Apple today announced a significant update to .Mac, the membership-based online service that combines the simplicity and elegance of the Macintosh with the power of the Internet to facilitate group communication and make sharing, storing and protecting digital photos and videos easier than ever. New features include: .Mac Groups, a service that helps members communicate, coordinate schedules and stay in sync with private groups of friends or colleagues; an updated version of .Mac Backup software that makes it easy for members to archive their iLife and other important files; a four-fold increase in combined iDisk and email storage to 1GB for individuals and 2GB for families; and full French and German localization.
“.Mac provides the simple and elegant online experience consumers expect from Apple,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing in the press release. “By tapping into the power of the Internet from within the applications they use the most, .Mac members around the globe have discovered a better way to experience the Internet.”
New .Mac features include:
• .Mac Groups: .Mac members can now easily create private, ad-free online communities that make it easy for family, friends and private groups to communicate, coordinate and share digital media. With .Mac Groups, members can send emails to the entire group using a single address; post files, pictures and movies with a common group iDisk; publish group web pages and post links to other sites; and keep up-to-date with the latest group events with a shared iCal calendar.
• Backup 3: .Mac Backup has been redesigned from the ground up resulting in easier setup, quicker backups and the ability to seamlessly automate the process so users don’t have to remember to run a backup. New features include the ability to automatically back up iLife content, Home folder, iTunes purchased music, and other Mac essentials. Built-in Mac OS X “Tiger” Spotlight search capabilities make it easy to select specific files to backup, while incremental backups help to save time and media costs.
• Increased Online Storage: .Mac members now have four times more online storage space than before to host their email messages, documents and digital media files. Storage for individual members has increased to 1GB of combined email and iDisk space, .Mac Family Pack customers now receive 2GB of combined storage. Members can utilize their storage any way they choose dedicating more or less storage space to email or their iDisk. Individuals or Family Pack members can optionally purchase an additional 1GB of storage for US$49.95 annually.
• French and German Localization: In addition to English and Japanese, localized versions of the .Mac website are now available in French and German.
In addition to these new features, other .Mac services include: HomePage, for simple yet attractive personal web sites with just a few clicks; iDisk, a virtual hard drive in the sky for providing access to files from anywhere at any time; .Mac Sync, which keeps Safari bookmarks, iCal calendars, Address Book information, keychains (passwords), and Mac OS X Mail preferences up-to-date across multiple Macs and available via web browser when users are away from their Mac; .Mac Mail, a world-class, ad-free email service; and Learning Center, featuring tutorials for popular Apple software applications.
Enhancements to .Mac take online communication and sharing to the next level by opening up HomePage, iDisk, Mail and iCal to groups of friends, colleagues and acquaintances, providing members with more online storage space to house their increasingly growing digital media assets, all while making the process of backing up their valuable memories easier than ever.
.Mac is available as a subscription-based service for $99.95 per year for individuals and $179.95 for a Family Pack which includes one master account and five sub accounts. Customers save $30 on either the individual subscription or the Family Pack when purchased with a new Macintosh and anyone can sign up for a free, 60-day .Mac trial.
Recommended browsers include Safari 1.2 or later or Firefox 1.0.1 or later (Macintosh) and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later or Firefox 1.0.1 or later (Windows). Recommended systems include Mac OS X v10.3.9 or Mac OS X v10.4.2 or later with a minimum of 128MB of RAM. Internet access requires a compatible ISP; fees may apply. Broadband Internet connection is recommended for Mac and Windows users.
Learn more about Apple’s .Mac and sign up for a free trial here.
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