Apple to kill MobileMe on Saturday

Apple has again warned MobileMe subscribers that it will pull the plug on its sync and storage service at the end of this month.

In an email to MobileMe subscribers on Saturday, Apple reminded them that they have just seven days to download their files and photographs from the service’s iDisk and Gallery sections, respectively, and to move their websites from the iWeb portion of MobileMe.

Apple first announced the demise of MobileMe more than a year ago after it unveiled its replacement, iCloud. At the time, Apple said MobileMe would vanish June 30, 2012, and extended all subscriptions through that date to allow customers time to migrate data.

“Download your files and photos,” Apple said in the Saturday email. “MobileMe ends June 30. Remember to download your Gallery photos, iDisk files, and move your iWeb sites before that date.”

After June 30, any files, photos or Web sites still stored with MobileMe will be inaccessible.

Apple has alerted MobileMe users several times of the impending termination of the service, most recently on June 1 when it told customers they had 30 days to complete their migration.

The moves are necessary because iCloud does not sport services comparable to Gallery, iDisk and iWeb. Gallery was replaced with “Photo Stream,” the cloud-based photo sharing feature that automatically pushes all photos taken on an iOS device or imported to a personal computer.

MobileMe subscribers who switch to the free iCloud service retain their email address, and their email, contacts, calendar and bookmarks are automatically migrated.

In April, Apple also offered users running OS X 10.5, aka Leopard, a free upgrade to OS X 10.6, better known as Snow Leopard, so they could access iCloud.

iCloud requires Snow Leopard, Lion (OS X 10.7) or the upcoming Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8). Mountain Lion, which remains in developer preview for now, will go on sale sometime next month. iCloud is also available free of charge to users of any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 5 or later.

Apple launched MobileMe in mid-2008, but the service, which cost $99 for an annual subscription, never caught on. To make matters worse, it stumbled out the gate with a host of problems, ranging from slow synchronization to extended email outages.

Former CEO Steve Jobs, in his second-to-last public appearance in June 2011, acknowledged the MobileMe missteps when he introduced iCloud at that year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

“It wasn’t our finest hour, just let me say that,” Jobs said of MobileMe.

A MobileMe-to-iCloud migration FAQ with more information can be found on Apple’s website.

Apple’s Saturday email to MobileMe subscribers warned that they have just seven days to move their files, photos and websites from the soon-to-be-defunct sync and storage service.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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