Apple has now moved its former .Mac services to the new cross-platform MobileMe, but in doing so has scrapped several key features.
When MobileMe was announced back in June Apple admitted that some .Mac apps would be axed: “As part of this transition to MobileMe, some features are being discontinued: web access to bookmarks (bookmark sync between your Macs and/or PCs is still supported), iCards, .Mac slides and support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther sync.”
However, it's now apparent that one of .Mac’s key applications has also been dumped, in favour of a paid-for Apple tool.
.Mac’s HomePage service, which made posting photos and videos a simple drag-and-drop exercise, now appears to have been axed, too.
In a Support document Apple states:
“At the launch of MobileMe, you can still manage and edit webpages with the HomePage application.”
However, Apple says that “You will still be able to edit and delete your HomePage until October 10, 2008. Your published pages will stay live on the web for as long as you remain a MobileMe member, and you can continue to visit them at http://homepage.mac.com/username.”
While MobileMe does include some drag-and-drop Web Gallery functionality, much of the simplicity of HomePage appears to have been lost. Instead, Apple is pushing MobileMe customers to purchase iWeb – part of Apple’s £55 iLife software suite – in order to simply publish web pages. With MobileMe costing £59 per year, that's £114 for the same functionality. And, of course, iWeb is not available for Windows users who might care to subscribe to the MobileMe services.
The .Mac site is currently unavailable, and even iWeb is having transitional problems on MobileMe launch day.
Apple has now apologised about the delayed transition from .Mac to MobileMe in a MobileMe Status Update: "The MobileMe transition is underway but is taking longer than expected. Please refer to the official System Status to the right for current information on the availability of MobileMe services. We apologise for any inconvenience."