Jan 2017


MobileMe Services Missing in iCloud

Apple provided a variety of features in their online services as it evolved, from .Mac to MobileMe and now to iCloud. Some of the original .Mac features were already long gone (anyone remember the iCards online greeting cards? Ironically, they’ve been resurrected as Cards, a free iPhone or iPod touch app from Apple that lets you shoot pictures on your device and add a note, and Apple prints and mails a physical card for you), including a general Backup service that worked with your Mac.

When Apple announced iCloud, it also heralded the end of MobileMe. MobileMe subscribers who don’t make the move to iCloud will lose all access to MobileMe services on June 30, 2012.

Besides the end of MobileMe in general, some of its services will also permanently end with its demise. These services include:

iDisk online storage space(partially offset by iCloud’s 5 GB of storage, but less flexible, since you can’t mount iCloud storage as a network disk, as you could with iDisk).

iWeb site publishing. Users of iWeb, part of Apple’s iLife software suite, must find alternate web site hosting (iWeb allows you to use any Web hosting company). iWeb has been suffering from benign neglect (it got hardly any changes in iLife ’11), So I won’t be surprised to see the program discontinued altogether in the next iteration of iLife.

Gallery.One of the photo sharing destinations in iPhoto has been MobileMe Gallery, which hosts your pictures on the web. iCloud’s Photo Stream isn’t a substitute, since you can’t view items in the Photo Stream in a Web browser. Instead of the MobileMe Gallery, iPhoto allows you to share photos on Flickr, which is actually a better services; Gallery has been languishing in features and interest for several years.

Mac OS X system synchronization. MobileMe allowed you to synchronize keychains (which contain your system and web passwords), Dock items, System Preferences, Mail accounts, Mail Rules, Mail Signatures, Smart Mailboxes, and Dashboard widgets. A good replacement for keychain synchronization (and the one that l’ve used for years, because it offers many more features than Apple’s old solution) is Agilebits’ 1password.

Thirdparty software synchronization. Many programs, such as Microsoft Entourage, Bare Bones’ Yojimbo, The Omni Group’s OmniFocus, and Panic’s Transmit used MobileMe to synchronize their settings or documents, and when you make the change to iCloud, you’ll lose those synchronization services, because the iCloud migration turns off all MobileMe sync features. If you use a program that used MobileMe for synchronization across devices (you can tell because the program will be listed in the Sync tab to the MobileMe preference pane), you should check with the software maker for alternatives, if available. For example, omniFocus allows you to use Omni’s own synchronization sever, or any WebDAV server (if you want to handle your own sync server). But as of this writing, Panic hasn’t released any alternative for Transmit’s synced Favorites.


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