Now with Vitamin MM and 2.0 Goodness

When you take out the complete and utter disaster that can only be labeled as the worst product launch Apple has ever seen on not one, not two, but three highly anticipated products (or could be sheer genius, I mean look at the press they’ve gotten) and look at what these products are and how they meld together, Apple has really hit a home run. Lucky for Apple the iTtention span of the internet is a few days at most and once all of the kinks have worked out and people are plugging along with the great products life will once again be calm amongst the fanboys.

Of the three products released this week, MobileMe, iPhone 2.0 firmware, and the 3G iPhone, I was, as you know, anxiously awaiting the first two. MobileMe was a tease on what was supposed to be day one but in the few seconds (literally) that I did get one and play with the slowness that currently is MobileMe, I knew that my patience would be rewarded.

I was also lucky enough to install the 2.0 firmware on my iPhone and download and play with some good third party applications, but I still wasn’t able to play with the two services until MobileMe finally got to a stable state. Now I have played with both and did some very unscientific testing to see how they work together and if you are currently in some level of iHell rest assured that your patience will be rewarded.

MobileMe: this is the web-based service that replaced .mac, it features a whole bunch of stuff but what is the most important (for this review) is the ability to have true PUSH email, sync your contacts, calendar, (and bookmarks should you desire) from your Mac to another Mac or to a PC or to a iPhone, or to a iPod Touch and back again without physically needing to sync with a cable. I currently have only tested the iPhone, web-based, and Mac syncing and let me say WOW!

When you look at the web-based version of Calendar it looks very similar to iCal and you can drag appointments from one place to another and within seconds your iPhone’s calendar has reflected that change, seriously seconds! The same is true for adding a contact, if you add the contact on the web-based address book or the iPhone within seconds it is available in the other place. The web-based Contacts looks very much like Address Book and like Calendar it is completely divided up into subsections (or categories) like your desktop applications are. I have seven calendars in iCal and four contact groups in Address Book and on the web I am able to display those groups just like I can on my desktop. I’m not sure what PUSH is powered by but I can only come to the conclusion that the forces of black magic are at work and I kind of like it.

Over the next few weeks you’ll read what everyone likes and dislikes about the service but I can honestly say that it met or exceeded my already high expectations.

I did however notice a couple of things that I wish it had:

  • The ability to choose which calendars or group of contacts I could sync. Currently you can only sync everything or nothing.
  • The ability to have iCal or Address Book PUSH the information immediately instead of waiting for the next sync cycle.

I know the speed of the web-based applications will work itself out over the next few days as soon as the “newness” wears off and not every single MobileMe user is trying to view its goodness. The wait however agonizing it appears right now is worth it I can assure you.