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Apple Getting Serious About the Cloud With Free MobileMe in April?

Earlier this month, claimed a “trustworthy” source had revealed plans by Apple (s aapl) for a software-only event during the first or second week of April. The event would be to preview iOS 5 and relaunch MobileMe, both of which had been previously rumored for the iPad 2 announcement event, which didn’t happen. According to the rumor, better integration with iOS 5 and MobileMe is expected, as well as more social networking, like the Find My Friends service, and remote photo and media streams.

Citing a “trusted source” at a “major educational institution,” iLounge is also now also predicting a MobileMe relaunch in April. A new, free version of the online service will apparently coexist alongside the current paid version for the next year. Presumably, that would cover those like myself unfortunate enough to have recently renewed their MobileMe account, but without Apple having to offer refunds or credits. However, a deprecated service running alongside a free one seems confusing and very much out of character for Apple, and I think it’s more likely a free service would coexist alongside other paid tiers.

The possibility of an imminent iOS 5 preview does seem likely, too. Last year, the iOS 4 preview showed multi-tasking, Game Center, iAd, and AirPrint, though the last was eventually scaled back from its earlier incarnation. Perhaps we’ll get an update on AirPrint this year in iOS 5 that expands support beyond a few select printers.

As for MobileMe, the recent discontinuation of retail boxes is probably the best indicator of an imminent relaunch. Besides that, it’s been widely rumored that some kind of storage “locker” for media content, music and video, will be part of the service. The most interesting social networking feature that’s been talked about for the service is a new personal homepage, dynamically updated based upon where you are and what you are doing.

While “free” is likely the most anticipated potential feature of a new MobileMe, I’d personally prefer Apple-hosted domains. What features are you looking for in a new MobileMe?

11 Responses to “Apple Getting Serious About the Cloud With Free MobileMe in April?”

  1. Apple does host private domains on Mobile Me. Though it’s limited to what you can build with the Mobile Me service (crap), they will host the site for a custom domain name. Look for “Personal Domains” in the Settings on

    • Apple does not host domains. If you use iWeb to publish a website, you have the option of setting up a new CNAME, Canonical Name record, with your Registrar, effectively a form of pointing. Further, this is far from being a simple a process to set up, and there are other issues. Google Blogs may not display pages on your website, and your URL will not be as clean, that is it will be: Also, you do not have the benefit of your domain email address.

      • You are correct Charles, it is done with that dog of a program iWeb and CNAMEs. But I don’t think that the author was wishing that Mobile Me become a full-fledged registrar and hosting company ala GoDaddy as you suggest. At least I hope not. That’s a huge enterprise far from the core or what Mobile Me is and nobody else who provides a service similar to Mobile Me does that – not Google, Microsoft, Yahoo. Therefore, I assumed the author meant the more obvious solution – that you could put a website up on Mobile Me and have a custom URL point to it. Which you can.

  2. How about a web based spam filter for mobile me accounts? I hate manually erasing spam on my iPhone just because my home computer is in sleep mode (and therefore not trashing the spam).

      • pgattocpa


        Since you did mean “deprecated”, can you clarify what you are trying to convey in the sentence? In looking at all meanings of the word, the second part of the sentence, “seems confusing and very much out of character for Apple” does not make sense (to me) if coupled to any meaning of deprecated.