Two recent posts -- Edd Dumbill's examination of Apple's cloud failings and Tim O'Reilly's New York Times column -- got me thinking about how Apple could improve MobileMe for one specific customer: me.
I've been a MobileMe subscriber for a couple years, and I'll gladly continue to fork over my $99 annual fee for the calendar syncing alone. You might scoff at that, but a reliable, sync-able, always-available calendar is the single most important tool I use.
That said, I want Apple to give me more. Galleries? Email? Storage? All wonderful add-ons five years ago, but I can get better versions elsewhere. The Find My iPhone/iPod/iPad tool rolled out last year is closer to the bullseye. It's a useful and novel function that actually serves the subscriber.
That's what I'm looking for from MobileMe: tools that give me access and ease of use without employing hacks or third-party services. Here's two improvements I'd like to see:
Streaming content, curated by me
I've invested a ridiculous amount of money in digital content, so I already have my own custom variation on Rhapsody and other all-you-can-eat streaming services. What I want is to store and back up my music and videos online and stream that material to my various devices. Heck, call it a cloud-based version of iTunes and charge me extra. That's fine. Airfoil and Sonos address part of this functionality, but I'd prefer a solution that's integrated into my MobileMe subscription so it extends beyond my own home. In an ideal scenario, I'd be able to stream my content to any device -- Apple, TiVo, etc. -- but I'll settle for limiting it to the Apple ecosystem to start. (And then I'll cross my fingers and hope Apple's device management takes the same baby steps toward openness we saw Apple employ with music-based DRM.)
You shouldn't have to twist yourself into a pretzel to get documents to and from iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Apple could make some nice headway here if it let you store documents on MobileMe and then edit them from any device. I don't want an app for this. I really don't want a separate service, either. What I need is doc management that syncs with MobileMe the same way contacts, bookmarks, email and calendar data do.
How do you think MobileMe can be improved? Please chime in through the comments.