August 17, 2008 at 9:12 AM by Dr. Drang
As I mentioned in this post, I stopped using my trial MobileMe subscription a couple of weeks ago when I learned that OmniFocus had fixed its WebDAV support and I could sync my desktop and iPhone task lists using another server. Now I’m going to go back to MobileMe for a while.
I’m trying to look at the pros and cons before deciding whether to keep my MobileMe subscription. Here’s what I have so far:
- MobileMe is unnecessary for OmniFocus syncing. The past couple of weeks have proved that there’s no difference between MobileMe and non-MobileMe syncing.
- Calendar syncing is better with MobileMe. By using a free iCal server, iCal’s publish and subscribe features, and a couple of AppleScripts, I’ve been keeping my desktop and laptop calendars in sync for years. Syncing through iTunes and another AppleScript have handled the iPhone. But syncing through MobileMe is definitely smoother and requires no thinking on my part.
- Address Book syncing is much better with MobileMe. Syncing the iPhone and the desktop Mac is fine through iTunes, but keeping Address Books on two Macs is a pain. I scripted a solution, but it’s clunky.
- Syncing other programs is much better with MobileMe. At present, I can use MobileMe to keep TextExpander and 1Password in sync between the desktop and laptop. TextExpander isn’t particularly critical, but 1Password is. Syncing these programs without MobileMe is a manual process that I probably could script to get a clunky solution like that of Address Book.
- I don’t need a another email address. Maybe it would come in handy sometime—and me.com is a pretty cool domain—but I don’t see the need for it now.
- I can’t see much use for the MobileMe web apps. They look nice, but they’re not as good as the native applications, and I use other people’s computers about as often as I wear other people’s underwear.
- iDisk sucks. Small files transfer well enough, but moving a handful of photos or a song files takes forever. I don’t think this a problem specific to MobileMe; WebDAV seems to be slow in general. When I need to get a file onto a server, I SFTP it through YummyFTP, which is much faster. I’m sure SFTPing via Transmit and Interarchy are just as fast.
- I’ve never tried Back To My Mac, but the folks on Macbreak Weekly have never had a kind word for it, so I’m dubious, to say the least. The combination of SSH, SFTP and Screen Sharing has worked fine for me, but I should try Back To My Mac before deciding.
As everyone has said of both MobileMe and its predecessor, .Mac, the sticking point is the price. If MobileMe were half the price, it would be well worth it for the convenience. I’ll give it a month or so and then revisit my pros and cons.