Apple has moved to rename and rework its .Mac service, introducing it with new iPhone-focused features as the cross-platform MobileMe service, a service that is 100 percent ad-free.
MobileMe pushes essential information to iPhone users over the air, including e-mail, contacts, and calendars, in order to make sure all your essential information remains in sync with iPhone, iPod Touch, Macs, and PCs. The software/service will appear in early July when iPhone Software 2.0 ships and works with Mail, iCal, and Address Book on a Mac and Outlook on Windows.
MobileMe also provides a suite of elegant, ad-free Web applications that deliver a desktop-like experience through any modern browser. MobileMe applications include Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, as well as Gallery for viewing and sharing photos and iDisk for storing and exchanging documents online.
"Think of MobileMe as 'Exchange for the rest of us,'" said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Now users who are not part of an enterprise that runs Exchange can get the same push e-mail, push calendars, and push contacts that the big guys get."
With a MobileMe e-mail account, all folders, messages, and status indicators look identical whether checking e-mail on iPhone, iPod Touch, a Mac, or a PC. New e-mail messages are pushed instantly to iPhone over the cellular network or Wi-Fi, removing the need to manually check e-mail and wait for downloads. Push also keeps contacts and calendars continuously up-to-date so that changes made on one device are automatically pushed up to the cloud and down to other devices. Users can drag and drop, click and drag, and even use keyboard shortcuts, Apple confirmed.
Gallery users can upload, rearrange, rotate, and title photos from any browser; post photos directly from an iPhone; allow visitors to download print quality images; and contribute photos to an album. MobileMe iDisk lets users store and manage files online with drag-and-drop filing and makes it easy to share documents too large to e-mail by automatically sending an e-mail with a link for downloading the file. MobileMe includes 20GB of online storage.
A 60-day free trial of the service will be made available on launch, while .Mac users will automatically be upgraded to MobileMe on the 11 July launch of the service, which costs (like .Mac) $99 for an individual, and $149 for a family pack. That includes one master account with 20GB of storage and four Family Member accounts with 5GB of storage each.
MobileMe subscribers can purchase an additional 20GB of storage for $49 or 40GB of storage for $99 annually.
The service also requires iTunes 7.7, which isn't yet available at time of writing.
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