In early July, current .Mac accounts will automatically be upgraded to MobileMe, Apple’s new Internet service for your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, and even that crappy Windows PC you might be stuck with at school or work (our condolences). MobileMe will have a new home at www.me.com where you will find a suite of web applications that have the familiar look and feel of the applications on your Mac. If you go to mac.com, you will be redirected to the login page at me.com.
For the most seamless experience on your computer, devices, and the Internet, there are a few things Apple recommends that .Mac users should do in advance to prepare for MobileMe:
1. Set up your Mac to sync contacts and calendar.
2. Upgrade your browser to the latest version of Safari, Firefox, or, yuck, Internet Explorer.
3. Watch the MobileMe Guided Tour.
Due to its use of new technologies, MobileMe will only work correctly with Mac OS X version 10.4.11 or later. However, Mac OS X Leopard is strongly recommended to allow users to take full advantage of MobileMe.
Some features are being discontinued: Web access to bookmarks (bookmark sync between your Macs and/or PCs is still supported), iCards, .Mac slides, and support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther sync:
• MobileMe will continue to sync bookmarks across computers as well as push them to your iPhone and iPod touch. However, after MobileMe goes live you will no longer be able to access the Bookmarks application on the web. If you have any bookmarks stored on .Mac, please be sure to sync your bookmarks with your Mac before this date to avoid losing them. For more info, please see Sync .Mac Bookmarks with Safari before June 30, 2008.
• Pictures in the iDisk pictures folder will still appear in Screen Saver in System Preferences, but the .Mac slides publisher will be no longer be available.
• iCards will be no longer be available. We know, big tragedy.
As a current .Mac member, your @mac.com email will continue to work as it always has, but your account will also be given a new email address @me.com. If you have any email aliases at mac.com, they will also continue to work.
Even if you do nothing, email sent to either address will still arrive in your inbox and you can send email from either address in MobileMe Mail on the web. However, in order to send email from your me.com address in your email client (Mail for Mac OS X, for example), you will need to set up your me.com account in Mail preferences.
You will also be able to use either address as your Apple ID for purchases on the Apple Store, iTunes Store, and Apple print products created with iPhoto or Aperture, as they will be automatically linked. However, they will work separately as an iChat ID. Your @mac.com ID will still work for iChat. Your @me.com ID for iChat will work only as long as your MobileMe subscription is active. Once MobileMe becomes available, you may continue to use your @mac.com ID or your new me.com ID as an Apple ID. Both names will access the same ID.
In order for your iPhone or iPod touch to use MobileMe, you will need to update to software version 2.0 or later via iTunes 7.7 to enable push mail, push contacts, push calendar, and push bookmarks. This software update will be available when MobileMe launches.
Other items of interest:
• Your contacts in .Mac Address Book will be available on MobileMe Contacts.
• All of your existing iDisk files will be available on MobileMe iDisk.
• Backup 3.1.2 will continue to work with MobileMe.
• Your iWeb web site will still be available at the same URLs and will also be given a new URL at me.com.
• Your Web Gallery will still be available at the same URL and will also be given a new URL at me.com.
MobileMe, available on July 11, is a subscription-based service with 20GB of storage for US$99 per year for individuals and $149 for a Family Pack, which includes one master account with 20GB of storage and four Family Member accounts with 5GB of storage each. Users can sign up for a free, 60-day MobileMe trial at http://www.apple.com/mobileme and current .Mac members will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe accounts. MobileMe subscribers can purchase an additional 20GB of storage for $49 or 40GB of storage for $99 annually.