iPhone Calendar Syncing: 1.x vs. 2.0 vs. MobileMe + Whither the Digital Hub?

Mac nerdery stalwart John Gruber over at DaringFireball has put together a very interesting essay about how iPhone Calendar syncing has evolved from firmware 1.x (1.0 - 1.4) to firmware 2.0, and how the current iTunes syncing differs in functionality from syncing via Apple's MobileMe service.

From welcome improvements to frustrating choices, from new methods of use to evolving work-arounds, Gruber ultimately comes to the ultimate question:

Whither the “digital hub”?

While iTunes originally served as the one-stop location for all syncing and sync settings, MobileMe now works outside the iTunes universe, but does not offer the options (e.g. selecting individual rather than all calendars to sync) iTunes does, nor does the MobileMe pref pane.

Is there a way for Apple to cleanly present a unified place to manage all iPhone syncing, with a robust set of options?

My vote remains iTunes. When MobileMe is in use, keep the settings enabled, and pass the preferences along to the "cloud". That keeps data, media, and commerce all in one place, with one interface, in a familiar context. Just "push" choices of calendars, contact groups, etc. back up to MobileMe.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.