Really mobile me
Apple has bolstered its syncing MobileMe service for iPhones and iPads with a handy location device and access to all information on different devices in one online hub.
The find-my-phone update allows forgetful iPhone and iPad owners to track down their device. Users must first enable the function in the MobileMe settings, then sign in to me.com from any computer or use the ‘Find My iPhone' app on another device to display a map revealing the lost machine's location.
Another nifty feature allows owners to remotely write a message displayed on the lost iPhone or iPad's screen, such as a plea for help and contact number. Even if the lost Apple device is in the house buried under a mountain of paperwork, MobileMe can play a sound so it can be easily located.
In the worst case scenario if the iPhone or iPad has been stolen or is lost in a public place, MobileMe also lets owners protect the contents of their device, remotely setting a passcode lock to stop people from using the machine or accessing personal information.
If owners are really worried, they can even initiate a remote wipe to restore the machine to factory settings. Usefully, if the device is found, users of MobileMe can restore old emails, contacts, calendars and bookmarks by enabling their account on the device.
The other key update to the MobileMe service is the revamp of Me.com, which gives Apple owners a full suite of web applications made more user-friendly including Mail, Contacts, Gallery and Find My iPhone, which are accessible from any computer, allowing any changes to sync with the devices.
MobileMe retains its primary function of keeping multiple Apple devices in sync, maintaining contacts, mail and calendar info in the cloud. The service constantly checks for new mail and pushes them to devices immediately as well as allowing users to update calendars on-the-go without having to manually transfer data to other machines.
While Apple is offering a free 60 day trial, the service costs £59 per year for an individual or £89 per year for a family pack, dispelling rumours the firm would roll out the service completely subscription free.