mac.com vs me.com on iOS 4.3

I’m a long time MobileMe subscriber, or I should say a .mac subscriber. I love my mac.com email address and I was a bit crossed when Apple removed the possibility to use my mac.com email address in iOS 4.2 unless you previously had an account with a username@mac.com address on the iPhone.

When setting up a MobileMe account in iOS 4.2 the email address would default to username@me.com regardless of whether you typed in the login screen username@mac.com.

This was really annoying and I bet that many long time Apple users felt cheated by this. There was a workaround that came as a KB article from Apple. The workaround involved using iTunes to mirror on the iPhone the mac.com email account setup on mail.app on your Mac.

A big surprise happened when I installed iOS 4.3 on my iPhone 4 a few weeks ago. As usual whenever I install a new version of iOS, I also restore the iPhone as a new device.

Immediately after the restore, I added my MobileMe account to the iPhone and expected iOS to automatically change my email address to me.com even though I registered as mac.com.

To my surprise, the email address remained username@mac.com, no need to use the workaround to sync your email account with iTunes.

I believe that this was a bug on iOS 4.2. The proof is this Apple KB where the solution is to upgrade to iOS 4.3.

This ends the speculations that the domain mac.com is going to disappear and all longtime .mac users will have to switch to a less loved username@me.com email address.

Well done Apple, I’m so glad that I can keep on using my beloved mac.com email address.

The (lack) of usefulness of MobileMe System Status

I like MobileMe, I’ve been using it for nine years and despite the usual complaints about the speed of iDisk and some general reliability improvements that the web interface could undergo, I’ve been quite happy with it.

One of the things that really bugs me is the System Status History which contains entries like this one:

MobileMe Mail Maintenance – 03/17/2011 22:00 PDT – 03/18/2011 02:00 PDT
Due to scheduled maintenance, some MobileMe members may have been unable to access mail for up to 15 minutes. Normal service has been restored. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The keyword here is scheduled maintenance. In IT that is something that is decided days if not weeks/months ahead and it is usually preceded by an email notification or at least an alert on a portal.

Apple has the bad habit of posting these entries during or after the maintenance window.

The process usually goes like this:

  1. Damn, MobileMe is down again…
  2. Check Twitter for other users with the same problem
  3. Check the MobileMe System Status
  4. Huh,… scheduled maintenance. Why wasn’t I alerted?
  5. Go on with your life without MobileMe until the system is back up again

Has this ever bothered you as well or am I the only soul being frustrated by these things?