Apple has officially shut down its paid MobileMe service in favor of iCloud. The company is offering limited time links for users to access the now defunct services to retrieve their files and upgrade their accounts to the free iCloud.
While iCloud retains some of the services provided by MobileMe, the photo gallery, Web hosting and iDisk storage have been closed, and users will no longer be able to access those files if they weren’t previously backed up.
Since iCloud was announced in October 2011, Apple has been sending out regular reminders to MobileMe users instructing them to download their files before the service was discontinued. Fortunately not all of the services were shut down, and MobileMe users can still access their e-mail, contacts, bookmarks and calendars after logging into their account and upgrading to iCloud.
MobileMe has been plagued with problems from the start. According to Fortune Magazine, when the service debuted in the summer 2008 alongside the iPhone 3G, Steve Jobs was none too happy with the result. He asked the team that developed MobileMe what it was supposed to do and when he was given an answer he told them, “You’ve tarnished Apple’s reputation.”
In 2011, Apple opened a huge data center in North Carolina that would be used solely for iTunes and MobileMe. The company expected to see expansion for the $99 cloud service, but it never happened, and the center was then given to iCloud. That center is now expected to be run by 100% renewable energy by the end of the year.
Users who wish to upgrade to iCloud can do so through the iCloud website or through the MobileMe system preferences in OS X. iCloud comes free with the iOs5 and OS X Lion.