Along with iPhone 3G handset and iPhone 2.0 firmware, Apple has announced the MobileMe service, that comes to complete the foundations of Apple’s mobile strategy: hardware, software and services.
MobileMe comes as an evolution of previous .Mac service. In fact, .Mac users will automatically have their same accounts on MobileMe.
The goal of MobileMe is keeping your personal data up to date, no matter the device you use. This way, the service will host your mails, contacts, calendar information and will provide push email. The latter is one of the most demanded features of the service and will be available in September, not in July with the rest of the services.
Other important feature is that this service will work with native applications in every supported platform. So, you will use your data from Outlook in your PC; Mail, Agenda, iCal in your Mac; and of course, from your native applications in your iPhone or iPod Touch. Moreover, Apple will also provide web applications at me.com website for those who prefer webapps.
Last but not least, MobileMe also includes Gallery – for sharing your photos – and iDisk – a 20 GB online hard disk for saving and sharing your files.
Well, all this is nothing new. You can find similar web services out there, tough is not easy to find so many features together.
What makes the difference, in words of Chris Saito, senior director of Apple’s Internet services, is that “MobileMe is what we’ve built and is a really great service that works for the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and is compatible with the Mac and PC. And it works with native apps on those different devices, like iCal, or you can use with PC applications like Outlook…And we have an incredible web experience which is very Apple, and it works great…We think we have a really good and comprehensive solution that consumers will love“.
In short, what Apple expects to make this service different is the so-called ‘Apple experience’, which joins software, hardware and services.
We’ll see if this experience is worth the 99$ annual fee for individual accounts and 149$ for family packs, specially when you can find similar services for free. The main difference is real push email on iPhone, practically impossible to implement for anyone but Apple, since they don’t allow any third party application to run on background.
Link Apple Mobile Me