Apple Clears The Cloud Air: Details MobileMe To iCloud Transition


Apple has detailed what's in store as MobileMe users prepare to make the leap to Apple iCloud, the company's soon to be de facto cloud service and the lynchpin of Apple's cloud strategy.

With the release of iCloud, which is expected to hit the market this fall, Apple will kill MobileMe, its first go-around with cloud computing services.

Apple unveiled iCloud earlier this month at its WWDC 2011. The cloud service lets users automatically save content like photos, music, documents and more into the cloud so it is accessible from up to 10 devices.

Ditching MobileMe in favor of iCloud has raised a host of questions for faithful MobileMe users. And with the service being terminated next year, Apple has cleared the air to detail exactly what users can expect as the MobileMe cord is cut to make way for iCloud.

"The core services provided by MobileMe have been rewritten to work seamlessly with iCloud," Apple said in a recent MobileMe and iCloud FAQ. "MobileMe will no longer be available as a paid sync service. If you had an active MobileMe account as of June 6, 2011, your service has been extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, the MobileMe service will no longer be available."

According to Apple, MobileMe users will receive the same Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks, Find My iPhone and Back To My Mac servers when they move to iCloud. MobileMe users, however, will lose iWeb Publishing, Gallery and iDisk in iCloud, Apple noted. Apple recommends that iWeb users move their sites published to MobileMe to another Web hosting service before the 2012 MobileMe termination date. Gallery users, Apple said, should save copies of all photos published to Gallery before MobileMe is deep-sixed; or photos should be moved to iPhoto or downloaded from the Web. And iDisk users should save copies of all files before MobileMe is killed, the company said.

Additionally, iCloud does not support syncing of Mac Dashboard widgets, keychains, Dock items and System Preferences, Apple said.

Along with losing some features, MobileMe users that move to iCloud will receive new features including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, automatic downloads and purchase history for apps and books and backup and restore. According to Apple, MobileMe users will be able to keep their me.com or mac.com e-mail addresses in iCloud.

Apple also cautioned that MobileMe and iTunes users cannot merge the two accounts into one, but users can move their MobileMe account to iCloud and continue to use a different iTunes account. And MobileMe users that use more than 5 GB of storage, which is free on iCloud, will have to buy additional capacity, Apple said. iCloud offers 5 GB of free storage for mail, documents and backup, and purchased music, apps and books do not count against the 5 GB, nor do Photo Stream photos.

Apple added that MobileMe users can no longer upgrade an individual account to a Family Pack plan or buy additional storage, however, existing Family Pack users can still create new member accounts. And Family Pack members can move their MobileMe accounts to iCloud separately.

And lastly, Apple said that unused activation codes from a MobileMe box are eligible for a refund, and users who cancel MobileMe are entitled to a pro-rated refund of the unused portion of the paid subscription.