updated 06:40 am EDT, Tue September 20, 2005
Apple updates .Mac
Apple today announced an , its membership-based online service designed to facilitate group communication and for sharing, storing and protecting digital photos and videos. New features include: .Mac Groups, a service that helps members communicate, coordinate schedules and stay in sync with private groups of friends or colleagues; an updated version of .Mac Backup software that makes it easy for members to archive their iLife and other important files; a four-fold increase in combined iDisk and email storage to 1GB for individuals and 2GB for families; and full French and German localization.
".Mac provides the simple and elegant online experience consumers expect from Apple," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of Applications Marketing. "By tapping into the power of the Internet from within the applications they use the most, .Mac members around the globe have discovered a better way to experience the Internet."
.Mac Groups allow users to easily create private, ad-free online communities that make it easy for family, friends and private groups to communicate, coordinate and share digital media. With .Mac Groups, members can send emails to the entire group using a single address; post files, pictures and movies with a common group iDisk; publish group web pages and post links to other sites; and keep up-to-date with the latest group events with a shared iCalŪ calendar.
.Mac members now have four times more online storage space than before to host their email messages, documents and digital media files. Storage for individual members has increased to 1GB of combined email and iDisk space, .Mac Family Pack customers now receive 2GB of combined storage. Members can utilize their storage any way they choose dedicating more or less storage space to email or their iDisk. Individuals or Family Pack members can optionally purchase an additional 1GB of storage for $50
In addition to these new features, other .Mac services include: HomePage for creating personal web sites with just a few clicks; iDisk for access to files from anywhere at any time; .Mac Sync for syncing Safari bookmarks, iCal calendars, Address Book information, keychains (passwords), and Mac OS X Mail preferences up-to-date across multiple Macs and available via web browser when users are away from their Mac; .Mac Mail for ad-free email service; and Learning Center, featuring tutorials for popular Apple software applications.
Enhancements to .Mac allow third-party access to HomePage, iDisk, Mail and iCal--using groups of friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Members are also given more online storage space to house their growing digital media assets.
.Mac is available as a subscription-based service for $100 per year for individuals and $180 for a Family Pack which includes one master account and five sub accounts. Customers save $30 (US) on either the individual subscription or the Family Pack when purchased with a new Mac and anyone can sign up for a free, 60-day .Mac trial.