Countdown to June 30th – The End of MobileMe. Is it the end of your email and data?

In case some of you have been under a rock, or trapped on a deserted island without WIFI, allow me to bring you up to speed. The end of this month marks the end of MobileMe, the annual subscription service Apple once sold for $99 a year, which included synchronization of contacts, calendars, bookmarks, easy-to-create and use iWeb websites, find-my-iphone, back to my Mac, Photo Gallery and iDisk. While this post may seem repetitive, the questions we continue to receive make it clear that we really need to review this change again, before folks lose their email addresses or data. As corny as it sounds, time really IS running out here.

After June 30th, unless you’ve made the migration to a new server called “iCloud”, these services, and your precious (albeit perhaps under used) email address ending in either @mac.com or @me.com, will evaporate and be irretrievable. The “new and improved” iCloud services will NOT include photo galleries, NOT include iWeb, nor include iDisk storage. If you have data stored online with iDisk, you’ll want to pull it off quickly and find an alternative (such as dropbox.com). Photo Galleries will also evaporate, but your photos in the online galleries should already be in your iphoto library – so it shouldn’t be necessary to pull photos from your online galleries unless you’ve deleted them from iphoto.

Any websites you’ve created using iWeb, the handy site-creating tool, will disappear unless you move them to another host. Other web hosting companies have offered hosting for iWeb too, and it shouldn’t be difficult to find a new place to park your iWeb site. Currently, most iWeb sites reside on Apple’s servers dedicated to the me.com domain. After June 30th, those sites will be gone. If you have iWeb sites, all you need to do is purchase a hosting account elsewhere, such as with Godaddy.com or many other available vendors, launch iWeb, and change the settings in iWeb to publish using FTP. Note that, at some point, iWeb itself will cease to function. Systems updates will most likely render iWeb obsolete. Detailed explanations on how to move your iWeb sit can be found online, and soon in a how-to video here on our site.

The transition to iCloud is explained in more detail on a link to Apple’s Summary (“Apple iCloud Migration Info”) posted in our links column. The migration is for the most part automated, and simple to implement. Even if you don’t have the latest Lion operating system, you will be able to preserve your @mac.com or @me.com email address, and eventually take full advantage of iCloud down the road. For today though, you’ll want to make sure you’ve at least taken the minimum precautions to avoid loss of your apple email, and perhaps any data you’ve been storing with Apple. If you’re a MobileMe user and don’t do anything, your mac.com or me.com address and data stored with Apple will be toast come July 1st. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Good luck.