Apple’s Flawed MobileMe

Apple’s new MobileMe service certainly sounds impressive, it delivers push functionality for the masses – your data is pushed up to your own storage spot in the cloud, and then automagically synced with your iPhone. Pretty cool. And it really works, kind of. It syncs contacts really well, and syncs schedules too (although Apple seems to be having serious issues with the Ajax based online scheduling app). Where MobileMe falls flat on its face is where it would be most useful – email (which generally gets updated more frequently than contacts or schedules!). The problem? The service is really designed for users who want a brand new e-mail address, one on the shiny new me.com domain. Which is great, except for the fact that the vast majority of users who’d want to use this service probably already have e-mail addresses that they like and want to keep using. Sure, there are hacks, forwarding mail back and forth, and the like. But for all of those users with good old POP mail accounts and a local copy of Outlook, MobileMe is pretty much useless. Which is sad really, because Apple could have synced Outlook inboxes to the cloud exactly as it does Outlook contacts and calendars. But nope, be it due to arrogance, shortsightedness, or just dumb oversight, Apple managed to mess up the single most compelling use case for MobileMe. What a shame.