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MobileMe – an alternative?

Tweet I’ve had my iPhone for a while now and my really enjoying it. It’s a great little device, that seems to work as expected most of the time. I was looking forward to it fully replacing my JasJam iMate and with the latest version of the OS having the phone at enterprise level got [...]

I’ve had my iPhone for a while now and my really enjoying it. It’s a great little device, that seems to work as expected most of the time.

I was looking forward to it fully replacing my JasJam iMate and with the latest version of the OS having the phone at enterprise level got me excited. I could connect it to our work Zimbra server and sync contacts and more over the air.

Sadly there is an issue with the iPhone and Zimbra, so that’s not going to happen. No worries I thought, I can use something else to push my contacts, calendars and such like to the phone. After all I don’t “really” need to get work email on the phone all the time.

MobileMe

I joined up to MobileMe for the trial, and yeah okay so it kinda works the way you would expect it too.

MobileMe

MobileMe

It’s by no means quick, and instant syncing is not something that happens without some hacking in the OS for the settings. MobileMe’s “Automatic” syncing happens every 15 mins, which I guess is okay, I mean when do you really need to sync something instantly?

All in all it seems to work well. I can sync from my iPhone to MobileMe. From my Mac to MobileMe and then from my Mac to Zimbra using the ZimbraSync.

However having to spend around $120 (AUD$108) a year for the service I’m not too sure if I can justify that. It’d be grand when we have a decent machine at home and my wife can add diary events that sync to my computer/iPhone. But right now I’m having to contemplate replacing my truck that was stolen on friday, and the list of things at home that need replacing is getting bigger and bigger – including the kitchen sink.

So what alternatives are out there?

From what I can see, not a lot. Sure Yahoo Mail has a full push gateway which is great, if you use Yahoo Mail. Google’s Gmail doesn’t support push, and they don’t seem to have any plans to do so – which really sucks, considering their push into the enterprise market with Google Apps.

Sugar Sync

SugarSync is billed as a MobileMe replacement, but I’m not sure it really is.

SugarSync

SugarSync (click to visit sugarsync.com)

Their iPhone page begins with Push Sync for all your files, which after looking at their demo video is true. SugarSync seems to push file changes between PC, Mac and your iPhone. Wonderful for your documents, photos and such like. However there is no mention of true Push Sync – which is sync for your email, Calendars and contacts.

SugarSync also costs, upto US$250 a year so that’s off my list for now, for the fact that costs too much and doesn’t do what I want.

Funambol

Is also billed as a MobileMe replacement.

Funambol

Funambol (click to visit funambol.com)

Now the thing here about Funambol is that it does actually sync your contacts with your iPhone – that’s great and it can sync with webmail and more. But for me soocial.com kicks it’s arse so hard it’s not funny. Funambol is let down by it’s clunky look and lack of push. soocial.com also lacks push and doesn’t have an iPhone app, but I’d rather use soocial.com anyday.

Summary

So what’s the answer? I have to say I just don’t know, I really don’t. What I want is a full replacement for MobileMe that allows me to push over the air calendars & contacts between my iPhone and my Mac. I may want to have email push, and having the ability to sync photos & files, well that’s a bonus but I’d rather use AirSharing for that.

What have I missed? Have you found an alternative? Do I really have to subscribe to MobileMe to do this?

Links

» MobileMe
» SugarSync
» Funambol
» Soocial.com

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2 Responses

10.06.08

Older versions of Zimbra don’t play completely well with the iPhone, but the current Zimbra release should work fine. It may be easiest to just upgrade Zimbra…

10.06.08

Unfortunately it’s not me who has say as to updating the Zimbra Server. it’s on IT’s list of things to do, however after having it crash due to the last iPhone added to it, they are NOT keen to go down that path again