You know MobileMe, right? For $99 a year, MobileMe syncs your iPad, iPhone, Mac and PC all together, making sure your contacts, calendars and e-mail is all working in glorious harmony. There’s also an online gallery, iDisk – a version of Dropbox by Apple – and Find My iPhone. The price seems a little bit high at first, but I’ve been a member since I got my first iPhone, because it’s the only reliable syncing program I’ve found so far. I just renewed when I got my iPad, which dropped $30 off the price.
Apple has just announced that there’s a new beta version of MobileMe Mail, available for sign up by current MobileMe members. I’ve signed up, but I imagine that a metric ton of people have done the same. We’ll see how that goes.
So what’s coming down the pike?
Widescreen and compact views. When reading your mail at me.com, the new widescreen view lets you see more of each message with less scrolling. Choose compact view to hide your folders or classic view to see more of your message list.
Rules to keep your email organized everywhere. Mail rules help you reduce inbox clutter by automatically filing messages into folders you select ahead of time. Set them up at me.com, and your rules organize your incoming email on the web and everywhere else â€” on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.
Single-click archiving. Click the Archive button and the selected message is quickly filed into the Archive folder where it’s always available for future reference.
Formatting toolbar. You can create great-looking email messages using formatting buttons to bold or italicize text, change font color, insert images, and more. You can even create formatted web links to hide long URLs.
Improved performance. Mail at me.com loads your inbox and messages faster. And with interface refinements such as the ability to scroll through your entire inbox without having to manually click to load the next set of messages, you’ll be able to work more efficiently.
Increased security with SSL. With the MobileMe Mail beta, accessing your email on the web is more secure than ever. Your inbox is protected to prevent anyone from eavesdropping on your webmail. As always, you receive SSL protection when you use your MobileMe Mail account on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.
The new view looks very similar to the iPad version, which is a welcome change. As for the rest, these all seem like positive improvements to me, so I hope I’m chosen for the beta.
Interestingly enough, there have been some rumors about the service recently. Mac Daily News is claiming that MobileMe might be going free in coming weeks. This is a mixed bag for me. My MobileMe service is good until October 2011, so I’d want some kind of credit or something at least for that remaining time. On the flip side, I’d sign my wife up for the program right away, and suggest it to everyone I know with an iPhone.
Thing is, I’m not sure Apple would pull this trigger. I don’t know what kind of revenue MobileMe is bringing in, but it’s got to pale in comparison to those iPad and iPhone numbers. Throwing it in makes the phones even more attractive to buyers, and puts them up against other free e-mail providers like Hotmail and Gmail, but with more added features. This could be a very good thing for Apple and consumers, the question here is whether or not it could ever happen.