Apple's MobileMess

Apple's MobileMess

By DAVID POGUE The New York Times July 24, 2008

Two weeks ago, Apple launched MobileMe, the successor to its.Mac service, which costs $100 a year. Among other benefits, it can keep multiple Macs, PCs and iPhones in sync. E-mail, calendars and address books are wirelessly kept up to date. Very cool idea.

When I started testing it on July 10, there were a lot of glitches, especially with the Web-based address book, calendar and e-mail programs. Apple told me that it was having some technical problems, but that they were rapidly being solved. And sure enough, by the

14th, several days after the launch, I was really pounding on it, and it worked as advertised.

Well, actually, not quite "as advertised." Apple was saying the service offered "push" e-mail, calendar and contacts, meaning that changes were propagated instantly among devices. In fact, as I noted in my review, Macs and PCs don't check for updates any more frequently than every 15 minutes. Otherwise, though, the system works very well - for me - and it's extremely useful.

On July 16, Apple took the very unusual step of sending an apology to all MobileMe members, saying that the launch "was a lot rockier than we had hoped." Fortunately, the letter went on, "we have worked through those problems and the Web apps are now up and running."

It also said that Apple would stop using the word "push" in its advertising until Macs and PCs did their syncing nearly instantly. It concluded with an apology, and a free one-month extension to every member's subscription.

Unfortunately, MobileMe's problems were nowhere near over.


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Monty Solomon
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