After being exposed to the Apple culture over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been head-first in many different technologies and ideologies. Everything is fine, but one that pops up is a service Apple markets called “MobileMe”. Straight from Apple’s page (http://www.apple.com/mobileme/) it provides mail/contacts/calendar sync, photos/files sync, along with the ability to track the location of your iPhone. (now THAT is scary…) When I first saw it, I had to raise an eyebrow since I’ve had these services (except for phone tracking) for years now and for free.
Since the inception of Google Mail version of contacts/calendar integration many years ago, I’ve used the contacts/calendar sync with different devices and computers. For photo & file sync, I’ve used a service called Dropbox, which offers 2GB of free space. (or you can pay $5/month for 50GB of space) If you run an Ubuntu desktop, there’s also an Ubuntu Linux client for it as well, and I’ve tested that. With my services, sychronized contacts/calendaring/file storage is $0. With MobileMe, it’d be $99/year. The downside of MobileMe is it’s not cross-platform and only operates on Mac environments. With Google calendar/contacts & dropbox, it operates on every (DESKTOP) operating system I’ve used in 2010/2011. Note I added the years, since dropbox obviously isn’t available for OS/2, BeOS, AmigaOS, MS-DOS, WebOS, Symbian, etc.
I currently use Google calendar/contacts with dropbox on my iMac, Macbook Air, iPad, & iPhone. I used Google calendar/contacts on my now retired HTC HD2 Windows mobile 6.5, but unfortunately there wasn’t a dropbox client available for it. Probably for the best since I store a couple of GB on dropbox and an HTC HD2 doesn’t have much local storage other than the MicroSD card.
I guess if tracking your phone’s location is your desire, $99/year is a good price. If I had a child (and the desire to buy them an iPhone…) then it’d be a good feature to have when your wondering why “Tiffany” is not home at 12:30am saturday morning after going out on a date. That being said, “Tiffany” could just leave her phone at home. After all, if you disregard one rule, what’s another? Then again, you could blank the phone just to scold for not having the phone, but at that point you’ve already lost parenting skills and are resorting to post-mortem (non pre-emptive) passive approaches. Why am I going on about this since I’m not a father?
I figured I’d share this, in the hopes that others could at least see the options available instead of dumping $99/year on something without knowing their options.