MobileMe web apps back online with updated mail UI, app switcher

As was widely expected, Apple's MobileMe web apps -- me.com -- are back online after their scheduled maintenance, and sporting an updated look and some new features.

The new Mail has come out of beta and now everyone can enjoy server-side rules, which is terrific if way overdue. In the not-so-terrific pile, previously you could instantly switch between apps using a conventional menu bar. Now you have to figure out that clicking the cloud icon top left will bring up and icon bar which you can then click to switch tasks. Less discoverability and efficiency in one update? Not very Apple.

(They've standardized on the iPhone app icons to represent Me.com tasks, however, which is good. And they look great.)

Are you trying to new Me.com? What do you think?

UPDATE: Apple's MobileMe email announcement, after the break.

Service Update: New MobileMe Mail, Find My iPhone, and more.

Today we're making available to all MobileMe members an all-new Mail web application, a Find My iPhone app, and a new way to navigate between applications at me.com. Read on for details.

All-new Mail at me.com

MobileMe Mail on the web (now out of beta) has been completely redesigned with powerful new features such as widescreen view for reading email with less scrolling, rules to keep your email organized everywhere, and faster performance. For more details on these and other new Mail features, please read this news post.

Find My iPhone app and more

You can now download the free Find My iPhone app, enabling you to locate a misplaced device directly from iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch while on the go. After installing it from the App Store, just launch the app and sign in to quickly locate your devices on a map and access the other Find My iPhone features — Display a Message or Play a Sound, Remote Lock, and Remote Wipe.*

The Find My iPhone web application on me.com has also been updated with a full-screen map view. Clicking your missing device on the map lets you access all the Find My iPhone actions to help you recover your device and protect the information on it.

Learn more about improvements to Find My iPhone here.

New way to get around me.com

We've also given me.com a new look and a new way to navigate between applications. Simply click the cloud icon in the upper left of the page, and choose from Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Gallery, iDisk, and Find My iPhone. To access account information, help, or to sign out, just click your name on the top right.

We recommend accessing me.com with Safari 5, Firefox 3.6 or later, or Internet Explorer 8. If you have questions about this update, please read this FAQ.

We hope you enjoy these improvements to MobileMe. Thank you for being a MobileMe member.

Sincerely,

The MobileMe Team

*Find My iPhone and Remote Wipe are not available in all countries.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

MobileMe web apps back online with updated mail UI, app switcher

26 Comments

the cloud icon is confusing at first and it requires two clicks to get where you need to go now. Not very Apple like....
Other than Mail coming out of beta, no new functionality as far as I can see.
Just basically a cleaner interface, except for the cloud icon boo-boo.

The way switching apps was just fine! Now we need more clicks to get to an app - don't like it!
Other then that: what About an improved calendar app?
And how about a to do app for the iPhone?
Oh..notes editing in the cloud is also missing.

Quick tip: You can use Shift+Esc to switch apps within MobileMe also.
I love the update, especially the new Find my iPhone.
Cheers

...oh one more thing:
The gallery app symbol is ugly (liked the sunflower way more) and has to much noise (wood and stripes and water and boat) so doesn't fit with the other icons.
While I am on it: why can't I add somebody to an went on my iPhone (with ios4!)?

...and I don't need a default junk folder!
Ok, I think I am done now, thank you guys and sorry for the flameing

Apple doing the beta thing is smart. Using the beta brought me back to my .mac email from the Gmail world. It finally works reliably at work where I'm forced to use Windows.

I actually like the new interface now that we have rules. I'm using the Trial until I can find a way to get it cheaper for the family plan. My wife also wants it on her phone just for the find my phone in case she loses her's. With summer vacation for two kids, money's going to be tight (crying)

@ ChrisJ..you DONT have to pay 99 dollars...go to ebaym plenty of MoMe account going between 40-55 dollars, I got my wife's account for 44 dollars from a Australian seller that emailed me the code to activate the account...it is well worth 45 dollars in my opinion

There's still no way to search the calendar in the cloud. Deeply lame. Having your stuff sync with the cloud is great, and it seems so obvious that you should be able to use the data in the cloud as fully as possible. You can't search your calendar more than a year forward or backward on the iPhone, and you can't search at all in MobileMe, so if you are away from your computer there's no way to access your stuff.

Does it have the ability to allow me to use a non me.com email address yet? That is the only thing holding me up from buying it.

Personally, I don't mind the "one icon/two click" approach at all, but I have a feeling it's not going to go over very well... and it wouldn't surprise me if Apple changes back to the multiple icons after enough backlash from the lazier crowd.
Thanks for the keyboard tip, Greg.

@fastlane
If Microsoft or Google makes a bad interface choice, they have bad designers.
If Apple makes one, the users are lazy.
Thanks for pointing that out.

Does the find my iphone feature work with the other accounts on a family pack, or just the primary one? I am really not impressed by MobileMe, but it might be worth a family pack for the tracking/finding/wiping of multiple phones in the family.

Much snappier than the previous versions of MobileMe. The Find My iPhone feature works much better and has a nicer feel than the previous version. I agree the cloud is an odd application switcher, but overall the interface is cleaner looking and more desk top like. Overall I think it is a big improvement.

I'm glad they've finally integrated Rules. It's really annoying not having them. I wonder if the rules will sync with my existing Rules in my Mail program on my iMac (found out about the new Me.com stuff while at work - can't test the Rules thing until I get home, I guess.)
One annoyance I have with the Calendar on Me.com is its inability to generate alarms. I can create an alarm on my iPhone in relation to a Calendar entry, but not on Me.com. Unless I'm missing a hidden preference somewhere...?
I'm on the trial for it right now, so I'm fairly new to the whole system. I like the syncing, though, in that it reflects all my changes whether I do them on my iPhone, the Me.com cloud or on my iMac.

@fastlane
and 3 years later Apple still can't catch up to that lack of interface on email.
Of course, you obviously have a keen appreciation for ui, promoting Apple with "Personally, don't mind, but..."
High praise indeed. You are right; competitors should be quaking.

Am I missing something or did we lose functionality with the change to the "switching" icon? I used to be able to have both mail and calendar open simultaneously in different windows by right clicking the calendar icon to open it in a new window. Extremely necessary when transferring info from an email message to my calendar. Now, I can't seem to open one and then another simultaneously. Right clicking offers me the option to view the "image" in a new window - not exactly useful. This switching idea that allows only one function at a time is so old fashioned Microsoft as to be a joke - but I am not laughing. Gmail is looking better all the time - come on Apple - give me back the old functionality.

I want to search my calendar! How'm I supposed to remember when I met with someone months ago!? Lame that you can't search in the cloud. I don't find the iphone search calendar to be reliable either. Maybe it has to do with case sensitivity?
Diane, I only just stumbled across this but you can have mail open in one tab, simply open another tab in your browser, go to the calendar in that 2nd tab.
~darby

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