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Mossberg: MobileMe a pass, for now

updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu July 24, 2008

Mossberg on MobileMe

People should probably avoid Apple's MobileMe service, at least for the time being, writes tech columnist Walt Mossberg. He notes that in theory it should be extremely useful, bringing corporate-level sync functions to the public. Moreover, he says, it not only syncs Macs, PCs, iPhones and iPods, it includes 20GB of remote storage and a host of online applications.

Having tested the service for a week though, Mossberg says he cannot recommend MobileMe in its present state. The issue is not with the service's numerous technical problems, he comments, but its underlying design. Mossberg observes that in attempting sync two Macs, two Dell PCs and two iPhones, he discovered that while content changes made through an iPhone or propagate instantly to a computer, in reverse, they take a minimum of 15 minutes and sometimes longer.

The website is said to be sluggish, and sometimes calendar entries may simply fail to load. Users may also have manually refresh the site to see changes made for other devices, and the web-based file storage page is said to have produced error messages on both Dell systems.

Mossberg further points out that calendars and address books are not synched into their main Outlook counterparts in Windows. Instead MobileMe creates separate files which are not immediately visible, a problem which Apple blames on Microsoft's software. Other problems are said to include slow and/or incomplete contact sync with iPhones, messages being removed from sync when divided into local folders, and botched bookmark sharing. MobileMe is simply "too ragged" to recommend, Mossberg concludes.

by MacNN Staff



  1. UpQuark

    Joined: Dec 1969


    he is right on...

    If I didn't already have .mac (now mobileme) I wouldn't jump on this waggon just yet.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does anyone else hate him

    I think mossberg is an old piece of c*** that just likes to complain. Seriously, why do people listen to him - he is older than dirt. Old people don't know jack about computers.

  1. MacnTX

    Joined: Dec 1969



    He's right. I had .mac and the migration to MobileMe was a very painful one. Push e-mail flat out didn't work on my iPhone at all until a full 8 days after the change over.

    I must say though that everything is currently working just fine for me now, but I still wouldn't recommend it to anyone else until Apple gets all of the bugs ironed out. It does have a lot of potential and it's great when it actually works.

  1. mr.mouse

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Email Addresses

    I like the idea of the Mobile Me thing, i.e. a cloud, in principle. However, there is one very big reason that I won't sign up, and that reason is shared by others if the threads on Apple's Discussions section of their web site are to be believed: and that is the fact that you can't use your own domain for emails - i.e.

    Many people who have been using their own domains for email for years, are not going to give that up and switch to a locked-in addresss. I say locked in, because you can't cancel your Mobile Me subscription in the future and take your Mobile Me address with you. At least with Google, Yahoo and Hotmail the email is free so being stuck with those email addresses does not cost anything.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    .Mac users

    Too bad .Mac users didn't have an option. I've been having issues since the transition and I'm feeling ripped off. Never got any extension to my services and I'm paying for buggy and faulty service. There should be some protection in place for customers, so we're not taken advantage of.

  1. leamanc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @Guest: Re: Mossberg

    Guest, Mossberg is one of the biggest Mac supporters in the world of journalism. He has praised OS X as the greatest OS on the planet, and the iMac as the perfect computer for most any user. Apple frequently uses his quotes in their advertising. So to now say that nobody listens to him is just wrong.
    His assessment of MobileMe is very accurate. MacNN's spin on it is wrong though. They say he doesn't recommend it "not because of any technical problems" but then goes on to describe all the technical problems that are the reason he can't recommend it.

  1. jvputten

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I appreciate the inclusion of the Mossberg video in this article, but it doesn't tell us anything we don't already know about the transition from .Mac to MobileMe.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I still can't get iCal to sync. My calendars are stuck in Mobile Me somewhere... I can't transfer the info back into iCal! Service since the transition has been anything but simply.

  1. Ricardo J. Parada

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It works for me

    It works for me. My Dad had trouble but the problem turned out to be that he had not set it up correctly and his iPhone was an old iPhone that my brother gave him after upgrading to the iPhone 3G. So what I did was make him sure all his contacts were right in Mobile Me. The we switched his computer to manual sync and used the advanced panel to replace his contacts with the ones from Mobile Me. Then we switched to automatic sync.

    Then on the iPhone side I restored the software on it which then copied his contacts from his computer. Then we set up his iPhone to do a push of contacts/calendars/etc.

    And now it works.

    Anyways, I desperately wanted push contacts and calendars even if it's not true push from my desktop. I hope this works better in the future but I'm happy I got this feature TODAY.

  1. dmsimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cloud in the sky

    One of Apple's critiques is they make every concept dumb down. I think "The Cloud" is an example of this. It's a bit of a God-complex, and narcissistic for sure.

    You can be all of those things, Apple. Just make sure you follow through with your product promises.

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