MobileMe vs. iCloud: Overhaul or upgrade?

comparisonApple introduced iCloud with much fanfare yesterday, as the cloud computing solution has been its much-anticipated answer to MobileMe’s faults as well as a remote iTunes feature. The general impression seems to be that we were expecting more, a game-changer, and instead what we’re seeing is a stepping stone toward a more efficient and flaw-free system. While Apple has yet to release full details on the new service, it’s the unknowns that are causing skeptics to wonder how different iCloud and the soon-defunct MobileMe really are.

Price

MobileMe: $99 a year (20 GB, 200 GB of monthly data transfer) or $149 a year for a Family Pack (five users; one individual account of 20 GB and five supplementary with 5GB)

iCloud: 5GB for Free (music, apps, books, and Photo Streams don’t count toward your free storage); there is a $25 annual fee to sync music not bought via iTunes

Outside Apple compatibility

MobileMe: Could be used on Windows PCs via iTunes and MobileMe Control Panel for Windows.

iCloud: Will work with a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 and iTunes 10.3. From what we’ve heard thus far, iCloud will not offer storage for Microsoft Office documents or an option for storing and syncing outside files. Anything you’ve got stored in Flickr, Dropbox, Picasa, CloudMe, Google Docs, etc – will be staying there unless users personally transfer it over manually. We all know why this is a frustration: Say you’re currently an iPhone, iPad, and Mac user, but at some point you’re tempted by an Android phone. Apple’s trapped your data within its walled garden. A big part of iCloud’s function will be lost on you unless you remain a loyal Apple consumer. Not to say Apple’s the only one guilty of such closed-ecosystem tactics, but it doesn’t make it any fairer to users.

Productivity applications

MobileMe: Address book and calendar, iDisk (a 20GB online storage account), iWeb Publish, MobileMe Mail, MobileMe Calendar Beta

iCloud: Documents, Mail (me.com email account), Calendar, Contacts, as well as all your previously purchased iOS apps (wirelessly pushed to iCloud)

Sharing

MobileMe: Users could select iDisk’s public folder to share files. This space could also be password protected to keep content secure. The other option was to select files and using the me.com/idisk or the iDisk iPhone app and selecting the Share icon. This would create a unique, password protected link to the file that you could send via the me.com email client.

iCloud: Sharing, most specifically for documents, hasn’t been detailed yet. We do know that as it currently stands, users will not be able to share music via iCloud. It’s also unclear how Apple intends to transfer their files from iDisk to iCloud and it’s entirely possible this will have to be done manually (Apple has said that email, contacts, calendar, and bookmarks will be shifted to iCloud).

Photos

MobileMe: The MobileMe Gallery stored photos uploaded at me.com, synced by iPhoto or Aperture, or uploaded from your iOS device. There was also a specific email address for uploading photos and videos, and galleries could be public or private or even password-protected. You could send photos directly from iPhones or iPod touches.

Users had hang-ups with difference versions of Aperture though. In order to use Aperture 2 or later and publish content to MobileMe Galleries, all versions of the software had to be the same. Not doing so could result in duplicated galleries or missing photos.

iCloud: Photo Stream offers a constantly updated collection of your most recent 1,000 photos and new photos are stored for 30 days. Your Mac or PC will automatically grab and store all your photos taken with any iOS device once Photo Stream is activated there.

Music

How to convert and play FLAC music files on your iPhone or iPad

The high-resolution revolution is upon us, and FLAC files are a popular way to store hi-res sound. But what if you’re an iOS user? Check out our article to find out more about FLAC files, and how to use them on Apple devices.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Computing

The MacBook is smaller, the MacBook Air is faster, but which is better?

This year, Apple's MacBook Air got a powerful internal upgrade, but the redesign makes it slimmer and lighter. So should you get the MacBook Air over the MacBook? We'll compare both notebook's major features and help you decide.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Computing

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.
Computing

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.
Mobile

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Mobile

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.