MobileMe push data services revealed – Not exactly pushing data

MobileMe logoRegardless of Apple’s insistence that MobileMe is a full-featured push-data service that allows all your computers and devices to keep their email, contacts, calendar events, bookmarks, passwords, etc.  synchronized through the cloud, MobileMe has proven to fall short of its promises.

To re-cap, pushing data to the cloud essentially means all your information is stored on a web-accessible server. In a two-step process, all changes to the information are synchronized in the “cloud.” The server then “pushes” your data down to all registered devices and computers.

And, with Apple’s new MobileMe service promising full push capabilities for all your data, many users are feeling like they’ve been misled. I touched on MobileMe’s downfalls in a previous post, and it seems that Apple has posted Knowledge Base articles detailing the MobileMe push service.

Only changes to MobileMe’s web-based application (available at Me.com) and iPhone 3G (or iPhone) are pushed to the cloud instantly, and then pushed back down to all your devices. But, there’s a catch. Any data changed on a Mac computer don’t immediately push to the cloud.

Sure, emails to your @me.com email address are instantaneously pushed to the cloud and back down to all your devices, but changes on your Mac computer aren’t pushed until the next time your computer syncs with MobileMe’s servers – a process that could take as long as 15 minutes. Of course, you could manually push your changes to the cloud with a simple click of the “Sync Now” button, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having a push data service.

Is a semi-push service worth $99 a year? For those of you that don’t really consider $100 per year a huge expense and like the convenience of having instantly pushed email and slightly laggy push data service, MobileMe is going to do you just fine. Will I be renewing my MobileMe subscription? We’ll see…

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