By Monte FergusonThe last announcement from the WWDC keynote was that MobileMe is going
away. In its place will be a new service called iCloud. With any change
there are bound to be plusí and minuses. Our July meeting covered what
was cool and what was missing, I.E. features that used to be part of
MobileMe, with the new service.
As with any change we discussed that this one is a mixed bag. Previously
Mobile Me cost $99 a year. Initially iCloud costs nothing, if you need
extra storage it will cost. It does have most of the features of Mobile
Me but it is missing: iDisk, Gallery, and iWeb Publishing.
At first we concentrated on iDisk and Gallery. Though nothing will be as
integrated as Mobile Me was, there are alternatives for these services.
Dropbox does everything iDisk did. But it is faster and more reliable.
It also has some features iDisk didnít. Initially iDisk is free, for 2GB
of storage. You can pay to have that increased. The Finder integration
is the most appealing aspect, which makes it feel like part of the
MacOS. Gallery can be replaced by some of the more prominent names in
photo sharing, like Flickr or Picasa. Some folks only use Facebook for
posting and sharing photos. All of those photo hosting services offer a
free version of their service. They offer many of the same advantages
that Gallery did.
The hardest thing to replace is the iWeb hosting. Hosting the web pages
themselves is not a problem. Any host can do that. The problem is if you
used the widgets that iWeb came with. Those were specific to MobileMe
and will not work elsewhere. If you avoid the widgets you can publish
your web site to a new host using FTP. (Our groups hosting provider, Mac
Highway, has instructions for doing just that for instance.) With the
demise of MobileMe and the fact that iWeb is in maintenance mode, some
folks were looking into alternatives to iWeb itself. Three programs that
came to mind, and which have a similar easy to use metaphor, are Rapid
Weaver, Freeway, and Sand Vox.
The last thing we covered was how to make your upgrade to Lion as smooth
as possible. (Lion was due to go on sale the day after our July meeting.
) The first thing we suggested was to take stock of any PPC apps that
you might use. Lion will not run programs that are not written to run on
Intel processors. We looked at some alternatives for soon to be orphaned
programs. You will also need to make sure you have enough RAM to run
Lion. It needs 4GB. Of course you will need enough hard drive space to
download it. Lastly, it never hurts to make sure you have an up to date
back up before you upgrade.
Posted: Monday, August 1st, 2011