Apple To Launch MobileMe Wednesday Night, .Mac Site Will Briefly Shut Down


However, Apple said .Mac users won't be able to access many of the online services between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. Pacific Time Wednesday night while it tweaks the new service, with the exception of .Mac Mail accessed via a desktop application, iPhone or iPod touch.

Apple describes MobileMe as "Exchange for the rest of us." It replaces the .Mac online service that enabled users to check e-mail, publish Web sites and sync personal information such as e-mail, calendars and bookmarks.

MobileMe stores e-mails, calendars and a picture gallery on an online serverand#8212;or "cloud"and#8212;and pushes them down to an iPhone, iPod touch, Mac and PC. When changes are made on one device, the cloud automatically updates the other devices.

A "publish" feature enables users to automatically create Web sites without having to remember settings or configurations and also hosts personal domain names so users can publish their sites directly to

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MobileMe iDisk is built into the core of Mac OS X, so users can open a Finder window, and then drag and drop to upload files or manage folders. Folders can be shared with other people by dropping files into an iDisk Public folder. Remote access is also provided via a user's iDisk from a Web browser at

In addition, MobileMe enables users of Mac OS X Leopard to sync Dashboard widget preferences, Dock items, other apps and system preferences, and Mail notes with multiple Leopard-based Mac computers.

.Mac members won't be charged for the MobileMe features, and their accounts will be automatically upgraded. For new users, a one-year individual membership comes with 20 GB of combined e-mail and file storage, 200 GB of monthly data transfer and full access to all MobileMe features. A one-year Family Pack includes one individual account plus four Family Member accounts, each with its own e-mail address, 5 GB of combined e-mail and file storage and 50 GB of monthly data transfer. Subscribers can add 20 GB of storage for $49 and 40 GB for $99.