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Summary:

While there’s an awful lot to like about MobileMe (tight iPhone integration, web apps that look like they’re going to be awesome—this second point is big considering I usually dislike web apps), there are some parts of .Mac we’ll have to say goodbye to. Here’s an excerpt […]

While there’s an awful lot to like about MobileMe (tight iPhone integration, web apps that look like they’re going to be awesome—this second point is big considering I usually dislike web apps), there are some parts of .Mac we’ll have to say goodbye to. Here’s an excerpt from the MobileMe FAQ:

Are any other .Mac features affected?
As part of this transition to MobileMe, some features are being discontinued: Web access to bookmarks (bookmark sync between your Macs and/or PCs is still supported), iCards, .Mac slides, and support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther sync.

That’s right; say goodbye to iCards. The loss of iCards isn’t what disappoints me, though. iCards were a holdover from iTools, and simply would not mesh well with MobileMe (and they hardly meshed with .mac, for that matter). And .Mac Slides? Who ever used that feature? No, the one lost feature that I’d hate to see go is .Mac Bookmarks. As the FAQ states, bookmark syncing between devices isn’t going anywhere, but accessing bookmarks through a web browser (.Mac Bookmarks) is. 

Here’s a scenario: you’re away from home (say the school library), you don’t have access to your MacBook (it’s being repaired), and you don’t own an iPhone (you’re locked into a plan for another year—argh). You need to access a certain page (say it’s a login page), but you don’t remember the URL you bookmarked. If you’re a .Mac subscriber, you might just visit bookmarks.mac.com, sign in, and find the bookmark you need. After July 11, if this sounds like you, you’ll be out of luck.

Why Apple would ditch this service is beyond me. After all, .Mac Bookmarks totally fits in the “Mobile” part of “MobileMe.” Not everyone is going to own an iPhone, and not everyone owns a laptop. But everyone leaves the home at some point, and sometimes they need to get on another computer to work. Knowing that you always have access to your bookmarks in such a situation is one of my favorite .Mac features, and it’s saved me in a pinch a number of times. 

So here’s to MobileMe, and here’s hoping that Apple changes its mind and retains this one feature.

  1. Use del.icio.us and be happy. The reason why Apple has ditched .mac bookmarks is because there is much better services like del.icio.us.

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  2. I too like the idea of using .mac bookmarks, though I have found they are a little clumsy in that separate window that opens to use effectively.

    It would be nice if the bookmark sync that that the ‘Mobile Me’ site eludes to updates the internal browser bookmarks automatically.

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  3. First of all, I use .Mac Slides. It is a great way of letting the grandparents (yes, all have Macs) see the latest photos without having to DO anything.

    I also use iCards, all the time. The custom ones, from your own photos are awesome and easy.

    Very disapointed in both.

    As for bookmarks, I can Google most anything, sync with FF3 to all my different bookmarks and I still have my iPhone.

    BZ

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  4. If you’re using Safari, you can still do a File>Export Bookmarks, and save it as an HTML file that you can upload to the web area of your iDisk. The same can be done in Firefox too. Although I use bookmark sync extensively, I only used the web access maybe once or twice during the several years I’ve had .Mac.

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  5. Like a previous commenter said, use del.icio.us – or if you use Firefox, try Foxmarks (http://foxmarks.com/).

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  6. @ #3: I stand corrected about .mac slides. ;)

    #4: Not as convenient, but good idea.

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  7. I’m with Ted; I’ll export the bookmarks and post them. That’s what I already do on my own site, but doing all this is less convenient that having it all happen oat-o-matically. And the last thing I want to do is sign up for yet another online service with a cute name which could die any day. At least with .Mac, it’s one place, and I’m paying for it, and it’s Apple, so it is less likely to disappear without warning.

    I could probably write and AppleScript to do the bookmark export and upload every night.

    And I will miss iCards. I think they were born in the midst of Apple’s Bad Times. I’ll have to figure out how to do something similar.

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  8. I am very upset with Apple for nixing the .Mac services… especially iCards. This has certainly made me lose my warm, fuzzy feelings for Apple.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/macsmiley/2652541101/

    They were simple, they were elegant, and they didn’t plaster recipients with advertisements, HTML, and flashing GIFS.

    I got responses from sending iCards I never got from sending emails… not even emails with pictures. The combination of whimsical images and text in one small, savable JPEG in the iCard message was hard to resist.

    Despite some less handsome alternatives, iWant Apple iCards Back!!

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  9. By the way, I don’t see how iCards don’t fit into MobileMe. They fit fine with .Mac, because membership included the privilege of using your own images.

    How about this scenario. That special occasion for that special someone shows up in your calendar on your iPhone. Because the iPhone can handle real websites, and because typing is easier than with triple taps, you go to the iCards page and send off a cute or funny or profoundly beautiful iCard, on the fly. What’s so not-mobile-me about that?

    By the way, where web bookmarks are concerned, what was so danged inconvenient about a pop-up window? Meanwhile, who’s using the marketing info of your bookmarks in de.licio.us ?? I liked the privacy of .Mac’s web bookmarks.

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  10. Back again. There are two petitions clamoring for Apple to bring back iCards. Feel free to join the chorus!

    http://www.petitiononline.com/ic110608/petition.html

    and

    http://www.petitiononline.com/06291970/petition.html

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