Walt Mossberg has just reviewed Apple’s MobileMe, and his verdict was a resounding “pass”. His reasoning doesn’t even factor in the constant stream of problems the service has had since its launch. Instead, Mossberg focuses on the fact that content doesn’t actually “push” to Macs and PCs like most of us thought it did.
He also points out that calendars and address books are not synched into their main Outlook counterparts in Windows. Instead, MobileMe creates separate files that do not become immediately visible. Apple blames the problem on Microsoft’s software…but these issues are the least of a MobileMe subscribers worries at this point.
Right now you have to worry more about whether your actual email will even work! I find it extremely hard to believe that only 1% of Apple’s users are having trouble like they claim…there are just too many complaints online from individual people about these problems. I’m not saying it’s HALF of MobileMe users or anything, but 1% seems just a little too low for the wide spread nature of these issues.
The real question is – how long will this last? Personally, if I didn’t have some critical email that I need replies to on my .mac address, I’d have already left the service after these problems. They’ve gone on too long for something as essential as email to my job. Still, there is really nothing I can do but wait it out and hope for the best.
What about you?
Any idea which operating system, computer or browser Mossberg was checking this performance on? It seems from that video review he is basing his “PASS” opinion on the lack of INSTANT PUSH for Calendar and Contacts, and poor Web App performance.
As far as the lag with Calendars and Contacts go – I don’t see this as an issue. If I’m sitting at my Mac doing a test, sure it may take 15 minutes or so for the changes to be reflected. But in practical everyday use does that 15 minutes really matter? If I’m on the road and make a change on my iPhone to a calendar appointment or contact, do I care if the change happens right away? No, as long as the change is there by the time I get home and start using my Mac.
PUSH is obviously possible with these applications, it is more than likely a software issue with the desktop versions of iCal and Address Book, that Apple needs to update. Mail and MobileMe stay in sync almost immediately, but they have been designed to work together since day 1. Maybe iCal and Address Book just need to have a few lines of code added to them to recognize that the MobileMe server is pushing info to them. The Calendar and Contact apps on the iPhone are capable of recognizing that and grabbing the info quickly, maybe their desktop brethren will soon as well.
I think the photo gallery option is very cool! I was in Chicago the weekend of July 11th, snapping photos with my new 3G iPhone and uploading them to my MobileMe gallery. I took a picture of a friend freaking out at the observation deck at the Hancock building, and uploaded the photo from there – 930 feet above Michigan Ave in the open air patio portion of the observation deck. Friends and family around the country have access to that gallery address, and a couple of them called me while in Chicago, because they had looked at the gallery and saw that I was there having a good time.
I’ve been a Mac(dot)com subscriber for a few years and have always liked the service. I think the MobileMe service is performing wonderfully for me. Have there been times in the past week when my email service has been down – sure. But when I had a Yahoo!, MSN or AOL email account, I remember a lot of outages with their services as well. When the servers have maintenance procedure being performed, you don’t get your email. That is not specific to Apple or MobileMe, but to EVERY email server.
Call me an Apple Fanboy if you must, but I HIGHLY recommend MobileMe!
I gotta say, I haven’t had a single problem with MobileMe since it officially switched. I give them an extra day or so after their transisition. Since then my iDisk has been syncing faster. Push support for my iPhone works great. My mail hasn’t had a single issue, I even recently transferred the bulk of my email to it, so I don’t have duplicates between home and work. However my biggest problem with the service starts and ends with iSync.
It sucks. Big time.
I set it to automatic, and sometimes it will say last sync was 4 hours ago, thanks Apple, that sure is automatic. Other times I found that manually syncing it didn’t even sync some information sometimes even when it says it is. Now I know they don’t have push support for it yet, which would be nice in the future, but I see that being a bigger problem for Apple hence the lack of support. For example iSync handles a lot more than just Email/Contacts/Calendars. If they add desktop push support, they need to add push support for all the features, such as Notes, Preferences, Keychains, Dock Items, Widgets, ect. I for one would LOVE push support for dashboard as that initial load is always a pain in the ass, and I don’t think its an unreasonable request to have. It will come one day but it won’t stop me from using MobileMe, I love the service, I use my iDisk and Mail heavily and it works great for me.
Lets just cross our fingers push desktop support won’t require 10.6 like exchange support will.
My biggest gripe with Mobile Me is the very reason I purchased it: Video gallery. It takes forever for Final Cut Express or iMovieHD to push a video the Mobile Me and then you cannot play it back. It will stream for a few minutes and then die. I know for a fact that it’s not my connection. I have 100mb ethernet directly to Cox. I’ve also tried this from work where we have a 100mb connection to Savvis. Same result. So far Mobile Me has been a huge disappointment. I, for one, will not be renewing.