Apple's MobileMe gets off to a shaky start
The MobileMe paid internet service was billed as "Exchange for the rest of us". Pre-release the expectation was that "Cloud" was supposed to synchronise appointments, addresses and email with Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones and the iPod touch instantly, using Push technology. In practice the Apple US web site is only promising synchronisation every 15 minutes between "Cloud" and PCs or Macs, while for users of Mac OS X 10.4.11 the automatic interval is set to one hour. A page on Apple's support sit explains that intervals can be changed from those automatically sete.
In an email to users Apple has apologised for use of the term 'push' in describing the MobileMe service, resulting in the impression that near instant data synchronisation could be expected at product launch time. Apple says "While all email,contact or calendar changes on the iPhone and the web apps are immediately synced to and from the MobileMe "cloud," changes made on a PC or Mac take up to 15 minutes to sync with the cloud and your other devices. So even though things are indeed instantly pushed to and from your iPhone and the web apps today, we are going to stop using the word "push" until it is near-instant on PCs and Macs, too."
While the Apple UK page promotes MobileMe iDisk file sharing using a link sent by email, in the US and Germany this service is not yet available. Apple has added "Coming Soon" to its US site and the Apple.de page still shows an advance announcement of the service, although it should have started on 11 July. However, according to the Apple email "Although core services such as Mail, iDisk, Sync, Back to My Mac, and Gallery went relatively smoothly, the new MobileMe web applications had lots of problems initially. Fortunately we have worked through those problems and the web apps are now up and running."
As compensation for the problems in the new service Apple has given all their current subscribers an automatic 30 day free-of-charge extension to their MobileMe subscription.
There is also an obvious bug in MobileMe, namely that the button for terminating a 60-day trial period doesn't work. heise online queried Apple Germany about the points mentioned, but the company had not responded at the time of publication.