MobileMe ftw
March 2, 2009 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Make me love MobileMe. How do YOU use it?

I'm half-way through a 60 day free trial of MobileMe. So far I'm not really impressed. Convince me to stay with it. Tell me why I need it.

I tried it not because I see any need but because I was curious. I have a very established Flickr page that I am not unhappy with in the least. I have my own domain and know how to use FTP so when I need to move large files around, I have a way (although MM does make it pretty easy).
I can sync contacts and calendars between my iPhone with my iMac using iTunes (and have yet to successfully do so using MobileMe--very buggy or disabled?). I have no need/desire to sync my personal machines with my box at work.

I think I don't need this, but I'm very curious to see whether & how any of you tech-savvy folks have put MM to good use.
posted by mds35 to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I use it to maintain my email address. Remember, "iTools will always be free." Oh, wait. For $50 a year I'd be happy. As it is, I kick myself every 12 months. Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear.

Put $99/yr aside for a few years, then buy something awesome.
posted by reeddavid at 9:17 PM on March 2, 2009

The only reason we continue to pay for it is the syncing between multiple Macs. Two laptops and a desktop would be a nightmare to sync without it. If there are any (easy) alternatives I'm all ears.
posted by acorncup at 9:19 PM on March 2, 2009

If there are any (easy) alternatives I'm all ears.

A bunch of people have gotten sick of MobileMe bugginess and jumped ship for Dropbox.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:26 PM on March 2, 2009

You don't need it. I am not looking forward to having to change my email address when I am no longer able to afford the $99 per year. Quite the rip-off when free services, for the most part, outperform Apple's sad offering.
posted by seiryuu at 11:46 PM on March 2, 2009

Previously (but with poor tags)

For the benefit of those above: MacWorld's Alternatives to MobileMe
posted by hgws at 12:41 AM on March 3, 2009

My feeling about MobileMe (and (Dot)Mac and to a lesser extent iTools before it) is that it's there to provide an integrated, It Just Works kind of service for people who don't want to deal with setting things up themselves. If you're comfortable enough with computers to find a third party host, let alone have your own domain or (gasp!) use FTP, then I don't think you really need/want MobileMe. On the other hand, Apple wants to be able to sell DAV-based technologies to people who really, really don't want to learn about scary nerd stuff like "domain names" or "urls", and MobileMe is how they do that.
posted by hattifattener at 12:46 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I did the 90 free days, didn't see the point or value.

I use Foxmarks for my bookmarks on many PCs and Macs, some GCals for work and home schedules, and I guess my contacts are only synched when I dock my iPod at one of the two Macs I use it with, but that all seems to work fine without MobileMe.

I've never liked any webmail or had much use for such a small amount of cloud file-sharing (and it's so painfully slow for any real volume). I have a Mac at home that I share over the internet for files and backups and such when traveling.

So I just let it expire and haven't missed anything. So don't feel like you're missing something if you don't find value there, either.
posted by rokusan at 2:50 AM on March 3, 2009

Iphone sync. To get 'cloud' background syncing working:
Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars> pick your .mac account> turn on contacts, calendars and bookmarks.

*Be warned -it'll wipe whats on the phone when you do this.. Make sure you do one last 'hard' sync first...and backup your calendars/address book, just in case.

But after that, anytime you change anything anywhere (mac, iphone) it gets auto updated everywhere; this seriously reduces your need to sync, beyond new music/podcasts.

Mobile me 'desktop' - address book, calendars, mail, all online with your past history....which means if I go to work, get a generic machine, I can check my email, change a contact info from that email...and it's on my iphone...and when I get home, it's on my mac already.

A mail feature that nobody seems to know about is aliases - you can create up to 5 aliases for your email (like Sign up to all those dumb newsleters or places where people ask for your email; as soon as you seen spam, you can throw it away.

As long as we're talking about sync'ing - I have my dock items, keychains, mail accounts + rules + prefs synced via the mobile me part of my mac's system prefs.

If my laptop gets stolen, all I have to do is fill in my info, and it'll pull all that down. If I have two macs, they sync this stuff (don't underestimate the advantage of syncing a keychain - passwords, etc on multiple machines)

The iDisk upload is frustrating, but once uploaded (and I use cyberduck which utilizes webdav for resumable uploads.) It's easy for me to provide large and small files to people without them having to learn any FTP stuff (or use a web bridge that can't resume an upload...)

But I can go to any computer and grab these files (with >10 gig of storage)

Most of the iLife apps have something cool going on...
iWeb - completely transparent, 'easy' web publishing (including blogging.) Yes, I could do all of this myself (or use a CMS solution- both of which I do), but for my personal blog it's dead easy to use iWeb.

iPhoto - instead of a flickr account - I get nicer flash based web gallieries. The only real negative is NOT being a member of a community here. But, I can take a shot from my iphone, upload it, while away, it shows up in the gallery and then when I launch iphoto, it pulls that picture into the iphoto library.

Yes, you can get piecemeal all of this stuff - but it's so 'apple' how well this works. There's no real thought behind getting it to work. Just turn it on.
posted by filmgeek at 3:10 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Regarding "it just works" I beg to differ. Try syncing iCal subscriptions.
posted by mds35 at 4:19 AM on March 3, 2009

Google will now sync calendars and contacts to the iPhone, over the air, for free.
posted by Area Control at 6:30 AM on March 3, 2009

I use the to backup my documents folder daily to my iDisk. I use the email alias function. The public folder for sharing big documents. I guess most important is that it synchronizes between my laptop and desktop and in doing so is a backup of things like passwords, contacts and bookmarks. I use it to publish a blog from iWeb and I publish a lot of photos from Aperture - I like Apple's latest online gallery design.
posted by conrad53 at 8:21 AM on March 3, 2009

Regarding "it just works" I beg to differ. Try syncing iCal subscriptions.

Not sure what you mean here, but just a note, me and the wife use Backpack to sync our calendars with the 3 macs, phones and ipods. It works great and is hassle free.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on March 3, 2009

Regarding "it just works" I beg to differ. Try syncing iCal subscriptions.

I beg to differ. In our family we sync seven calendars over five macs. Flawless.

And buy MobileMe subscriptions from a large internet retailer that starts with "A". You'll save almost a third. At less than six bucks a month, it's just not worth the hassle of rolling my own solutions.
posted by dinger at 4:40 PM on March 3, 2009

I'm a huge mac fan, and I finally gave up on mobileme.

In this case 'it just works' means 'I don't want to bother'. With almost every feature a free option is better.

Just one example, dropbox is light years ahead of idisk. Anyone not realizing this (like filmgeek) has either never tried dropbox ,can't be bothered, or is clueless.

Dump it. If it ever improves, you can always go back.
posted by gtr at 12:59 AM on March 4, 2009

I pay $20 a year for my share in a MobileMe family account. If you look on eBay people always selling accounts on the cheap. So if it's not worth $100/year to you, it might be worth $20 or $50.
posted by chunking express at 8:53 AM on March 4, 2009

And as to your question, I like the over the air sync of my calender and address book. I use the web apps at work to update and check calender and address book. I also have an iPhone, but typing out events or new contacts on a computer is easier than on the phone.

I use the push email address for notification type emails. So twitter direct messages are sent to that address, so they are pushed to my phone. Same with other email alerts. I don't use the address as my actual email address, because I have no control over that domain.

iDisk is a poor mans Dropbox. Dropbox is better in every way I can think of. I have a Flickr pro account, so the gallery is lame. I have my own web space, so I don't need the web space.
posted by chunking express at 8:58 AM on March 4, 2009

Response by poster: Cool and thanks, all. I dropped MobileMe. Will stick to Flickr and have signed up with DropBox.
posted by mds35 at 7:53 AM on March 11, 2009

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