Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MobileMe does not push

Sometimes marketing goes too far. Even the pros make mistakes. Apple today has written a note to the users, apologizing for the "snag", adding that "the new MobileMe web applications had lots of problems initially".
Another snag we have run into is our use of the word "push" in describing everything under the MobileMe umbrella. While all email, contact or calendar changes on the iPhone and the web apps are immediately synced to and from the MobileMe "cloud," changes made on a PC or Mac take up to 15 minutes to sync with the cloud and your other devices.
Now, the Register went a bit further than Apple. First of all:
Email is managed through IMAP, and strictly speaking is pulled by polling the IMAP servers every minute, though that gives a reasonable impression of being pushed.
Wow, polling email is not really push. Not even close. Everyone in our market knows it... If you want to be a competitor of RIM or even ActiveSync, you should know it. Push is push. Now ActiveStink (as the Apple spokesperson for MobileMe once called it) on the iPhone does not stink anymore, right?

The Register adds more:
But changes made using the desktop application are not instantly or automatically reflected on the iPhone or within The Cloud. Such changes need to wait for a synchronisation process, a lag of up to 15 minutes, before they are propagated between the platforms. Not only that but anyone trying to use some of the more advanced IMAP capabilities, such as the APPEND command, will find the MobileMe service unaware that any changes have been made to their e-mail account, at least until a good-old SMTP delivery triggers notification.
Ok, this is not even close to push...

This is what you get with MobileMe:
  1. No push
  2. Support for only .me email addresses (what about the other billions of email addresses out there?)
  3. Support for only the iPhone (what about all the other 3B phones out there?)
  4. No notes support (I know, this looks small but it is big for many)
  5. $99 taken out of your pocket every year
I think I could take #1 to #4, if I could remove #5. When things are so expensive, your expectations go up. Marketing pumps it up and then your crash is very loud. Nice ;-)

Oooh, and yes, I almost forgot: you can build your own MobileMe with Funambol software :-)) Open Source. Or you can give us a call if you are a service provider or a device manufacturer. And we know what push means ;-)