So let’s see if I can keep this straight. A long time ago, when Mac OS 8/9 was still around, Apple created a service called iTools that provided online greeting cards and other lame services. This eventually morphed into .Mac, which provided Apple fans with a .mac email address. This then morphed into MobileMe (and the change to .me email addresses), which was actually a great, great idea (Exchange for consumers, basically) but implemented badly at first (and then fixed, though no one seemed to notice). But now Apple is transitioning this service yet again, to iCloud. And my, do Apple’s fans/i.e. customers have questions.
So today, Apple started answering those questions via a helpful FAQ on its web site. Here are some of the more relevant answers…
The core services provided by MobileMe have been rewritten to work seamlessly with iCloud. MobileMe will no longer be available as a paid sync service. If you had an active MobileMe account as of June 6, 2011, your service has been extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, the MobileMe service will no longer be available.
According to the FAQ, MobileMe’s mail, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, Find My Phone, and Back to My Mac services will continue in iCloud.
But iWeb publishing, (Photo) Gallery, and iDisk will not. That’s actually pretty shocking: Those were major reasons to use .Mac, and two of the three were PC compatible. But there’s more: Syncing of Mac Dashboard widgets, keychains, Dock items, and System Preferences will not be part of iCloud either. Those were all Mac-only features.
(However, Apple notes that iCloud will also include some new services, all of which were previously known: iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, Automatic downloads and purchase history for apps and books, and Backup and Restore.)
Yes. If you have an active MobileMe account when you sign up for iCloud, you’ll be able to keep your me.com or mac.com email address and move your MobileMe mail, contacts, and calendars, as well as your bookmarks, to the new service.
No. You cannot merge two accounts into one. However, you will be able to move your MobileMe account (firstname.lastname@example.org) to iCloud and, if you choose, you can continue to use a different iTunes account for store purchases and iTunes in the Cloud.
Yes. iCloud includes 5GB of free storage for mail, documents, and backup, which should be enough for most users. Purchased music, apps, and books do not count against this 5GB of storage, nor do the photos in your Photo Stream. If you still need more storage, you will be able to buy it. Details will be provided when iCloud is available this fall.
You can cancel your service at any time and receive a prorated refund for the unused portion of your paid subscription.