From what it seems, for $99, Apple’s MobileMe does a lot of what Google’s Android OS does for free.

Over the past few days, I’ve been looking into a lot of things pertaining the iPhone 4. What I never really took the time to look into was Apple’s MobileMe subscription service. I had seen it from time to time on my Macintosh computers in the form of “iDisk,” “iWeb” but that’s just about it.  Well after reading into it, it seems like it does a lot of what Google’s Android OS does out of the box.

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I’ll start off with the features that come with MobileMe that are not included with Android OS.

  • iDisk – 20GB of online storage space for all of your files. You can upload or download files from your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or any Mac and PC computer.  You can also upload any files no matter what size they are and send them to anyone you wish.
  • Find My iPhone – You can locate your iPhone or iPad on a map, display a message, or even wipe all of the data remotely.

Now here are some of MobileMe’s features that are almost identical to that in Android OS.

  • imageCalendar, Contact, and e-Mail synchronization via Push technology.
    • With a GMail.com account (free), Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and GMail are automatically synched to your Android device(s) that are linked to the same GMail account.
  • Gallery – Share photos and videos from anywhere with the MobileMe Gallery.
    • Photos can be uploaded from Android phones to Google’s Picasa service, however Videos can only be uploaded from either a Mac or PC, and .3gp files are not supported.  They can, however, be uploaded to YouTube.

Here’s one that is kind of on the fence with being similar.

  • Me.com – Access everything that MobileMe has to offer from one web page. You can browse your iDisk, eMail, Contacts, Calendar, Gallery, and the “Find my iPhone” feature.
    • Although they’re not all together on one page, the features that come free with Android (Photos, Calendar, Contacts, email) can all be accessed off of Google.com, it just takes a bit of extra work trying to find them all.

Free alternative to “Find my iPhone” – MobileDefense. It’s a free application from the Android Market, sign up on the MobileDefense website, and you can track your Android phone on a map, as well as lock the device and sound an alarm with an optional message.  It’s not as discrete as Find my iPhone as it sends the Android phone a text message when you log onto the website from “noreply@mobiledefense”. This could tip off someone if your device were indeed stolen, but it’s free.

If I were to get an iPhone, which I would love to have if Verizon someday carries it and the antenna issue is fixed, I would love to have Calendar, Contacts, and Email synched to my device and desktop as I do now with Android.  However, 20gb of online storage from my devices aren’t that important to me, and I can use a free alternative to Find my iPhone.  It’s convenient that the stored files can be accessed on all of the devices, however it seems that that would be the only real feature that is different from Android’s included services, but for an extra $99/year. Currently, I use Windows SkyDrive for 25gb of online storage, however there is a limit cap for uploads.

Google could really improve their free services to compete with MobileMe.  For one, they should allow .3gp video files to be uploaded to their Picasa service, and also make it so they can be uploaded from an Android device instead of only a Mac or PC.  What would really be nice if they had a simplified design for Android users that had links to their email, Calendar, Contacts, etc as MobileMe does with Me.com.  Right now, they’re all scattered amongst Google.com and can be a little difficult to find.

What I really wish Apple would do is have options for MobileMe to include some of the features or not, and offer some of it for free.  As I said, the only real feature I can’t get is the iDisk, and I don’t find spending $99/year just to get online storage justifiable when I can get all of the other features for free with Android.  At least offer Contact and Calendar synching for free. Whenever I make changes on Google Calendar on my Android device or Google.com, it’s instantly changed on the other end, which is really convenient. Also, all of my contacts are stored to my Google account, so if I ever have to wipe my Android device, my contacts are instantly added back to my phone when I set it back up with my Gmail.com account.

That’s all I have to say on this matter. For those who took the time and read this, God bless you.

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