Apple today introduced MobileMe, a new Internet service that delivers push email, push contacts and push calendars from the MobileMe service in the “cloud” to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs. MobileMe also provides a suite of elegant, ad-free web applications that deliver a desktop-like experience through any modern browser. MobileMe applications (http://www.me.com/) include Mail, Contacts and Calendar, as well as Gallery for viewing and sharing photos and iDisk for storing and exchanging documents online.
“Think of MobileMe as ‘Exchange for the rest of us,'” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “Now users who are not part of an enterprise that runs Exchange can get the same push email, push calendars and push contacts that the big guys get.”
With a MobileMe email account, all folders, messages and status indicators look identical whether checking email on iPhone, iPod touch, a Mac or a PC. New email messages are pushed instantly to iPhone over the cellular network or Wi-Fi, removing the need to manually check email and wait for downloads. Push also keeps contacts and calendars continuously up-to-date so changes made on one device are automatically pushed up to the cloud and down to other devices. Push works with the native applications on iPhone and iPod touch, Microsoft Outlook for the PC, and Mac OS X applications, Mail, Address Book and iCal(R), as well as the MobileMe web application suite.
MobileMe web applications are 100 percent ad-free and provide an incredible, desktop-like experience that allows users to drag and drop, click and drag and even use keyboard shortcuts. MobileMe provides anywhere access to Mail, Contacts and Calendar, with a unified interface that allows users to switch between applications with a single click, and Gallery makes it easy to share photos on the web in stunning quality. Gallery users can upload, rearrange, rotate and title photos from any browser; post photos directly from an iPhone; allow visitors to download print quality images; and contribute photos to an album. MobileMe iDisk lets users store and manage files online with drag and drop filing and makes it easy to share documents too large to email by automatically sending an email with a link for downloading the file. MobileMe includes 20GB of online storage that can be used for email, contacts, calendar, photos, movies and documents.
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.
Using an iPhone or iPod touch with MobileMe requires iPhone 2.0 software and iTunes 7.7 or later. For use with a Mac, MobileMe requires Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11 or the latest version of Mac OS X Leopard. For a PC, MobileMe requires Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP2), and Microsoft Outlook 2003 or later is recommended. MobileMe is accessible on the web via Safari 3, Internet Explorer 7, and Firefox 2 or later. Internet access requires a compatible ISP; fees may apply. Broadband Internet connection recommended. Some features require Mac OS X Leopard and iLife ’08, available separately.