Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Tenth Anniversary of MobileMe’s Launch

Overshadowed by the tenth anniversary of the App Store came another milestone this week: ten years since the launch of MobileMe. Stephen Hackett:

When MobileMe launched in 2008, Microsoft Exchange really was its most direct competitor, in terms of features. However, Google was steadily improving Gmail, Google Contacts and Google Calendar.

Starting in 2009 or so, it was possible to leave MobileMe behind with a handful of now-defunct applications. By 2010, syncing data from Google directly with iOS and OS X was trivially easy.

In October 2011, just over three years after announcing MobileMe, Apple replaced with a free service: iCloud.

When Steve Jobs introduced iCloud at WWDC 2011, he pointed out that MobileMe was “not [Apple’s] finest hour”, and he’s certainly right about that. I would argue that not seeing earlier that Google could usurp MobileMe’s position for many iPhone users was also a poor showing.

But, while imperfect — a free tier that hasn’t changed in seven years, for example — iCloud has proved that Apple can absolutely do a fantastic job in online services. I use nearly all of iCloud’s features, with the exception of iCloud Music Library, and it has been, for years, increasingly reliable, fast, and dependable.