What Do You Want to See in MobileMe 2.0?
MobileMe was announced by Steve Jobs and demonstrated by Phil Schiller at WWDC 2008. Tagged originally as "Exchange for the rest of us", a disastrous launch -- where Apple tried to do too much at once, including the iPhone 3G, iPhone OS 2.0, and the App Store -- and a problem with early computer-side syncing forced them to downgrade the promise of "push" to more of a gentle "nudge".
Fast forward 6 months and MobileMe has grown through its pain becoming almost, though not quite, everything Apple promised it would be at WWDC. Web-based email, contacts, and calendar are synced in near-real time to and from the iPhone and the Mac (Windows mileage may vary). Photos function, and iDisk is beefier, but still functionally on par with its .Mac roots.
But what do the next 6 months hold? If we get new iPhone hardware in June, and iPhone OS 3.0 along with it, could Apple be ballsy enough to try and give us MobileMe Take 2 at the same time? And if they are, what do we want to see in it?
Mac users already get tons more, highly useful features in MobileMe than Windows users. Sync will literally duplicate preferences, docks, bookmarks, password keychains, and more. And Back to my Mac, which keeps track of the IP addresses of your different Macs and then "just works" out file and screen sharing is epic (nope, I've never had a problem with it -- and it saved my skin at Macworld!). Some of these, however, would be welcome as additions to the iPhone's function set. Having Mobile Safari sync and make available logins to iPhone Apps like 1Password would be convenient. Being able to screen share like Jaadu VNC would be excellent, but it's just a start.
Dieter's list includes the ability to easily send from different email aliases. The iPhone in general currently makes it impossible to set up an email address alias on the device (and working around it via syncing mail settings with iTunes isn't always elegant). Having MobileMe handle this, along with taking a page from Gmail and actually allowing MobileMe to POP email from other services and push it directly to the iPhone would be excellent.
To round out the MobileMe mail upgrades, giving us server-side rules/filters would be highly useful (e.g, applying a rule to move all newsletters to a sub-folder that doesn't alert me when it arrives would be welcome). Add to that the ability to star/flag email directly on the iPhone (and sync those states between web and PC) and it would become a competitive offering worth its premium price!
Contacts and Calendars
Moving on to MobileMe's Contacts and Calendars, why not hook them fully into Apple's own CalDAV and CardDAV protocols? Let us subscribe to online directories and shared calendars right from the iPhone (or the web).
Let's take a page from Palm's Pre and transparently pull -- and aggregate -- contact and calendar information from popular online services like Google and Facebook.
Photos should sync. We should be able to upload a photo to MobileMe's gallery and have it sync back to a subscribed gallery in the iPhone's Photo app, same as it does in iPhoto. For bonus points, iPhoto smart albums should also be sync'able. If I use iPhoto 09's Faces feature to tag my godson, and create a smart album based in part on that tag, having that go automagically to MobileMe and the iPhone would be killer. Allowing a Flickr option? Double killer.
Chad remembered that we were originally promised iDisk file sharing via email link. We haven't seen it yet, how about it Apple? While we're at it, while MobileFiles is a great app, iDisk should be built into the iPhone. If iWork.com actually becomes a viable product for Apple, that should be built-in accessible as well. The lack of an on-device file system and document editor could be slightly mitigated with just those two additions.
Notes and To-Do's
The iPhone was originally supposed to sync notes via iTunes but that feature fell off the roadmap at some point and hasn't been seen since. To Do/Tasks, of course, never even made it onto the roadmap. Heck, Exchange supports syncing those data types, and the iPhone won't even do it via ActiveSync. It should, and Apple should include it in MobileMe 2.0 and build the apps into iPhone OS 3.0.
Well, those are just a few ideas, we're sure you must have a bunch more great ones. Let us know in the comments. We have a few months left and maybe Apple will listen: what do You want to see in MobileMe 2.0?
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