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Mossberg gives Apple's MobileMe thumbs up

Apple's MobileMe Web service got off to a disastrous start last year, but Apple has finally fixed things to the point where The Journal's Walt Mossberg can recommend it.

Apple's MobileMe Web service has finally received Walt Mossberg's seal of approval. Apple

Apple's MobileMe Web service has finally improved to the point where The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg feels it worthy of a recommendation.

Mossberg, whose opinion can make or break a product or service, has revisited his earlier take on the MobileMe service, which got off to a disastrous start when it was launched last summer. MobileMe lets Mac or Windows users sync their contacts, calendar info, and e-mail across Macs, PCs, and iPhones for $99 a year.

When the revamped service hit the Internet last July, it was plagued with so many outages and glitches that Mossberg--usually high on Apple products--felt compelled to steer his readers away from the service. Apple eventually apologized for rushing the MobileMe launch during a complicated month in which it launched the iPhone 3G, the App Store, and the iPhone 2.0 software.

But "Apple has fixed all of the speed and reliability issues I encountered last year," Mossberg wrote, in giving the service a thumbs up. He did warn readers of ongoing issues involving Outlook data syncing between Windows PCs and Macs, which Apple has apparently promised to fix. It seems MobileMe is more adept at syncing data within one platform--be it Mac or Windows--and has trouble within a mixed environment of Mac and Windows PCs, according to Mossberg.

MobileMe is an important service for Apple, as it gives those wary about switching completely to the Mac a way to stay tethered to Windows, while also improving the usability of the iPhone. More than a few personal computing companies think that in the future such Web services will be crucial for average users with two or more mixed-platform computers, be they Macs, PCs, smartphones, or other mobile devices.