I’ve been a .Mac subscriber since the day the service came out, and despite the various moves from free to paid, I’ve stuck with it all the way.
MobileMe, the service’s successor, was pitched as “Exchange for the rest of us”, which is something that really excited me. I’ve had an Exchange account on my personal domain for a while, and got used to having the capabilities it gives you.
So I was eager to try out MobileMe. But, sadly, it’s proved to be a bit disappointing. That’s not only because of its well-documented early problems, but because there are a couple of things missing which I really would miss if I switched away from using Exchange.
There’s no doubt that MobileMe hasn’t had the best of starts in terms of its reliability. There is the oft-cited 1% who have had no email. There have also been various other gremlins in the system, such as the one which robbed me of all but three of my Address Book contacts. Thankfully, I had a backup – Time Machine saved me.
With a service such as MobileMe, reliability isn’t optional. Even if I’m not using it for business, I can’t afford to lose my calendars, address book and email. It needs to be there, 100% of the time, with no if’s or buts.
One of the nice things about .Mac (and its successor) is the personalised domain. Basically, give it a domain name, and it will use your MobileMe web space for it. It’s all highly-intergrated, and works very well.
Except for one thing: it only works for web traffic. If you have email at that domain, you’re out of luck – Apple does nothing with your mail exchanger records, which means you won’t receive email to an email address at your personal domain.
To put it bluntly, this is pretty lame: this, after all, is a feature which Google gives away for free in Google Apps for your Domain. To pay and not get the same from MobileMe is pretty poor.