Apple has opened the MobileMe to iCloud transition feature to its developers for testing its iCloud service. With its release, we now have more info on what to expect for MobileMe users who are migrating to iCloud when it launches later this year.
Even though some apps in iCloud might look familiar to MobileMe users, keep in mind that MobileMe and iCloud are two separate services. A number of MobileMe features are being axed from iCloud.
- Apple has confirmed that MobileMe service will continue until June 30, 2012 when MobileMe shuts down.
- iCloud will be free for the first 5GB of storage. Additional 10GB is at $20/year. Additional 20GB is at $40/year and additional 50GB is at $100/year.
- iCloud requires iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion.
- MobileMe account will automatically convert to 20GB plan without the $40 charges until June 30, 2012. On June 30, 2012, the recurring bill of $40/year will be charged, or there is an option to downgrade to the free plan.
- During the transition, Apple will move your Mail, Contacts & Calendars data from MobileMe to iCloud.
- MobileMe users can continue to use iWeb, iDisk and Photo Gallery until June 30, 2012. These features are not in iCloud.
- MobileMe’s iWeb which is web publishing has no equivalent in iCloud.
- MobileMe’s iDisk will be ‘replaced’ by iCloud’s Document in the Cloud, emphasize more on transparently syncing app data and documents to the cloud, rather than accessing the folder and files directly.
- There is no exact equivalent to MobileMe’s Photo Gallery in iCloud. Instead iCloud’s Photo Stream is a new way for you to present your photos on your iOS/Mac devices in the cloud.
- The MobileMe data sync feature will be axed in iCloud. MobileMe data sync allows you to sync to MobileMe Mac Dashboard widgets, Dock items, Keychains and Mail accounts/signatures/rules/smart boxes/preferences.
Apple has posted an article of frequently asked questions for the transition from MobileMe to iCloud. MobileMe service will terminate on June 30, 2012. As expected, major MobileMe web applications Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks, Find My iPhone, Back to My Mac will have its equivalent when Apple release its iCloud platform this fall. iWeb, Gallery and iDisk will be axed, and users are advised to migrate their data before June 30 next year.
Additional services from MobileMe that will be available on iCloud include Photo Stream, iTunes in the cloud, Documents in the cloud, automatic download and purchase history for apps and books, backup and restore. iCloud is free for iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion users and comes with 5GB of storage. Users can buy additional storage if required.
MobileMe transition to iCloud
While digging into the latest developer preview of the upcoming Mac OS X Lion, Consomac is able to discover some unusual reference under “Find My Mac” app. The system string suggests that Apple is moving is cloud offering from MobileMe to a new service with the code name “Castle”. Apple is rumored to have purchased the domain name iCloud.com for $4.5 million dollars. All things point to Apple replacing MobileMe with iCloud. We will find out soon enough in June at WWDC.
Apple has removed MobileMe from its online store, and has also notified resellers that it has discontinued the retail box version of MobileMe. A search on Mac App Store returns empty result.
There is no info on what’s cooking but it is known that a much improved MobileMe is set to debut this year according to Steve Jobs. Apple’s North Carolina data center has also confirmed to be build for MobileMe and iTunes and is scheduled to be operational this spring. And rumor has been running for months that Apple is set to offer MobileMe for free.
Let’s hope Apple will announce something MobileMe related in its media event scheduled on March 2.
With the release of iOS 4.2 last month, Apple made one of the attractive feature of MobileMe “Find My iPhone/iPad” free to all. But still the rest of MobileMe features are not free as rumored. Well, maybe not yet. We are predicting that Apple will release more MobileMe features as free in 2011 to keep iOS competitive to Android platform, here are possible hints and reasons.
Apple’s gigantic new data center at North Carolina has started to be online in the last quarter of 2010. It is obvious that Apple build this new facility to handle growth and new requirements, requirements that is hugh by any measure. Many has speculated that Apple build the new data centre for its inroad to cloud computing, specifically the much rumored music-in-the-cloud service. We would like to suggest that this new data centre is build also for free MobileMe services in mind.
The recent free offering of “Find My iPhone/iPad” is actually a test pilot by Apple, an attempt to roll out one single free feature to see how its MobileMe backend system can handle the load. This roll out also completes one task Apple engineers are busy with, that is the integration between Apple ID with MobileMe login. (Apple ID is used by Apple Store online as well as iTunes/iBooks/Game Centre, while MobileMe uses a different login id until the recent integration). So the free “Find My iPhone/iPad” roll out helps to test out the future readiness of MobileMe, when more MobileMe features will be offered for free.
This pilot ‘test’ run is necessary for Apple to gauge the capacity when it rolls our more MobileMe features free. It make senses for Apple to offer some of its MobileMe feature for free. Besides “Find My iPhone/iPad”, Apple needs to make MobileMe Mail/Contacts/Calendar sync free as this is one advantage Google/Android has. iDisk could possible be free for a 2G storage with paid subscription getting the full 20GB.
Steve Jobs in his reply for a user’s comments that MobileMe sucks, that “Yes, it will get a lot better in 2011”. We don’t see how the existing MobileMe could get a lot better by more features or user interface changes. The Steve Jobs response points to likely more MobileMe freebies on the way. That’s the only way Apple could entice more users to be enrolled comfortably into its own eco without noticing the grass on the other side.
It has been speculated for a while that Apple will offer MobileMe for free. MacRumor has uncovered system error messages in the latest iOS 4.2.1 golden master build, suggesting free MobileMe is coming pretty soon.
MobileMe encompasses several services such as MobileMe Mail, Find My iPhone, iDisk, Contact/Calendar/Safari/Notes over-the-air sync and photo galleries. It makes sense for Apple to offer tiered services by offering the basic services for free. We are hoping for free Contact/Calendar/Safari/Notes over-the-air sync as this is one area iOS is lagging compared with Android platform. It is previously rumored that Apple is building its data centre in North Carolina to support free MobileMe. Let’s hope free MobileMe is the last project of the year for the team at North Carolina before the year end holidays.
MobileMe will soon be free, if [the rumor published by MacDailyNews](http://www.macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/rumor_apple_to_make_mobileme_free/) is true. Currently costing US$99 per year, a free MobileMe subscription will be good news to existing subscribers and to all Mac users.
MobileMe consists of many services on the cloud, including storage, email, photo galleries, personal website, Find My iPhone, sync store of contacts/calendars/bookmarks etc. Many useful features that integrates tightly with your Mac/iPhone/iPad but most users are taken back by the price.
We hope this rumor is true as there are many advantages and justification for Apple to make MobileMe free:
* It will be a different ballgame for Apple if MobileMe becomes competitive to similar offering by Google and Microsoft. A free MobileMe will enjoy substantial increase in user base and suddenly makes Apple a major player in the cloud space. This is the necessary move by Apple if it wants to compete in Google’s stronghold, or simply wants to make Google mad.
* The recent purchase of Lala.com points to an imminent launch of a cloud based music service. We believe Apple will tie this new music service to the MobileMe branding. What better ways to attract users than to offer it free? We suspect Apple might launch the music service together with free MobileMe.
* With the world moving to a cloud service and apps (iPhone/iPad) model, it is timely if not slightly late in the game for Apple to focus on cloud services. It is inevitable.
* Apple’s commitment of US$1 billion to a server farm in North Carolina is meant for serving something new and substantial. We believe the new infrastructure is meant for free MobileMe for all users. According to the post by MacDailyNews, the timing for MobileMe to go free could be “sooner than later… depends on certain facilities going operational.”. That facilities could be the one in North Carolina.
Apple please, make MobileMe free. And announce it in your WWDC developer conference and make it available in June.
![Apple .Mac HomePage Goes Offline](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/apple-mac-homepage-goes-offline.png)
Apple has sent out emails to remind MobileMe members that their old .Mac HomePage, if they have any, will go offline on July 7, 2009. This will complete Apple’s transformation of its .Mac service to the new MobileMe, an effort started last summer.
On July 7, 2009, we are retiring .Mac HomePage. Your published pages will remain live on the web for as long as you wish after this date, but you will not be able to edit or delete them using HomePage. If you want to make changes to your existing pages, please do so before July 7.
Read Apple’s [.Mac HomePage FAQ](http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2049?viewlocale=en_US) for more details.