Apple plans major MobileMe revamp for April launch; prior version to be phased out in a year | iLounge News

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Apple plans major MobileMe revamp for April launch; prior version to be phased out in a year

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Apple is set to announce a new, free version of MobileMe next month, according to a trusted iLounge source. The source, who works for a major educational institution, claims the school’s supplier has said the current version of MobileMe is no longer available, and that Apple is suggesting new students sign up for the 60-day trial to cover the gap between the final MobileMe shipment and the launch of the new version. In addition, the source was told that Apple will be supporting the existing version of MobileMe for the next year, suggesting that the new version will be quite different from the existing service; the extra year of support would likely cover those who recently paid for a full year of MobileMe, prior to Apple removing any method through which a user could pay for the service. Recent reports have suggested that the revamped service will position it as a free online, cloud-based “locker” for content such as photos, videos, and music.

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Comments

1

The service sounds great. The question is: will it be _free_ as reported earlier?

Posted by Clint on March 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM (CDT)

2

Oh my, what are they going to do to me now?  MobileMe in it’s current state is exactly what I need and want.  I’m happy to pay a family account, and an account for work as well. 

Is the existing product so non-profitable that they can’t let it exist for the happy customers?

Posted by Jim Petersen on March 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM (CDT)

3

What about all of my existing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) mailbox ids?

Posted by Tim on March 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM (CDT)

4

I agree with Jim. I love the current MobileMe and I’m happy to pay for it because it keeps ads out and means I’m the customer instead of the product.

I hope it doesn’t veer too far off course.

Posted by Mike Brewer on March 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM (CDT)

5

Does this mean MobileMe will no longer “Exchange for the rest of us,” as Apple advertised when it launched the iPhone 3G?

Posted by Farnsworth on March 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM (CDT)

6

BTW whatever Apple has planned, they are playing it very close to the vest. The MobileMe section of the Apple site is still there, and still offering a free 60-day trial with $99/$149 (individual/family) pricing thereafter.

Posted by Farnsworth on March 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM (CDT)

7

It sounds to me like this “staffer” is simply an employee of their campus computer store and is referring to boxed copies of MobileMe, and didn’t realize you can still buy MobileMe online.

Posted by Gustav on March 18, 2011 at 1:56 PM (CDT)

8

For those of you that are saying you like the paid accounts…really? What is Apple offering you that you can’t get for free somewhere else? Email? Cloud storage? Picture storage? Google does all of that for free, as do other services. The only advantage of MobileMe was the “Find my iDevice” “Remote Wipe” service, and it isn’t worth what you are paying for it.

I’ll be glad to see the “free” service and hope that is has at least as much as was offered to paying member before. Maybe there will be “tiered accounts”, where you can buy additional services. That, to me, has the greatest value (well, that and cloud storage of my iTunes).

Posted by Dave on March 18, 2011 at 2:28 PM (CDT)

9

@8-
I am paying for a MobileMe Family Pack. I have been hoping that Apple would drop the fee to get on par with Google (and many other cloud service providers). But with that, I also do not want some big influx of ads. Many of the “free” services do litter their product with ads. If Apple can stay ad free…I am all for it. However, I would certainly pay a minimal fee to be ad free.

I guess I am looking more to a two tiered option. Free services that will most likely have less storage and iAds, or a paid (hopefully under $50/year) that offers a little more storage and NO iAds.

Either way, I am glad Apple is conscious of this need to cater to those that are finding free alternatives.

Posted by Mitch on March 18, 2011 at 3:25 PM (CDT)

10

Free Mobile Me seems like a good option to fight Google. Google’s subscription cloud of tight Android integration is a great attraction away from iOS. Ads don’t seem to be a major problem. I hardly notice them. MobileMe is far too expensive and a minority service to boot.

Posted by MegaWoop on March 18, 2011 at 4:06 PM (CDT)

11

#8: There’s no such thing as “free.” There is always a price. Google is a for-profit corporation, not a charity; one day, they will collect.

And like #9 and others have said, having zero ads is worth more than zero dollars.

Posted by Farnsworth on March 18, 2011 at 4:47 PM (CDT)

12

What do I lose going from paid service to free?

Posted by Eric Schatz on March 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM (CDT)

13

I’m leery of free services, they have to generate revenue someplace. I like MobileMe and have the full meal deal, a family plan and max storage. My MobileMe bill is about $250/year for my family. I also pay for DropBox and Evernote.

I hope they don’t go free, or at least totally free. They can afford to give some services away. I don’t free, I want more. I want more space, better calendar syncing, and more collaboration tools. I want top drawer services on my iPad. All these wants takes money and I don’t mind paying.

I have an Android cell phone and I’m so sick of free. My phone if full of crapware and the ads are annoying. I’ve found little that is free that I want. If it’s good, I’ll pay for a premium version.

Posted by Mark on March 18, 2011 at 7:00 PM (CDT)

14

I just want to keep my email address and syncing. I have no interest in adding another layer of software to the process of keeping my addressbook and calandars in sync. I have no interest _at all_ in having something like my iTunes library stored in the cloud. For one thing it is currently over 600Gb for another I like having all of my data stored locally, remote backups are fine but there is no way I will ever make my primary (much less my only) storage be online. What happens when you are in a place with no signal? Or what about when your internet service goes out for a day or two (or you move to a new place)? Are you going to sit in Starbucks all day using a public connection for everything? This whole move towards putting all of your data online is terrible, for one thing if you put everybit of your data in the hands of Google or Apple, or any other company what happens when they suddenly decide to charge you a huge fee to access it? Or maybe you end up with an internet provider who decides to block that company (after all it seems there will be no net neturality rules in the US anytime soon).

Posted by theMikeSwan on March 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM (CDT)

15

If they would integrate iWork.com into the MobileMe site it would have a lot more appeal to me and provide a better alternative to Google Apps with an integrated desktop alternative that works better than Skydrive version from M/S.

Posted by Harold on March 18, 2011 at 7:30 PM (CDT)

16

I’m also leery of a free MobileMe. It was free once, and it was called iTools. Despite Apple’s poor cloud reputation now, it was way ahead of its time. If you used a Mac, you got free iDisk, web hosting, email, etc.

Despite being “free for life,” Apple yanked the free accounts when they rebranded it as .Mac and started charging. I bounced between email services until I got an invite for Gmail beta, and I’ve been with them very since.

Posted by Josh on March 18, 2011 at 9:47 PM (CDT)

17

@13. I have no idea what you are talking about.

I’ve been on google apps for ages, but due to the fact that I barely use the web interface, I don’t see no ads. Mail, calendar, contacts and notes sync very well to my iPhone and iPad. Apple created a great integration.
Current MobileMe, paid version, does not even come close to offering what free google apps offers. Everything available to my whole family on my own domain name.

@15. Agree, add the more business/functional part to the service and it may become more attractive to me. But again, also here, make it work only own domain name.

Posted by RC on March 18, 2011 at 10:41 PM (CDT)

18

Apple says that it will continue “supporting” paid customers for a year after the announcement of the new MobileMe, that tells me that the new version will be inferior in some ways (not only because of the ads) and might make us miss the old version…

Posted by VK on March 19, 2011 at 1:40 AM (CDT)

19

A full free service is a good good thing.
Mobileme me need of an haight speed connection to be full avaible.
Not alla mobile networks can support very well all the mobileme me function as photo sync.
So I was a ee user ma I not became a pay user.
Perhaps a full free mobileme can move me and all people like me to apple cloud.

Anyway I think that this release of the apple cloud is not full for my needs, for me all the iTunes function will be on the clouds.
If it’s not became i’ll continue to use flickr, gmail, and itunes.

Posted by Renato on March 19, 2011 at 3:54 AM (CDT)

20

I guess we’d all like something for nothing, and having MobileMe free rather than the annual subscription I currently pay sounds good.
But I am actually happy with the services I get from my MobileMe account and hope a free service does not compromise this.

However, I can see Apple being smart and using the MobileMe service as a ‘loss leader’ to help promote and sell it hardware products.

Posted by Cyberman in nr Heathrow, London on March 19, 2011 at 3:54 AM (CDT)

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