I’m a rather light user at this point. However, that said, the service is working fantastic for me. The web applications rival that of Google, in my opinion. The calendaring application is particularly slick. It mimics the workings of iCal very well within a web browser.

The Mail web app is nice, but nothing to jump up and down about. I didn’t use my .Mac email much – I had already become a strong user of my Gmail before I subscribed, but it is what it is – email. I also like the new @me.com email address.

Now, I subscribed to .Mac after Steve intro’d the .Mac galleries at MacWorld. That was really the kill tool for me and my family. I’m a big fan of the photo/video gallery and particularly the integration into iPhoto. My collection of 11,000+ photos in iPhoto is probably one of my largest collection. So, being able to share these easily online was important. I had been using Gallery2 (and I’ve continued to update it with photos also), but I really love the sleek interface of the .Mac > now MobileMe Gallery.

The MobileMe transition brought the ability to manage the galleries through the web app. I really like this, because not everyone has a central repository. Say for instance you’re traveling, you can still post new galleries or manage existing ones online now. This is a huge enhancement for me.

And the ability to post videos from iMovie is a nice feature I really enjoy. The iMovie integration with MobileMe Gallery, even YouTube and iTunes is fantastic.

But my favorite feature of MobileMe is the contacts sync, share and push. I really like being able to update information once and push over the air to my Macs and the online address book. My contact management really improved once I bought the iPhone, but now coupling it with MobileMe makes it exceptional. I would really like to see Notes or maybe some Getting Things Done type app added across the board.

iDisk remained the same, just got a boost from the additional storage. I really wish Apple could come up with a really innovative online backup solution. I think that Time Machine is great and an good home network solution, but something within MobileMe would be outstanding. Some sort of block level solution which stores each block of a file online once with pointers for each user that has that data users could greatly reduce the amount of storage needed, while providing a full backup of data to every MobileMe subscriber. Couple that with TimeMachine as the interface for an over the air backup and they’d have an amazing offering. Who cares if its just a Mac solution. You can’t save them all, Steve…

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