“Castle” references found in Mac OS X 10.7 developer build, point back to possible iCloud streaming service

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Date: Monday, May 2nd, 2011, 07:42
Category: MobileMe, Rumor

Strong evidence of Apple’s upcoming iCloud service has been found in the form of a feature hidden within in a developer build of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion that allows a MobileMe account to be migrated to a codenamed “Castle” service.

Per Consomac.fr, a recently-released third build of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Developer Preview 2 that went out the door on Frida contained references to a service codenamed “Castle” in a new Find My Mac feature.

“Castle” most likely refers to the iCloud service that Apple has been developing. Reliable sources have stated that Apple has been using the service internally and plans to use it for more than just streaming music.

Last week, a report cited sources claiming that the Swedish company Xcerion had sold Apple the iCloud.com domain for US$4.5 million. The iCloud moniker was later independently confirmed by John Paczkowski of Digital Daily, though he was unable to confirm the selling price.

Apple has reportedly completed work on a music streaming service that would allow users to store music on a remote server and access them from Internet-connected devices.

Apple confirmed earlier this year that a 500,000 square-foot data center set to go online this spring will support iTunes and MobileMe services. Given that the US$1 billion facility is five times larger than the the company’s current data center in Newark, Calif., Apple appears to be planning a big push into cloud computing.

In February, reports emerged that Apple is planning a significant revamp of its MobileMe service that would build out its cloud-based features, including a ‘locker’ for personal memorabilia such as photos, music and videos.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments and feedback.

Rumor: Apple looking to add alternate payment methods for MobileMe services

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Date: Tuesday, March 29th, 2011, 04:44
Category: MobileMe, Rumor, Software

You like your MobileMe account.

And there may be new ways to pay for it.

Per MacNews.de, Apple may be coming up with plans to implement alternative payment methods for MobileMe in the near future. Currently, users without credit cards are caught in a dilemma — they can’t renew their subscriptions electronically, but neither can they buy a retail “box” with the MobileMe activation or renewal code from a retail store (Apple has removed the MobileMe box from its retail stores, though some dealers may still have older stock available).

Rumors have swirled for months that the service is due to undergo a major revamp, spurred by an e-mail from Apple CEO Steve Jobs to a customer promising the service “will get better in 2011.”

The rumors have taken various forms, from making at least some version of the service available for free to adding a cloud-based “media locker” for a small fee — or changing, dropping or revamping existing services (which include website hosting, photo and video galleries, ad-free IMAP e-mail, account syncing, limited backup, equipment tracking, personal storage space and other features).

Last month, Apple made MobileMe only available as a free online trial offer, and the only way to buy or renew a subscription required a credit card — leading to speculation that the revamp could come soon (now currently believed to be in April).

The report that Apple is working on alternate payment methods would indicate that the company is still planning on charging for at least some of the services in an overhauled MobileMe offering.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you have any thoughts on this, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Apple to hold iOS 5-focused press event in early April, highlight changes to MobileMe

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Date: Wednesday, March 9th, 2011, 04:55
Category: MobileMe, Rumor, Software

It’s the rumors that make technology interesting.

Citing a “confident” source, German site Macerkopf.de reported Tuesday that Apple will hold a press event in early April at the company’s Cupertino, Calif., campus to show off forthcoming features in its iOS 5 operating system. The timing would not be a surprise, as last year’s iOS 4 preview event was held in early April.

The rumored inclusion of changes in its MobileMe services in the annual event would be new, and could signal that anticipated changes to the cloud-based service will be heavily integrated into the next major release of Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad.

In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple plans to improve MobileMe by having the service act as a “locker” to hold personal data such as photos, music and videos. It was also said that Apple is considering making the service, which currently costs US$99 per year, free.

Corroborating that information, the New York Times separately reported that Apple plans to roll out an enhanced MobileMe this year. It was said that Apple is working on improved “voice navigation” on the iPhone, allowing users to operate the device through voice commands without the need to rely on a virtual keyboard.

Further evidence of planned changes to MobileMe came as Apple discontinued the sale of retail boxes for the service last month. It has also been rumored that the new MobileMe will rely on self-storage from a home computer for streaming, rather than remotely saved files hosted by Apple.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple Opens 24/7 Live Chat Support for MobileMe Subscribers

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Date: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, 07:44
Category: MobileMe

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On Monday, Apple announced that it would be complementing its MobileMe online service support with a new chat feature available to members. According to Macworld, the MobileMe live chat support will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for
English speaking customers. The real-time support is for “customers that encounter an issue while using MobileMe and would like to address it immediately,” according to Apple’s Web page.
The MobileMe live support chat is available immediately by visiting the company’s support web pages and clicking on the “Chat Now” button.

Apple Discontinues .Mac Groups and Homepage…Again?

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Date: Friday, April 10th, 2009, 01:25
Category: MobileMe

Apple today sent MobileMe subscribers notices informing them that their .Mac Groups and the HomePage web application would be discontinued as of July 7th, 2009. According to the email notices, “As of this date, all Groups features – including your group email address, group HomePage, message board, and iDisk “Groups” folder – will no longer be available.”
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The email also links to this FAQ regarding the discontinuation of services, which is the original FAQ created the first time the services were slated to close down except for the addition of the July 9th date. The original shutdown date was October 10, 2008. While the Groups and HomePage application were thought to have been shut down since last October, files were still accessible by members. There is no indication in the notices regarding the reason it is being sent out again, or why services may not have been completely shut down after the October date.
The messages do state that current web sites published with HomePage will still be available via the web indefinitely, but that changes will not be possible after July 7th. If you would like to speculate what is going on, discuss it in the forums.

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