Mobile Me Review

July 29, 2008

SMH review of mobileme

Review: Mobileme
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David Pogue
July 28, 2008

MobileMe: services used to be called .Mac.

Price $119 a year
Rating 4.5 out of 5

Apple’s new MobileMe service is an overhaul of a suite of internet features that used to be called .Mac and was a sort of motley, unfocused service. MobileMe, however, has a much clearer mission that solves a much clearer problem.

It’s meant to keep email, calendars, address books and web bookmarks on all your computers – Macs, Windows PCs, iPhones and iPod touches – synchronised in real time. It works by storing the master copy of all this information on the internet. When your machines are online, they connect to the mother ship and update themselves. When you edit an address on your iPhone, you’ll find the same change in the address book on your Mac and Outlook on your PC. If you send an email reply from your PC at the office, you’ll find it in your sent mail folder on the Mac at home.

It’s true that MobileMe’s debut was a disaster. There were bugs, glitches and error messages for days, making it one of the most ham-handed launches in Apple history. But once you’ve got it working, MobileMe’s magic is impressive. Make a change on your Mac, watch it appear on your iPhone and your PC. There’s also a fourth place where you can work with your data: on the web.

At, Apple has built attractive and ad-free online versions of your address book, calendar, email program and photo-organising programs. These have the fluidity and shortcuts of desktop software. You can drag and drop messages into email folders, flip through photos with the mouse, drag vertically to create appointments on your calendar’s timeline, hit the enter key instead of clicking OK with your mouse, and so on.

Despite its rocky start, MobileMe stands to solve a messy problem for many people. Anyone who owns more than one computer or smartphone is already familiar with the dread of having out-of-sync data. It’s also great to know that the latest versions of your life’s most important databases (mail, appointments, address book) are always backed up in a place that’s safe from fire, flood or theft.


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