Apple’s MobileMe service will shut its doors forever on June 30th, 2012, and the Cupertino-based company is encouraging existing users to migrate to its iCloud service instead. To make the transition easier, MobileMe subscribers will be offered 20GB of free iCloud storage until September 30th. Apple plans to also offer MobileMe customers who purchased additional storage 50GB of extra iCloud space until September as well. “MobileMe members with 20GB of purchased storage receive a complimentary iCloud storage upgrade of 20GB, and accounts with additional purchased storage (40GB to 60GB) receive a complimentary upgrade of 50GB after moving to iCloud,” Apple posted on its website. “These free upgrades are good through September 30th, 2012. After that date, you can continue the upgrade at the regular price or let it expire and use the free 5GB plan.” –
Apple has been forced to take its iCloud and MobileMe push email services offline in Germany as a result of a recent ruling in a patent lawsuit filed by Motorola Mobility against the technology giant, German blog Macerkopf reports. Late last year, a German court ruled against Apple in a suit filed by Motorola citing a number of patents covering 3G communications and push email services. A permanent injunction was issued and though sales of Apple’s 3G devices were initially halted earlier this month, the products went back on sale later that day. Now, presumably as a measure to avoid further sales interruptions, Apple has confirmed that it halted push email services tied to its iCloud and earlier MobileMe products.”This ruling only impacts customers in Germany who use a Push setting to get their MobileMe and iCloud email,” an Apple spokesperson told Engadget. “These customers will still receive email to their devices. Apple believes this patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.” More →
If you’re currently an active MobileMe subscriber, Apple may soon offer you an incentive to move all of your data over to its new iCloud service. From the day the service goes public until June 30th of next year users who move their data to iCloud will receive 25GB of free iCloud storage for as long as their iCloud account is active, 9to5 Mac reported on Monday. Every iCloud user will receive 5GB free from the get-go and and an additional 10GB will cost $20 per year. An extra 20GB will cost $40 per year and 50GB of added storage will set you back $100 annually. ICloud is still available only to developers but we have no doubt it will be fully live by the time Apple finalizes iOS 5 and launches its next iPhone, which is expected to occur in September or October. More →
According to Apple’s new MobileMe transition FAQ page, users will be able to access their iCloud services from the web. Specifically, the site says:
Will I be able to access iCloud services on the web?
Yes. Web access to iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Find My iPhone will be available at icloud.com this fall.
The FAQ also details some other issues that MobileMe users may be concerned about as their accounts are moved to iCloud. Apple says that photos, apps, music, and books do not count against the 5GB of free storage that comes with iCloud, and users will be able to buy more at a later time. It’s unclear how much additional space will cost, but Apple says it will explain more in the fall. As you’re likely aware, iCloud was announced during WWDC as a replacement for MobileMe. It will automatically store content across all of your devices and keep your mail, contacts, and calendar in sync across all devices. Users will simply need to sign into a new device to pull in all of their settings, photos, and more. More →
Apple confirmed on Tuesday that CEO Steve Jobs will be on hand at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference next week to unveil Apple’s next-generation software. Jobs and other Apple executives will finally take the wraps off iOS 5, the highly anticipated software update iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users around the world have been clamoring for. Among the enhancements expected to be revealed are widgets and a completely revamped notification system. Apple will also detail its new iCloud offering, and while the company did not elaborate on the offering, it is expected to be a suite of cloud-based services that will include a streaming music service backed by major record labels in the U.S. Finally, Apple said it will provide new details surrounding Lion, the eighth major release of the Mac OS X operating system. Hit the break for Apple’s full press release.
Fortune recently published an article by Adam Lashinsky titled “Inside Apple” that provides dozens of insights into the business and culture at Apple, as well as the mindset of its CEO, Steve Jobs. There are several juicy quotes and facts in it pulled from interviews with Apple employees, including Jobs’ reaction to the botched MobileMe and iPhone 3G launch in 2008. When the launch didn’t go as planned, Jobs called the MobileMe team into a town hall meeting and said the whole group was “tarnishing Apple’s reputation.” Jobs went on, “Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?” Upon hearing a response, Jobs wondered aloud, “So why the f*** doesn’t it do that?” Lashinsky also also discussed a speech that Jobs gives to employees rising to the rank of vice president, dubbed “Difference Between the Janitor and the Vice President.” In it, Jobs tells the new VP that it’s OK for a janitor to make excuses when things go wrong — but a VP doesn’t have that luxury. “Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering. [That] Rubicon is crossed when you become a VP,” Jobs reportedly says during the speech. Lashinsky’s story is available in the latest issue of Forbes, which can be purchased in print, on the iPad for $4.99 or through Amazon’s Kindle store. More →
French blog Consomac has discovered an interesting bit of intel inside Apple’s latest developer build of Mac OS X Lion. The information insinuates that users of the company’s MobileMe cloud service will be prompted to upgrade to an offering dubbed “Castle” at some point in the future. It is unclear if Castle will be the new name of an expanded cloud-service offering — iCloud? — or rather the name of an update to the current service. The company’s World Wide Developer Conference is set to take place next month, and we’re sure most of the details will be ironed out by then. More →
With Amazon having just launched its Cloud Drive digital locker product and Apple rumored to be on the verge of introducing a cloud-based music service of its own, the last thing Google needs is a new barrier in its negotiations with music labels. Unfortunately, according to a new report on Friday, Google has positioned a new hurdle in its own path by changing the terms of its proposed Google Music service in the middle of talks with labels. As a result, Google’s conversations with major labels have now “gone backwards,” and Google may be thinking about throwing in the towel and launching an Amazon-like locker service where users can upload their own songs and stream them. This would be less than optimal for Google as it would likely pull in far less revenue than a subscription music service or an iTunes-like store, but at least it would give users a way to stream their music on any PC or Android device. More →
A new job listing on Apple’s website reveals that the company is assembling a small team of engineers to build what the company refers to as “the future of cloud services at Apple.” The job listing, which seeks a Cloud Systems Software Engineer, calls for a programmer who will “explore the far reaches of the possible by joining the team building the future of cloud services at Apple!” Apple is rumored to be working on several new cloud-based offerings that may launch in the near future. Among the more recent rumors is rumblings that Apple will revamp its MobileMe service to include a digital locker that would allow users to store music and videos online and then stream the files to PCs and iOS devices. Amazon recently launched a Cloud Drive service that offers similar functionality. More →
On Wednesday Microsoft confirmed with enthusiast blog LoopinSight that it will launch Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 next week. The update will reportedly include performance enhancements, as well as security and stability fixes, but it will also include major changes for Outlook for Mac. After applying the software patch, users will be able to sync their Outlook calendars, tasks, notes, and contacts with Apple’s Sync Services, and it includes support for CalDAV calendars. The update will also add a new redirect and resend buttons. iPhone and iPod touch devices will also stay in sync, Pat Fox, Microsoft’s senior director of product management told The Loop. Service Pack 1 does come with one caveat, though: users will not be able to use Sync Services to sync with the MobileMe calendar beginning on May 5th. More →
Amazon may launch a new online storage locker this week that will allow users to store digital content — such as books, music, and movies — on Amazon’s servers. CNET, which cites sources from both the music and film industries, says Amazon is racing to launch the service in an effort to beat both Google and Apple to the market. This past weekend we reported that Google is already testing its own music service internally, and rumor has it that Apple may launch a new MobileMe service with a cloud-based music option, too. It’s unclear what Amazon will charge for such a service, but there are rumor’s that MobileMe could become a free service. More →
According to sources speaking to The Music Void, Apple may launch a revamped MobileMe service this year with a new “music locker” feature, which would allow iTunes users to store and access music in the cloud. The idea of an online storage feature in MobileMe is nothing new, but Apple may already have a deal with Warner Music Group that will allow users to access music in the cloud. This could, for example, allow users to stream music from their iTunes library to any computer, or allow users to re-download tracks they’ve already paid for. Despite rumors that a free version of MobileMe is in the works, The Music Void argues that Apple will charge around $20 per year for the new, cloud service. For now it’s all a hearsay, but hopefully we’ll hear more in the next month or so. More →
An anonymous source speaking to iLounge has suggested that Apple will launch its free version of MobileMe in April. The source reportedly works for a major educational institution and says Apple has recommended that incoming students download a free 60-day trial version of MobileMe instead of signing up for the current version, which Apple will reportedly kill off in a year. Evidence has long suggested that Apple has a free version of the MobileMe service on its road map. We suspect the free service will allow users to store digital content such as photos, music, or videos online, and we imagine there will be options to purchase more storage space for a fee. If this new report pans out, we won’t have to wait very long to find out. More →