I’m not a Apple fan boi by any stretch of the imagination and have day-to-day experience with running in multiple email environments (including Exchange, Courier-IMAP and Zarafa) but for personal mail at least MobileMe looks like a serious contender.
For ~$200/yr both Sal and I can get integration with our iphones, synchronised appointments & contacts as well as iphoto integration for our files. For a long time now I’ve been running a dedicated mailserver installation for her and I beginning with an old dovecot->courier-imap setup then a community Zarafa install and most recently a licensed one (on a trial anyways). With all these setups I’ve had issues with integration, courier-imap lacked central calendar/contacts, community Zarafa severely limited my ability to do regular backups while licensed Zarafa provided this functionality it remained clunky and still didn’t give Sal access to full calendaring support on her Mac. Sure, Exchange integration IS good on the iphone but having completed a test Exchange deployment it was costing me more time then a solution for personal reasons made sense for (mainly because I’m a Linux/Unix guy! :)).
Sal had been bugging me about MobileMe for a while and finally I thought ‘umm, I do this every day at work, why am I producing undue time usage [when I could spend it with her :P]?’ so I signed her up. 😉 Sure, I could have gone to gmail or yahoo but as far as I’m aware that didn’t provide appointment booking support (and sync back) from the iphones themselves.
Nasty bits had to deal with:
– Pulling contacts & calendars out of zarafa’s cold hands was damn near impossible
For Sal at least I could forward all her contacts as VCF’s (MANUALLY i might add from the iphone) and back fill her calendar appointments. For anyone with an active calendar that’s ‘working’ (which I guess was the main reason I made such a drastic decision) this could be particularly painful. I couldn’t find an appstore app that allowed mass attach and send (only commercial looking ones for everything BUT MobileMe).
– Apple doesn’t appear to have too many migration tools
Our previous data on Zarafa (via IMAP) is still there. I don’t think there’s any sanctioned Apple mail sucking tools available there so I’m going to have to look at imapsync. That could be interesting since with all my mail in the Zarafa install it flogs the hell out of the mysqld zarafa stores everything in.
– MobileMe doesn’t seem to allow hard setting of From address
Dear Apple Inc,
Yes, we like me.com & mac.com, we might even use them but we also have personal domains too which we prefer as primary contact points. Please, I beg you, allow us to at least set Reply To on our mail account.
– MobileMe timezone seems a bit warped
Booking appointment on the iphone is the only way to get it to look like the right time. Yes, we set the Timezone setting but it’s still broken. Think that’s probably worthy of a support ticket.
Fixed: Every calendar has it’s own Preferences for applying timezone support otherwise it uses Cupertino time. Not sure why this is separated from the main Account Preferences.
That’s it so far with more to come if I do take the plunge of migrating my rather huge (nearly 10 years) mail archive to MobileMe. :-\
Done for now. 🙂