Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MobileMe: Paid, Free, or Somewhere in the Middle?

MobileMe is an online service provided by Apple that provides you access to a "me" email account, online storage for documents, music, and photos, plus, Mac specific features to keep all your Mac settings in sync across multiple Mac OS X computers.

In 2011, many people are hoping for a major revamp of the service, thanks to a brief email from Apple CEO Steve Jobs that said MobileMe will, "get a lot better in 2011."

Mr. Jobs' statement touched off the rumor mill that MobileMe would get new services, become free to compete with other offerings from Google, DropBox, and the like, or get a new mix of "free-mium" options.

With the introduction of iOS 4.2.1, Apple chose to make the Find My iPhone service free to their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch customers.  It is a great feature for any iOS device owners, specifically for iPhone owners.  Again, this change to MobileMe, which allowed anyone with an iOS device and an Apple ID account could now use the service which typically required a $99 annual subscription to use.

Most recently, Apple stopped shipping boxed "copies" of MobileMe to their retail stores and authorized resellers.  Many people, myself included, thought that this change signaled the impending switch to a free service or some other free or build your own package service offering for MobileMe.

Today, TUAW.com has a report up that Apple could be changing the way you pay for MobileMe, which sounds like MobileMe isn't going to be a completely free service.

Up until now, I haven't feel a need to have a MobileMe account, a side from the Find My iPad app.  Having already made the decision to switch from my Palm Pre to an iPhone 5 this year, I am revisiting my decision to subscribe to MobileMe or not.  With two MacBooks, and iPad, and a new iPhone 5 in the cards for this year, albeit maybe later than I planned, a MobileMe subscription looks to be a good way to keep all of my Apple gear in sync.
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