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mobileme vs icloudWhen you are using more than one computer and mobile device, cloud services like DropBox and Apple’s new iCloud are the best ways to keep files and other data synced between all your devices.

As Apple explains it, iCloud is a service “which stores your music, photos, perhaps, calendars, and documents and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices.” The service is free for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users, and provides up to 5GB of free storage. This MUO article, What iCloud IsAnd Why It Changes Everything What iCloud Is & Why It Changes Everything [Mac] What iCloud Is & Why It Changes Everything [Mac] Perhaps the biggest announcement made by Apple at the recent WWDC was that of iCloud, but many people are understandably not sure what it is. Is it a streaming media service? Is it a Dropbox... Read More , explains in more detail the pros and cons of the service.

If you use one or more output devices you will definitely want to sign up for an iCloud account. However if you are a current MobileMe user you will need to move your MobileMe account over to the iCloud service. While Apple has made the transition relatively easy, there are a few things you need to know.



mobileme vs icloud

System Requirements

Before you move your MobileMe account you will need to have your Apple devices upgraded to iOS 5 and OS X Lion. A computer for example not upgraded to Lion will not be able to take full advantage of the iCloud services. See more about the limitations here.

mobileme icloud

MobileMe Services

If you try to sign in or create an iCloud account on one of your mobile devices, you will be instructed to first move your MobileMe content over to iCloud. This means you can move your MobileMe Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Safari Bookmarks, Fine My iPhone, in Back to My Mac to your new iCloud account.

mobileme vs icloud

What you won’t be able move to iCloud are your iWeb websites, existing photo galleries, and iDisk content. This is unfortunate for MobileMe members who have developed and published iWeb sites and photo galleries over the last several years. Apple says you will have until June 30, 2012 to move your content to another server or lose it altogether.

Apple also says that any of your publicly shared iCal calendars will be unpublished in the transition. You will need to share those public calendars again after moving to iCloud.

mobileme icloud

Additionally, other MobileMe features including Mac Dashboard Widgets, Dock Items, Teachings, References, Mail Accounts, Rules, Signatures, and Smart Mailboxes will not be synched after moving to iCloud.

Start here to move your MobileMe account to iCloud.

Why Apple Made the Move

Because iCloud is an Internet service that automatically pushes your designated content between all your supporting devices, it is clearly better than the limitations found in MobileMe. I have been a long time user of MobileMe and have never experienced major problems with the service. However, the yearly $99 subscription fee seemed excessive for the services MobileMe offered.

Except for iWeb Internet hosting, you could easily find similar MobileMe-like features and services for free on Internet. For example, MobileMe iDisk storage is light-years behind cloud services like Dropbox, which offers 2GB of free service and has much better third-party support and integration with cross-platform applications.

mobileme icloud

Many MobileMe users probably have found the Gallery feature very useful because it integrated with iLife applications, including iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD. This integration made it very easy to upload photos and homemade movies to well-designed MobileMe Galleries. Well, though the MobileMe Gallery feature is no more, Apple has already updated at least one of its iLife applications, iPhoto, for iCloud support.

iCloud users will now be able to use services like iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, and automatic download and purchase of apps and books from iTunes Store. So basically all your designated data will be synced between all your devices–including documents you create in the iWork suite of applications (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.) You will no longer need to manually add data to say iDisk in order to download them to other devices.

In the next several weeks, we’ll get to see how just how well iCloud works in everyday use. Drop us a comment and let us know how the transition is working for you.

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  1. mel
    December 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Once again - I followed the calendar instructions before moving over to icloud - when move was completed - NO CALENDAR INFO:(  HOW do I get the calendar information back?  

    • Bakari Chavanu
      December 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Did you enable the Calendar info in Preferences>iCloud? I heard there were some problems with ical and iCloud, but I'm not sure. Check out the Apple support site as well to see if others are experiencing the same problem. My iCal dates sync, but it could be because I'm still have the MobileMe subscription?

  2. anic297
    November 10, 2011 at 12:46 am

    So, if I'm a current subscriber of a MobileMe account and don't want to install Lion, I'll lose my MobileMe address (actually, a "" address) which I use extensively to communicate with friends and services. That's not a minor annoyance!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Don't quote me on this, but I think you will be able to keep your .me address because it's also your Apple ID account. I would give Apple a call to confirm this. I definitely understand you not updating to Lion, especially if you're running on a older computer. If however you're running on a newer Mac, I recommend updating at some point. Not keeping the updates could cause problems in the long run. 

      • Ninjoe
        November 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm

        I actually upgraded to Lion on my mac pro and was no longer able to use my final cut studio or adobe photoshop.  luckily i left my macbook pro on leopard. After a week i found a 'workaround' to get them on lion (thank you instructables!).  Also, I found that after migrating to iCloud i can use either my address at .mac or .me and still get in.

  3. SWS55
    November 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I have and iPad, iPhone and Macbook Pro with Leopard and I use MobileMe to stay sync'd. When upgrading to iCloud services it is important to note that Lion is required on the Mac in order to sync with other ios5 devices and that only Mac computers which are able to run Leopard will be able to upgrade to Lion. I learned this firsthand through a Apple support representative. It is information that to my knowledge is not readily published. It is not much of a surprise in light of how Apple does things but I don't find many postings about that elsewhere.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks for that update.

  4. Joseph
    October 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    This might answer your question:

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Joseph, thanks for that link. 

  5. M_Porter
    October 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for the run down. The part that I haven't fully worked out yet is how to handle my multiple Apple ID accounts. In my case, I bought iTunes content for several years before getting a MobileMe account. As a consequence, I have two Apple IDs. My MobileMe ID doesn't know about all my apps or music. And, my iTunes Apple ID doesn't know about my mail, calendar, or photos. What is the best practice to keep this dual identity organized? Thanks, 

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Call Apple on this. I'm not sure how to handle to Apple IDs. It would be confusing for me. Have you considered using the two different IDs on different Mac accounts?