Apple Unveils MobileMe

Alongside the launch of the iPhone 3G on 11 July, Apple is introducing MobileMe, a web service that delivers push email, push contacts and push calendars from the MobileMe service to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs. MobileMe also provides a suite of web applications that, says Apple, deliverx a desktop-like experience through any modern browser.
MobileMe is a subscription-based service with 20GB of storage for 59 per year for individuals, and 89 per year for a Family Pack, which includes one master account with 20GB of storage and four Family Member accounts with 5GB of storage each. MobileMe subscribers can buy an additional 20GB of storage for 30 or 40GB of storage for 59 annually. Users can sign up for a free, 60-day MobileMe trial here. Current .Mac members will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe accounts.
MobileMe applications include Mail, Contacts and Calendar, as well as Gallery, for viewing and sharing photos and iDisk for storing and exchanging documents online. Gallery users can upload, rearrange, rotate and title photos from any browser; post photos directly from an iPhone; allow visitors to download print quality images; and contribute photos to an album.
Think of MobileMe as Exchange for the rest of us, says Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Now users who are not part of an enterprise that runs Exchange can get the same push email, push calendars and push contacts that the big guys get.
With a MobileMe email account, all folders, messages and status indicators look identical whether checking email on iPhone, iPod touch, a Mac or a PC. New email messages are pushed instantly to iPhone over the cellular network or wi-fi, removing the need to manually check email and wait for downloads. Push also keeps contacts and calendars continuously up-to-date so changes made on one device are automatically pushed to other devices. Push works with the native applications on iPhone and iPod touch, Microsoft Outlook for the PC, and Mac OS X applications, Mail, Address Book and iCal, as well as the MobileMe web application suite.
Apple notes that MobileMe web applications are ad-free and provide a desktop-like experience that allows users to drag and drop, click and drag and use keyboard shortcuts. MobileMe iDisk lets users store and manage files online, with drag-and-drop filing and makes it easy to share documents too large to email by automatically sending an email with a link for downloading the file. MobileMe includes 20GB of online storage that can be used for email, contacts, calendar, photos, movies and documents.