- Yesterday marked an important milestone in Apple’s cloud strategy; the shuttering of MobileMe. The iWork website is next on the chopping block and is currently scheduled to be shutdown on July 31.iCloud, introduced last year along side iOS 5 is the replacement for MobileMe and iWork. MobileMe used to be a $99/year subscription service for synchronizing all sorts of information between your Macs, PCs and iPhones. Even though the MobileMe service is, for all intents and purposes, “closed,” subscribers can still login to the MobileMe.com website and migrate their data over to Apple’s new iCloud service.iWork.com was launched in 2009 as a way for iWork ’09 users to share their iWork documents with others. Visitors to the iWork.com website are greeted a warning banner that the service is closing down at the end of the month. iWork.com users were also notified via email that they will need to download their documents or risk losing them.MobileMe has not been the shining star that Apple had hoped it would be. In Walter Isaacson’s autobiography of the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, it is recorded that Walt Mossberg’s headline regarding MobileMe was “Apple’s MobileMe Is Far TooFlawed to Be Reliable.” Anyone who has followed Steve Jobs “second act” at Apple knows that a headline was not going to be allowed to stand. Mr. Isaacon also recounts Mr. Jobs f-bomb laced furry at the MobileMe team.I was never a subscriber to MobileMe, as the $99 annual price tag seemed a bit steep for an email account, cloud storage, and personal data syncing, especially since Google offered similar services for free. (And I was a Palm Pre/webOS user at the time.)MobileMe users can start their iCloud migration from MobileMe.com.
No New MobileMe Accounts Being Accepted
While I haven’t gotten to the part of today’s WWDC keynote introducing iCloud yet, after seeing that there is a new Find My iPhone/iPad/iPod touch app out today, I went looking for what services are being offered.
Looks like we can forget MobileMe becoming a free service. She’s done for in her current form and iCloud will completely replace it. I’m going to have to watch the stream on this one and decide if I’m interested in using the new iCloud service. I would have gone in on MobileMe if it was free or cheaper than $99/year, but I’m not really one for streaming content if I have the option to download it to a Mac or PC on my home network.
Existing MobileMe customers can still access their accounts from the MobileMe.com website.
30-second Initial Reaction to Apple’s WWDC Announcements
I was stuck in a staff meeting during the live steam of Apple’s WWDC keynote today, so I’ve gone through great lengths to avoid media coverage and my Apple loving family, friends, and co-workers so I can go in cold when I watch the video steam of today’s event.
After spending about 30 seconds on Apple’s website, here is my initial reaction to today’s news.
Like I said, this is a 30 second impression from quickly skimming the Apple website and taking a look at what updates appeared in the Mac OS X Software Update control panel and what is being featured in the Mac App Store.
- iOS 5.0 and iCloud will go live this fall.
- Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will go on sale in July for $30; appears to be electronic download only.
- There is no iTunes or other Mac OS X software updates available today.
- From the Apple.com website, it wasn’t clear if there was any changes to MobileMe starting today.
You can watch today’s keynote address now as a steaming video from the Apple website.I’ll have more impressions and comments as soon as I can sit down and watch today’s WWDC keynote address.
Steve Jobs to Deliver WWDC 2011 Keynote Address
Apple today confirmed that CEO Steve Jobs will be on hand, along with other top executives, for the 2011 World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).
Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.
I’m really looking forward to what Apple has in store for us with regard to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iCloud. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is close to a golden master (GM) release with several pre-release beta builds having already gone out to developers already. Many are speculating that Lion will go on sale in the next few weeks. Rumors have also been circulating for a while now that the iCloud service, a potential repackaging of MobileMe, will offer more free services as well as a new option to stream your purchases from Apple’s servers.
iOS 5.0, the next major release of Apple’s mobile operating system, which is based on the same core as Mac OS X, will likely become available in the next 90 days after it is formally introduced at next week’s developer event.
The Daily: Apple Shines On
In yesterday’s issue of The Daily, writer Dan Gallagher, profiled Apple, Inc in terms of their up-coming earnings report for last quarter. To open the article, titled “Apple shines on,” Mr. Gallagher writes:
“While investors widely expect Apple to report its usual barn-burner results this week, some creeping questions have weighed down the computer company’s high-flying stock recently.”
The article continues on about the natural disasters in Japan and how they are preventing Apple from otherwise cranking out enough iPad 2 tablets to meet the demand for the popular item both here in the United States and abroad.
That’s all fine and good, but I take issue Mr. Gallagher’s third sentence which reads:
“In addition, a growing number of indicators have pointed to a potential delay of the company’s next iPhone to later in the year, instead of it’s customary launch period of midsummer.”
Again, I don’t have a problem with Mr. Gallagher reporting what was widely discussed over the last two weeks when Apple announced that their annual developer get together, the World Wide Developer’s Conference, would be held on June 6. On the March 28 notice that was sent out by Apple, which simply said, “Join us for a preview of iOS and Mac OS X.” In short, that was Apple’s way of letting the legion of fans, geeks, investors, and yes, even journalists, that iPhone 5 would not be making a debut at this year’s event.
If Apple, a company known for it’s legendary product secrecy, hasn’t yet announced the iPhone 5, which we all know is coming because “5” comes after “4,” how can it be considered delayed or even late? The white iPhone 4? That was delayed and is late. The iPhone 5? I have to disagree.
Hit the read more link to keep reading…
If the rumors are true, will Apple be breaking from previous product launch cycles this year? Sure they are. There are some things that need to be considered, in addition to the problems in Japan.
First of all, the black iPhone 4 just became available on Verizon not even three months ago. Do you really think that Apple and Verizon would ship iPhone 5 in less that six months of the iPhone 4 going live? I don’t think so.
Secondly, we still have the white iPhone 4 to deal with. Yes, some people really have put off buying an iPhone 4 just so they can have a white iPhone 4. With the white iPhone 4 coming something during the next few weeks, do you really think that Apple would ramp up a massive stock pile of a phone that they were about to replace? I don’t think so.
Thirdly, there has been a lot of talk on the Internet over the past few weeks about Apple’s plans for the next iPhone. Some of them talk about more memory, larger screens, and faster processors. These are all very likely true and will be in the next release of the iPhone. There is also talk about incorporating the new Long Term Evolution, or LTE, cellular radio in the next iPhone – making it a “4G” phone. (Marketing hype aside, “4G” networks are faster then today’s 3G networks, but probably not fast as carriers want to you think.) Apple is also rumored to be working on a new way to use your iPhone as a short range wireless payment device using a technology called Near Field Communication, or NFC. If true, once you have activated the feature, you could wave your iPhone over a receiver an make a payment similar to they way you can with some credit and debit cards today.
However, there is one other think to consider which could be the cause of the “delay;” and that is: software.
Despite the pile of cash that Apple is sitting on, the company keeps it’s competitive edge by remaining relatively small. That means that Apple shifts employees around certain development efforts as they need to, and there are two, if not three, major software rewrites in the works.
The first is the next release of the software that runs all of the Macintosh desktop, tower, and notebooks, known as Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Apple is working with software developers on pre-release versions of the software to help them iron out the bugs and to allow developers time to update their applications to work with the new Apple software. Next up, Apple is also working on the fifth version of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch software known as iOS. iOS 5 will be a major overhaul of the mobile device software, which, by the way, at it’s core, uses the exact same software as Mac OS X, to ensure that Apple’s handheld software remains feature rich and competitive with phones and tablets running the Google Android OS. If that wasn’t enough, I’m sure Apple is also hard at work on a major revamp of their MobileMe software, which will use the new data center Apple has built in North Carolina and support new features in Mac OS X, iOS, and iTunes.
So with all of that, it’s more important for Apple to focus on the strategic scheduling of each of these major projects and being successful with their roll outs. It’s not about holding to an annual schedule that we can all expect to happen each and every year. Apple is about their software and hardware coming together to create a unique customer experience that no other tech company can match. It’s about delighting the customer.
So, no, the iPhone 5 is not delayed. The announcement and release of the iPhone 5 this year has been scheduled behind other critical Apple engineering efforts.
Ok? Everyone take a deep breath and exhale. It’s going to be fine.
You can read Mr. Gallagher’s full article on The Daily website.
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.
Find My iPhone MobileMe Service Become Free
As an early Christmas present along side the iOS 4.2.1 update, Apple has made the Find My iPhone feature of the $99/year MobileMe service free.
Apple descrbes Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) on their website as the following:
Find My iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch — the MobileMe feature that helps you locate your missing device and protect its data — is now free on any iPhone 4, iPad, or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.2.3 Once you set it up, you can find your lost device on a map, display a message on its screen, remotely set a passcode lock, and initiate a remote wipe to delete your data. And if you eventually find your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can restore everything from your last backup.
You can download the MobileMe Find My iPhone client for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad from the iTunes App Store (iTunes link).
Once you have the Find My iPhone client installed, check out Apple’s easy to follow setup directions for iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
Apple Releases iOS 4.2.1 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Makes Find My iPhone Free
Looks like Apple will make good on their September promise that iOS 4.2, now 4.2.1 after a few Golden Master resets, will be available in November. In addition to bringing iOS 4 to the iPad, Apple has also chosen to give iOS users free access to the Find My iPhone feature that is part of the $99/year MobileMe subscription service.
You can read my first impressions of iOS 4.2.1 for iPad; which were posted over the weekend.
CUPERTINO, California—November 22, 2010—Apple® today announced that iOS 4.2, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, is available today for download for iPad™, iPhone® and iPod touch®. iOS 4.2 brings over 100 new features from iOS 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 to iPad including Multitasking, Folders, Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay® and AirPrint.
“iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”
iPad users can now run their favorite apps and switch between them instantly, while preserving iPad’s legendary battery life. Users can organize their apps with drag-and-drop simplicity using Folders, and Mail now features a Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching and a threaded message view.
The Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) feature is now free to use without a MobileMe℠ subscription and helps you locate your missing device.* The Find My iPhone app is a free download on the App Store℠ and lets users easily locate a missing device on a map and have it display a message or play a sound. Users can even remotely lock or wipe data from a lost device to protect privacy.
Other new features that iOS 4.2 brings to the iPad include: the ability to rent TV episodes directly to iPad using the iTunes® App with a 30 day viewing window and a 48 hour session window once playback is started; the ability to easily find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Safari®; enhanced enterprise support so businesses can take advantage of stronger security features, new device management capabilities and improved enterprise integration; industry-leading accessibility enhancements; and support for 25 additional languages, including Korean, Portuguese and Traditional Chinese
The iOS 4.2 update is available today to download to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch by syncing the device with iTunes 10.1. iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) and new iPod touch. Some features may not be available on all products. For example, Multitasking requires iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) or later.
*The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).
To install the update on your current model iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, connect your iDevice to your computer, launch iTunes 10. Once your device has completed it’s sync, select it in the left section of the iTunes window, and then click the Check for Update button.
You can read the full Apple iOS 4.2 press release on the Apple website.
Rumor: Free, Limited MobileMe Subscriptions On the Horizon?
Back in June I read a rumor on the gadget blog Electronista.com that stated that Apple was considering launching a free version of their $99 a year MobileMe service. At the time, I was really excited by the prospect, because, I have a number of Apple devices (three Macs, and three iOS devices) and this would be a great way to keep the address book and calendars in sync across all six devices.
On June 4, Electronista.com wrote;
“Apple has lately faced growing criticism for continuing to charge for MobileMe at a time when Google can promise free e-mail, calendars and contacts synchronized online for Android phones where the iPhone is still at least partly reliant on a physical sync without paying $99 per year. The company has recently been working on a North Carolina data center that could help scale such plans in the future.”
And so, I stated to wait patiently. In the mean time, Google’s Android platform began to grow in popularity until today, Google’s Android is breathing down Apple’s neck. Does Apple think that they could continue to sell a $99 a year service when Google’s free web apps could deliver a similar service and experience?
Fast forward to this weekend when Mac-centric website MacRumors.com released more evidence that Apple is still considering providing at least some of the MobileMe services for free to iOS users.
In the latest iOS 4.2 and 4.2.1 builds of iOS, MacRumors has discovered error messages in the operating system that read “MOBILEME_CREATE_UNAVAILABLE_IPAD” = “The maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPad.”
Well, well, well…looks like the iPad maker is still very much considering a free MobileMe offering of some sort.
Naturally, Apple has not confirmed their plans to launch an new MobileMe services. Many believe that an new MobileMe service would go into effect once Apple’s new $1 billion North Carolina data center is fully ramped up and is online.
[Via Electronista.com, MacRumors.com…]
Rumor: Apple To Give Mobile Me Subscriptions Away
File this under “Crazy Ass Rumor of the Week”, but if Electronista.com and MacDailyNews.com are right, Apple might be feeling some pressure from Google’s free cloud services.
“A tentative new rumor asserts that Apple may turn MobileMe into a free service. The plan would drop the $99 annual fee and let anyone with an iPad, iPod, iPhone or Mac get the online sync service for free.”
“Free MobileMe access would likely be a shot across the bow of Google, for whom online sync has been an inherent feature in most of its software. Android users can sync accounts and contacts for free through Google’s existing services. Apple handheld owners can already sync Google features to some extent but don’t have the live updating of more unless they use Exchange or MobileMe.”
Personally, the only reason why I don’t have a MobileMe.com account is that I really don’t feel like paying Apple another $69-99 a year for an email account – all be it a really handy email account. If the service was made available to me for free since I own two iPods, an iPad, a MacBook, and my recently purchased 17-inch MacBook Pro, hell ya, I’d jump on MobileMe in a second. Google who?
Until we get some more details, however, I’m going to stick with my Google Gmail and Calendar accounts.