I have a lot more to say about MobileMe than this post, but that will need to wait for when I have more time. For those of you going through the pain of the .Mac to MobileMe transition, Apple is finally providing status updates to let us know how everything is going. There’s only one post so far so it is yet to be seen how much they’re actually going to tell us, but this is a step in the right direction.
A little over a month ago, something different happened on the way home from one of my occasional trips to Washington, DC. Prior to calling Group A to board, a large group of older gentlemen in matching yellow shirts began congregating in the pre-boarding area and eventually boarded the plane.
It turns out that I was on a plane with a group of World War II veterans going home after visiting their memorial courtesy of Franklin County Honor Flight, a not for profit group dedicated to making sure the remaining WWII veterans in the Saint Louis area who are willing and able to visit the World War II Memorial are able to do so at no cost to them.
As I boarded the plane and headed to the back passing row after row of veterans, I could tell that they had experienced a wonderful day. You can see the pictures from that day on the organization’s web site. Even Bob Doll was there! Well, it turns out that their day was not quite over. Once we had reached cruising altitude, the leader of the group took over the microphone duties from the flight attendants and began recognizing each veteran on the flight one by one giving their rank and a description of where and how they served in the War. It was an incredible experience. After everyone had been recognized, the veterans received a well-deserved round of applause from everyone on the plane. I will not soon forget my flight with some of the best from the Greatest Generation.
Since Steve Jobs’ keynote at the WWDC in June, I have been waiting patiently (well, quite impatiently) for the new and improved .Mac which has been rebranded as MobileMe. Based on the keynote and guided tour, MobileMe finally looks like the mail, address book, and calendar applications I expected from Apple when they launch iTools and .Mac so many years ago. As a user of many devices and computers on a daily basis, I have always struggled with keeping everything synchronized. Perhaps MobileMe will finally provide the solution for which I have been looking.
My big question now is, will MobileMe provide enough functionality to convince me to move all of my email, contacts, and calendars from Gmail and Google Calendar to the MobileMe platform? This will be no small feat considering how long I have been using both of those Google applications. The one big plus for me will be the ability to use desktop applications on my Mac and Windows machines. Right now, I can use Gmail on the desktop using IMAP, but having to move messages from one label to another can become annoying and cumbersome. Google also has sync applications for Google Calendar that can sync with Outlook, but I have found the functionality to be buggy at best. To me, neither of these solutions is good enough, and they tend to take away from my productivity and enjoyment of the applications.
If MobileMe can truly deliver on its promise of providing a consistent user experience on my Mac using its built in Mail, Address Book, and iCal applications, my Windows machine using Outlook, and the Internet, I will be a very happy camper. My guess is a lot of other people will feel the exact same way. We’ll know any day now if MobileMe is really Exchange for the rest of us.