.Mac users getting remote goodies this holiday

What's happening to .Mac?

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

One of the more interesting takeaways from this morning's keynote at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference was the news that .Mac subscribers running Leopardwould be able to enjoy a new remote desktop feature called "Back to my Mac." Users will be able to sort and scavenge through the contents of computers far away from their home network machines using Leopard's new finder and transfer files to and fro freely. The service works with any Mac running Leopard that's been set up with .Mac authorization.

During this morning's demo, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs previewed the upcoming feature by accessing an off-site "work" computer. Using Leopard's new finder, he was able to sort and search through the contents of these computers using Mac OS X's Spotlight technology.

There are two interesting aspects to this new feature. One is the cannibalization of Apple's iDisk service, which functions as a built-in remote storage disk. While the service also allows others to access shared files, many use it as a go-between for transferring files from computer to computer. Apple also makes some of its profits off of those who choose to pay for the higher storage capacity .Mac subscriptions.

The other Apple service this affects is its remote desktop application. While aimed mostly at the IT administrators and the educational field, this application also functions as a fairly simple way to share screens and files between two or more Macs. Remote drag and drop in particular will be making the move, a feature .Mac subscribers will be able to take advantage of in lieu of paying $499 for the remote desktop software.

The update to the .Mac service with this feature is expected alongside Leopard's release in October.

OS X Leopard users who are also .Mac subscribers will be able to browse remote computers right in the finder. Apple.com