About a month ago I reached my breaking point with MobileMe.
I was paying $100 per year for more online storage than I needed, an email address I never used, and contacts that somehow duplicated on my iPhone every time I added a new one.
When MobileMe was announced almost three years ago, it sounded revolutionary. Finally, iPhone owners could sync contacts and calendars between all their devices just like BlackBerry users had been doing for years.
I signed up right away. And it took me until now to realise I had blown $200 on a product I don’t need.
As an iPhone owner, I had always been a bit jealous that most Google syncing features come included with Android phones. All you have to do is log in to your Google account, and Android syncs everything automatically.
But since the iPhone’s launch, Google has been slowly releasing features that make MobileMe obsolete for iPhone users. With Google Sync, I’m able to sync all my Google contacts to my iPhone without connecting it to my computer. I already use Gmail as my primary email service, so keeping it in line with the rest of my services just made sense.
There’s still room for Apple to redeem itself. Some of the iOS 5 rumours floating around point to a revamped MobileMe system plus a cloud music service similar to Amazon’s.
Until then, I’m sticking with Google.
This is probably the most attractive feature of Google Sync. Like most things Google, it's free. I'm saving $100 a year and using a better product.
Gmail has been my primary email account for over six years. The conversation view, the massive free storage, and the ever-increasing list of tweaks and add-ons make it the most versatile email service available. The @me.com address that came with MobileMe was fine, but it was nothing special. Aside from a makeover last year, it offered no new or innovative features that made me want to use it instead of Gmail.
Google finally released the one fix to my biggest problem with Gmail. I can now choose which contacts I want to add to my contacts list. Before, Google would automatically add anyone I corresponded with to my address book, meaning over the years I accrued thousands of random contacts. It took a while to painstakingly delete them, but now I have full control over my contacts.
Setting up Google Sync on iPhone gives you all the benefits of MobileMe. You get the same notifications, calendar updates, and immediate contact syncing. The only difference is you're using Google to do it all for free.
If there's a downside to Google's apps, it's that there's no online storage service right now. While you can upload most file types to Google Docs, it still won't sync across all your computers the way Dropbox can.
With Dropbox, I get 2 GB of storage, which is perfect since I mostly use it to transfer small files like photos and documents between my devices. It's just as efficient as iDisk, and completely free. Plus I can earn up to 8 GB of free storage for referring my friends to the service.