Apple CEO Steve Jobs made the news today with a promise his company will make its online hosted MobileMe service much better next year. Other than improved stability, reliability and consistent performance, just what exactly do we want Apple to give us? Here's a few suggestions.
The context: Frequently-voiced MobileMe user complaints include patchy performance, unexplained outages, sync problems, slow image loads, difficulties uploading iWeb sites and more.
So, other than investing in faster servers, improving its outage reporting systems, ensuring better performance even for international users and waving a wand to make iWeb uploads easier to manage, faster and more efficient, what can Apple do to make MobileMe a Mac essential?
Make it free
Apple is making billions. Does it really need the MobileMe tax when all the world now agrees that free services such as Facebook or Google Docs are the new DNA? Couldn't it recoup some lost cash by sewing some of those iAds in there?
Hosted iWork and iLife applications:
Not just sharing as you can with the almost unused iWork.com, but full Web apps as seen in Google Docs. I want to grab an image with my iPad camera (uh-huh) and be able to put it straight into that iMovie project I've been working on, after editing it using iPhoto.
Make it possible to add comments and ratings (even something like a like button) on hosted images. Make it social, make it possible to add words, comments and descriptions as Flickr does. Make it fast and responsive, rather than slow and cranky.
iDisk offers 20GB storage as standard. Additional storage costs you more. There was a time when 20GB sounded like a lot. It doesn't any more.
My address book is bloated. I've used it badly, I admit. I need some help. For Mail and email at least, I'd like an easy way to automate such tasks as:
- Track down email addresses you've written to within a specific period of time (a year, a month);
- Identify addresses you exchange two-way correspondence with most frequently;
- Identify and mark addresses thought to be inactive, no longer functioning or spam.
How much easier would such features make the process of winnowing out the chaff from your contacts collection in order to create an address book you actually need?
I'm sure most of my readers are more organized with such things than myself, I feel bad about that. But please, Apple, help time-poor chaotics like myself.
Even better -- make these operations possible using MobileMe and your Web browser. Then make it possible to populate all your synced devices with the revised address book with a touch of a button.