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The Web interface supports dragging and dropping and other advanced features.
Apple’s $99-per-year MobileMe service, the successor to the popular but aging .Mac, experienced some highly public growing pains after its release in July, but now MobileMe’s cloud is starting to show its silver lining.
The new Web interface (www.me.com) is gorgeous, combining rich Web apps on one well-designed page. Buttons in the toolbar let you jump to your mail, contacts, calendar, gallery (of photos and videos), iDisk (file storage), and account info. The website supports drag-and-drop—you can drag email messages between folders and drag calendar items to different times.
The MobileMe Gallery looks great—you can upload images (GIF, JPG, PNG) or movies (MOV, M4V, MP4, MPG, MPEG, AVI, 3GP, 3G2) through the Web interface or upload images through iPhoto ’08 or Aperture 2 and movies through iMovie ’08. Plus, you can let people email images right to your Gallery—perfect for collecting all your friends’ photos of one event.
You now have the option to wirelessly sync your MobileMe email, contacts, and calendars to your iPhone or iPod touch. That means any changes made to that account in Mail, Address Book, or iCal on your Mac; in the MobileMe Web interface; or on your iPhone or iPod touch are updated automatically everywhere else. (Apple originally called this “push” service, but had to stop since it doesn’t sync data with the cloud instantly, syncing every 15 minutes instead.) The drawback to syncing contacts and calendars over MobileMe is that it’s all or nothing—you can’t specify certain contact groups or calendars to include or exclude. If you sync your contacts and calendars with your iPhone through iTunes, you do have that control, although your changes are only synced to your device when you connect it to your Mac.
We waited to review MobileMe, after reports surfaced about syncing problems and lost data when the service launched in July. In August, Apple admitted that the launch had not been their “finest hour,” and gave every subscriber a three-month extension. Happily, we didn’t experience any problems in our testing; everything worked as it should. Don’t expect the same over-the-air syncing speed that BlackBerry or Microsoft Exchange users enjoy, but for $99 a year, we’re happy with MobileMe’s functionality.If the bug reports scared you away, give MobileMe another try, especially if you’ve got an iPhone or iPod touch. Apple offers a free 60-day trial.