Goodbye MobileMe, Welcome iCloud | IT With IQ

Goodbye MobileMe, Welcome iCloud

. July 6, 2012 . 0 Comments

Goodbye MobileMe, Welcome iCloud

Back at the turn of the century, (sounds funny to say that, but I’m referring to the early 2000’s), Steve jobs was really getting his feet wet back at Apple. He set forward some far-reaching goals, not the least of which was staking a claim in the burgeoning world of the internet.  Far ahead of companies that would become his major rivals (specifically Google), Apple started a plan for internet integration with computers.

These were the days well before Facebook, and Google.  These were the days when AOL ruled the roost.  And it was in this environment that apple launched iTools, a system of programs that allowed computers to sync data, photos, a free .Mac email address, and other ground-breaking tools.

In 2002 iTools was discontinued and was renamed .Mac.  New features were added, some old features enhanced, an online backup tool was added, and the service gathered momentum.  For it’s time period, .Mac was an amazing step forward.  It fulfilled some of the true promise of the internet in a day before powerful websites were commonplace.  It supported IMAP technology for email long before it became the standard.  It featured easy cloud data storage well before dropbox.  It even allowed easy sharing of photos, and creation of basic homepages before MySpace and Facebook were household words.

In 2008, as part of the marketing campaign to push the 2nd generation iPhone, Apple changed the name again, turning .Mac into .Me.  They figured since more and more PC users were buying iPhones, that those PC users would be less likely to pay for a service that gave them a .Mac email address.  So the name was changed, but that wasn’t all.

This was the point where Steve Jobs and Apple made their furthest reaching technological stretch.  They billed MobileMe as an advanced wireless tool for synching your calendars, contacts, notes and more between all your macs, and iPhones.  They added a web gallery feature for publishing a basic website using the iWeb application.  They added capability to publish web photo galleries to share your pictures with all your friends (this was in the days before Facebook took photo sharing and social networking to new heights), and they essentially put MobileMe up on a pedestal as the next great technology.

Needless to say, it couldn’t live up to the hype.  Right off the bat MobileMe was clearly not ready for primetime.  There are stories of Steve Jobs being so furious at the many failures of MobileMe that he publicly humiliated and fired one of the chief executives responsible for the technology. There were data duplications, data losses, and many many frustrations.  As a fulltime computer tech, I became well versed in the many problems of MobileMe, and also well versed in the many solutions.  And I spent dozens and dozens of hours perfecting my skills at minimizing the damage caused by MobileMe.

Finally, on October 12, 2011 the other shoe dropped, and Apple officially released iCloud, and announced that MobileMe would be discontinued on June 30, 2012.  iCloud is more than just a name change.  It is a complete ground up redesign of the concept, and rather than MobileMe’s $99/year price tag, iCloud is free.

It features ultimate synchronization between devices like the iPads and iPhone, to computers like the iMac and the MacBook Pro.  iCloud promises to keep all your data synched up across all your devices seamlessly.  It’s a little early to truly say whether iCloud will live up to it’s promise, but there is no doubt that it’s off to a great start.  In the 9 months since it was released I have seen my frustration around data synchronization shrink to about 10% of the levels they were at during the heyday of MobileMe.  And for the most part, my calendars and contacts sync flawlessly.  As for the data storage element, the ability to save your documents on the cloud for easy access to all your data from all your devices, that promise is still a ways off.  Until Apple fully integrates iCloud with non-Apple apps like Microsoft Office, I will continue to use Dropbox and other solutions to fill those gaps, but I have seen the future of data-integration, and it’s name is iCloud.

For more information about iCloud, click here to read up on it from apple’s website.  And for any help with getting the most out of iCloud today, or in the future, contact me directly at 310-699-3864, or email me at and I’ll help you get on the right track.

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Category: The Mac Whisperer

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