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Is Apple’s MobileMe Worth the Money?

Is Apple’s MobileMe Worth the Money?


Apple introduced its MobileMe program to try to capitalize on the success of its iPhone, and within a few months, MobileMe ads began popping up on iTunes for pretty much all iPhone users. This begs the question–what the heck does MobileMe do, and is it really worth a hundred bucks per year?

Here’s a look at the features of Apple’s MobileMe service, and whether it’s really worth the extra cash.

What Is MobileMe? The MobileMe service was designed as an answer to Microsoft’s Exchange service, and through the use of a push function it synchronizes data across multiple computers and devices, including the iPhone. This means that if you update your calendar on your computer, your iPhone instantly and wirelessly updates that data, and vice versa. Email works similarly, and the service also offers proprietary email and file storage abilities.

Storage – Individual users can store up to 20GB of data on the MobileMe service, which allows it to serve as a decent data backup service, but because MobileMe uses http:// instead of https://, there’s a question as to how secure the online storage is. It’s more valuable as a file sharing tool, to send, for instance, videos and pictures to family members–though there are a ton of services online that offer the same features for free.

iPhone Compatibility – MobileMe’s compatibility with the iPhone is one of the best justifications of its cost–since the program was largely designed with the iPhone in mind, this makes sense. As your calendars and other data sync up directly to your iPhone wirelessly, it’s a great organizational tool, and if you ever lose your iPhone (or for that matter, if it’s stolen) you can remotely wipe the iPhone out and use the built in GPS to track its location. This last feature alone justifies the hundred dollar cost to many people, especially if you keep critical or sensitive information on your iPhone and you live in a large city where theft is more probable.

Ultimately, MobileMe is probably not worth $100 unless you’ve got an iPhone, and even then, its worth is largely dependent on how often and thoroughly you use your address book and calendar, and how many devices you use to update your address book and calendar. Save your money unless you’re a dedicated Apple fan that has a seriously difficult time keeping everything in order across your computers and iPhone, or you worry about your personal data should your iPhone get stolen. For others, the MobileMe service, while convenient, simply isn’t there yet.

Do you use Apple’s MobileMe? Post in our comments section below.