TiPb TV 8: Is MobileMe worth it?

Is Apple's MobileMe service worth $99 a year? Or more to the point, who is Apple's MobileMe service worth it for? Now that one of its most compelling features, Find my iPhone is free (yes, even for older devices!) it's a question we're getting asked more and more often. And it's the topic for the eighth episode of our new, conversational video show, TiPb TV!

Rene and I go over the services MobileMe provides for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users, and the additional features people with Macs -- or multiple Macs -- get out of it, what Apple might do to improve it in 2011, cheaper places to find it (like Amazon.com) as well as free alternatives like Gmail and Dropbox for those who'd rather roll their own.

If you're trying to figure out whether or not to spend the money on MobileMe watch along and we'll help you decide!

TiPb TV 8: Is MobileMe worth it?

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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TiPb TV 8: Is MobileMe worth it?

41 Comments

It should be no more than $49 a year. But, I keep renewing every year with $99 because I need it. It's great. :|

Storage is smaller and less customizable than Dropbox.
Find my iPhone is free now.
Real time syncing for POP email is ubiquitous.
Real time syncing for Calendar and Contacts is the only reason to do MobileMe, and they are both constantly conflicting with other files you may have for Calendar and Contacts.
MobileMe will be dead by 2011 unless they totally reinvent it and make give it a Killer App feature that it lacks now.

There is absolutely no reason to pay $99 (or $149) every year. Go to EBay or Amazon and get it much, much cheaper. Just reupped our family plan for $62 - and it's completely legit. I tried to go the other route - gmail, dropbox, xmarks, google calendar - but way too much of a pain in the ass once you get used to MobileMe.

Good show. Good rapport. Good speed. Good info.
And while I dislike it when people make these things about looks, SOMEbody looked even cuter, grinning in the opening shot.
Congrats on what looks like a successful new endeavor, folks.

@fastlane, you shouldn't pay more than 50 dollars, the average price on Ebay for an individual account is 50-55 dollars, got mine and my wife's account for 45 dollars each.

I do not believe it is worth it yet, imma going with the Steve Jobs e-mail it will get better, and by better I think he means FREE

Eh, it is really difficult explain why peoples love MobileMe. I'm one of all who use MobileMe and I pay every year for it. Since 2005. I have two macs one iPhone and it "Just works"... Its helps, saves me a lot of times. :)

[quote]A.J says:
December 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm
I do not believe it is worth it yet, imma going with the Steve Jobs e-mail it will get better, and by better I think he means FREE[/quote]
Never MobileMe be FREE. Where is loyality for existing users?

To be "worth it" a product has to be either a) better than less expensive competition or b) good enough but cheaper than better conpetition. MobileMe instead is more expensive and worse (on most features, IMHO) so no, it is not worth it.

@bsangs:

"I tried to go the other route – gmail, dropbox, xmarks, google calendar – but way too much of a pain in the *** once you get used to MobileMe.

Exactly. They're free... but so is my neighbor's curbside trash. :roll:

Mobile Me is not worth it. The reason I got it was for contact and calendar sync, but I can do that for free with Google. Plus I use gmail anyway. I would be embarrassed to give some a me.com email address.

I use MobileMe to host my blog site, which is nice. True I can get hosting for a simple blog site cheaper somewhere else, I do get all the other features with MobileMe added to the package which is nice. However, I will admit (even as an avid Mobile Me user) that $99 for a year, now that the find my iPhone app is free, is a wee bit much. Here's to hoping for major improvements in '11.

I've used MobileMe since it was called iTools, when it was free. Way before the .Mac period. It's mostly very solid and does seem to be gradually getting more "sock rolid" over time. But yes, it would be great if it were either cheaper or free. Not because I think it's too expensive, but just to shut up the complainers.

G-Mail users, do you get a lot of SPAM? Mobile Me users, what about you? The big difference for me is Mobile Me isn't free, G-Mail is. Who exactly is G-MAIL selling my information to? I feel much more secure about all of my information that's stored with Mobile Me.

Huge tipb fan here, but not a big fan of the tipb tv. Somethings are better suited to video, and some are better read. Something that's very info heavy - weighing pros and cons, specs, feature lists, etc. - I want to skim through at my own pace and focus on what's important to me.
On the other hand, a new product or software that I want to see in operation - yeah, make a video out of it.
The topic looked interesting to me, but I just didn't feel like sitting through 8 minutes for it, so I'm taking a pass.

It is for me. An integrated package of email, photo sharing, remote disk, and website hosting is worth the price. The web site hosting is the value for me. Integration with iWeb works and allows me to have over 20 sites. You can get it all for less but then you have several vendors to interface with. I am over the do it yourself days. I just want everything to work together.

Rene is wrong about Google Contact sync. Through the Exchange server, it only syncs "My Contacts" from Google to my iphone. Those extraneous email addresses in "All Contacts" are not transferred.

I am hoping that they simply reduce the price and add features. Free would be nice but not if it brings in iAds. I will gladly keep paying to keep all the adds out of my email. I would be lost without the contact and calendar sync. The iDisk needs a huge improvment. I just started testing out Dropbox and I can finally see why people say idisk sucks compared to dropbox. Dropbox just works so well. I will keep paying for my family pack either way as long as the ads stay out. I will probably renew it next year going through either ebay or amazon.

People are complaining about $99 a year. But I've had all the iPhones and when you buy new hardware it's $69. So I renew it every time I buy a new iPhone. Like the email and contacts sync. Calendar is fine, dont really use it much. Find my iPhone I dont really use. But I do use the gallery for pictures.

I disagree with the statement "if you a PC user with 1 iphone its not worth it"!
Just having the ability to back up my contacts, calender and email seamlessly has been a life saver. I been with mobile me for 2.5 years, and have tried to use other solutions but always stick with mobile me due to it's simplicity and the fact it JUST works!
It's even better since i got an iPad as i can sync my calender between my iphone/ipad/and Outlook. Get for work :)

Wow, I'm stunned that there are people who actually defend this... Product. When I bought by iPad and they tried to sell MobileMe with it I read the box and thought it had to be a joke -- No one would actually pay for that, let alone pay that much, would they?
To each their own, I suppose.
Pursuing Apple-centric sites has truly shown me wonders unimagined. Wish I could say that was a good thing.

I do not like the idea of paying every year, (with the money I have a contract that is to much) I would like to pay wen I need to use the features. I only have one mac. I would like a compleet app/game data sync up because I do not use iTunes to restore from back up because I do not anything resorting from one of my old iPods to get added to my iPhone for anything like that. So if I could sine in to mobile me and it would sync over my game data, passwords and integration to the photos app then that would be what I would pay for.

I was think thing just know what if mobile me was to become iTune to the cloud.
Sync your music , videos , photo (with iPhoto and iOS devices), all game data, iOS and Mac OS doc and settings sync and user name/password sync. Now that would be fantastic. I would never have plug in to the desktop

I don't like Google and I have problem with Google using my personal information to target advertising. Just because something is free, doesn't mean that it is for everyone. That being said I pay for both Exchange hosted services and Mobile Me. Mobile Me has been pretty rock solid lately and I may consider dropping Exchange.

it takes more time to me go gain 99$ by working, than the time it takes me configuring my 2 devices to be synced with mail/contact/calendar and even getting drop box like they said. about the stolen iphone... i would prefer the jailbreak options like cylay. besides all of that i can be assured than no matter if i pay or i dont, ill always have them available for me.

Why do you guys keep saying that you can't understand why Apple made Find My iPhone free? It's very simple, because there are free Android apps that do it. Competition is a great thing !

I have said goodbye to my iPhone and hello to Windows Phone 7, I have windows 7 on my laptop and desktop, i have an ipad. I still and will continue to subscribe to MobileMe. Their email solution is amazing! I can pull all my email accounts into it, i can sync ALL my calendars(outlook, gmail, exchange) all in one place! Having that anywhere i go on my laptop, a CAP site, it's amazing. I'm a Wiondows Fan boy, but mobile me get's my $$ every year!

@Scotty,
How are you able to sync your MobileMe calendar information to your WP7 device? The last I checked, MobileMe wasn't an exchange solution. Are you just syncing the WP7 device to MobileMe email via IMAP?

I still use MobileMe even after I left the iPhone. There are two reasons I still pay for the service. First, the way my iPod/iPad handles multiple timezones on the calendar. I travel internationally quite a bit and when I make an appt in the US I want the appt to stay in that timezone. Second, the contacts allow me to enter a "phonetic" name for my Korean and Chinese contacts so they are not all clumped at the beginning or end of my contact list. This allows me to look up my foreign contacts by English alphabetical order while using their native alphabet to spell their name. Mobile Me syncs them perfectly and does a pretty decent job syncing to Outlook too. I don't mind paying for the service because it works so well with my iPod/iPad/PC and the MobileMe web apps are pretty good. I would have to pay for some sort of Exchange service if I didn't use MobileMe so the cost is what it is. Once they ironed out the wrinkles (remember when they first launched it?) it's been great for me.
Anyways, just my take on it.

No mention of email aliases. Nice feature that can be had on Yahoo! and other sites. MobileMe gives 5 aliases per account. Create one for needed correspondence and cut the string if it starts to become a nuisance.
My wife wanted a feature site that she could control aspects for our kids. MobileMe is that site. She can also push us calendar events like birthdays, holidays and family schedules. Reset forgotten passwords and
So, again, Apple is able to take what is complicated or convoluted elsewhere and reconstitute it for a larger audience.

Security, I pay for security. Google is a information whore and I don't want my information all over like that . So I gladly pay for mobile me for security and ease of use. We have two mac's one macbook pro two iphones and one ipad so it makes sense to me.

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