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 me.com 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.