Warning: your calendar is in danger with Apple's Mobile Me

Apple’s Mobile Me just deleted every single item from my Outlook calendar on Windows Vista. Gone. Deleted.

Luckily I have them backed up on Google, but what a scare.

Apple’s secrecy keeps them from properly testing out their apps with tons of users, the way other companies do who aren’t so worried about secrecy.

Other people are reporting the same thing. Do not buy Mobile Me. Do not install it. Be warned.

Update: Walt Mossberg, tech journalist for the Wall Street Journal, said to avoid Mobile Me too, weeks ago. I should have listened to him.

Update 2: this post got a separate conversation going over on FriendFeed.

Comments

  1. Good to hear you had them backed up. I agree that it is helpful to have your products and services tested by thousands of users in different scenarios. Being more open to your customers is just for the better.

  2. Good to hear you had them backed up. I agree that it is helpful to have your products and services tested by thousands of users in different scenarios. Being more open to your customers is just for the better.

  3. Things are fine here with me and the wife’s MobileMe accounts. Though to be honest, I would like the plausible deniability that not having all the calendar entries scheduled would offer. The biggest problem I’ve seen with MobileMe is that it seems a bit hyperactive in pushing to the iPhone (15 hours standby, 8 hours usage [ when in actuality it's more like 2]). Good to see you had a backup.

  4. Things are fine here with me and the wife’s MobileMe accounts. Though to be honest, I would like the plausible deniability that not having all the calendar entries scheduled would offer. The biggest problem I’ve seen with MobileMe is that it seems a bit hyperactive in pushing to the iPhone (15 hours standby, 8 hours usage [ when in actuality it's more like 2]). Good to see you had a backup.

  5. I noticed that Apple and Microsoft never play nice together. Quicktime, iTunes and Safari are great on a Mac, but on Windows, they lag and take a lot of resources.

    Office is ok on Windows, but on Mac… I don’t have it on Mac.

    I’m saying this, but I doubt that it’s an Apple-Microsoft thing. My Contact list on my iPhone got emptied two weeks ago. I had to re-sync everything. Every application is flawed, but MobileMe’s flaws are way too important and humongous.

  6. I noticed that Apple and Microsoft never play nice together. Quicktime, iTunes and Safari are great on a Mac, but on Windows, they lag and take a lot of resources.

    Office is ok on Windows, but on Mac… I don’t have it on Mac.

    I’m saying this, but I doubt that it’s an Apple-Microsoft thing. My Contact list on my iPhone got emptied two weeks ago. I had to re-sync everything. Every application is flawed, but MobileMe’s flaws are way too important and humongous.

  7. I signed up for a trial account yesterday and cancelled it today. That’s how poor I found mobileme. It synced once (when I first logged in) and then every single time after, it failed. It’s annoying how vague the error messages are as well. All you know is that an error occured but not what happened.

    And then when I cancelled my account, it still managed to muck things up. My contacts were all deleted – which is fair enough as it gives you warning that this will happen – but it confused the hell out of iTunes. For some reason I couldn’t select any contact synching programs as I think it was still trying to sync with mobileme. Then iTunes started crashing so I had to reinstall it.

    Also, when you delete your account you need to restart windows before you can sign out of the windows client. Otherwise it just keeps crashing.

    Somehow apple have managed to male something worse the iTunes (but that’s a whole other story)

  8. I signed up for a trial account yesterday and cancelled it today. That’s how poor I found mobileme. It synced once (when I first logged in) and then every single time after, it failed. It’s annoying how vague the error messages are as well. All you know is that an error occured but not what happened.

    And then when I cancelled my account, it still managed to muck things up. My contacts were all deleted – which is fair enough as it gives you warning that this will happen – but it confused the hell out of iTunes. For some reason I couldn’t select any contact synching programs as I think it was still trying to sync with mobileme. Then iTunes started crashing so I had to reinstall it.

    Also, when you delete your account you need to restart windows before you can sign out of the windows client. Otherwise it just keeps crashing.

    Somehow apple have managed to male something worse the iTunes (but that’s a whole other story)

  9. I’ll post here since this IS where your post IS rather than FriendFeed. The people I know/trust haven’t had any problems. Have read (in several posts) that if you are, backup, completely restore the iPhone and the problems go away.

  10. I’ll post here since this IS where your post IS rather than FriendFeed. The people I know/trust haven’t had any problems. Have read (in several posts) that if you are, backup, completely restore the iPhone and the problems go away.

  11. The hard thing to understand is why would you want to run Vista or Outlook? Is this something you’re forced to do by your employer? Surely you woudn’t choose to do that.

  12. The hard thing to understand is why would you want to run Vista or Outlook? Is this something you’re forced to do by your employer? Surely you woudn’t choose to do that.

  13. PXLated: what are you going to backup if it already deleted all your calendar stuff? Scoble was lucky enough to have made backups before this happened.

    Apple have really dropped the ball on this one — slow service is one thing, but deleting people’s data is another. It’s a shame, MobileMe should have been great from the start — all these problems could have been ironed out with more testing.

  14. PXLated: what are you going to backup if it already deleted all your calendar stuff? Scoble was lucky enough to have made backups before this happened.

    Apple have really dropped the ball on this one — slow service is one thing, but deleting people’s data is another. It’s a shame, MobileMe should have been great from the start — all these problems could have been ironed out with more testing.

  15. [...] Robert Scoble has pointed out that Apple is too secretive — after experiencing Apple’s MobileMe failures. Heck, even Apple’s friend, Walt Mossberg cautioned against getting MobileMe. Maybe I am lucky (knock-on-wood) because MobileMe, so far, works as advertised. This is just an example and I am sure that others will find more instances where Apple failed because of being too secretive. [...]

  16. When I synchronized my iPhone with my Exchange account via IMAP, it deleted everything on my “Deleted items” folder

  17. When I synchronized my iPhone with my Exchange account via IMAP, it deleted everything on my “Deleted items” folder

  18. “Apple’s secrecy keeps them from properly testing out their apps with tons of users, the way other companies do who aren’t so worried about secrecy.”

    What a silly thing to say. You don’t know how many people tested Mobile Me, nor how much of it had to do with “secrecy”. Further, good QA has less to do with the number of testers than it does with the test cases employed. Microsoft has half the planet test their stuff, and you’d be hard pressed to convince anyone their quality is any better than Apple’s.

    I’ve been vocal in my complaints about MMe, but your statement is nothing but a shot at Apple’s secrecy for reasons I guess only you know.

    To make your post worse, the link to “other people” “reporting the same thing” is a joke. It’s nothing but you asking the question! As I write this, only person replied that it actually happened to him. He says it happened twice! (Presumably he restored from a backup and then lost it all again.)

    You don’t have to look far to find complaints about MMe, how about taking the time and posting to something legitimate? If you don’t have the time, then just post you lost your calendar items (assuming they’re really deleted). It’s a legitimate issue, but linking to alleged “others” and ascribing this all to “secrecy” is BS.

  19. “Apple’s secrecy keeps them from properly testing out their apps with tons of users, the way other companies do who aren’t so worried about secrecy.”

    What a silly thing to say. You don’t know how many people tested Mobile Me, nor how much of it had to do with “secrecy”. Further, good QA has less to do with the number of testers than it does with the test cases employed. Microsoft has half the planet test their stuff, and you’d be hard pressed to convince anyone their quality is any better than Apple’s.

    I’ve been vocal in my complaints about MMe, but your statement is nothing but a shot at Apple’s secrecy for reasons I guess only you know.

    To make your post worse, the link to “other people” “reporting the same thing” is a joke. It’s nothing but you asking the question! As I write this, only person replied that it actually happened to him. He says it happened twice! (Presumably he restored from a backup and then lost it all again.)

    You don’t have to look far to find complaints about MMe, how about taking the time and posting to something legitimate? If you don’t have the time, then just post you lost your calendar items (assuming they’re really deleted). It’s a legitimate issue, but linking to alleged “others” and ascribing this all to “secrecy” is BS.

  20. I had the same experience with ActiveSync back when I had a WindowsMobile phone, a PC, Windows, and Outlook. It deleted all the contacts in Outlook, and I didn’t have a Time Machine to restore them easily. It was a real hassle getting it back.

    This is a problem that occurs with any sync software when the sync gets, well, out of sync. It’s not something peculiar to MobileMe. The best way to avoid the problem is to start out right. Make sync manual on all the machines, then pick one to be authoritative, reset its sync, then set it to overwrite MobileMe with everything on the computer. Then sync it manually. Do the same on the others, only choose to overwrite the computer with the data on MobileMe. Then everything is properly in sync. Change settings on each machine to suit your taste, and it will be okay after that. If for some reason a computer won’t sync, reset its sync and overwrite its data with Mobile Me.

    This is just a matter of not starting out right and confusing one swallow for a summer.

  21. I had the same experience with ActiveSync back when I had a WindowsMobile phone, a PC, Windows, and Outlook. It deleted all the contacts in Outlook, and I didn’t have a Time Machine to restore them easily. It was a real hassle getting it back.

    This is a problem that occurs with any sync software when the sync gets, well, out of sync. It’s not something peculiar to MobileMe. The best way to avoid the problem is to start out right. Make sync manual on all the machines, then pick one to be authoritative, reset its sync, then set it to overwrite MobileMe with everything on the computer. Then sync it manually. Do the same on the others, only choose to overwrite the computer with the data on MobileMe. Then everything is properly in sync. Change settings on each machine to suit your taste, and it will be okay after that. If for some reason a computer won’t sync, reset its sync and overwrite its data with Mobile Me.

    This is just a matter of not starting out right and confusing one swallow for a summer.

  22. Well since we know MobileMe didn’t do this maliciously (it is software after all), how about posting more about what you actually did that might have caused this so your readers might be able to help or provide suggestions. I know 5 people using MobileMe and not having and problems. Was Outlook only working with MobileMe or was Outlook just a client to an Exchange server and you were trying to coordinate that? Which machine and client/server is your truth? All of that would be a lot better than just complaining and pointing the finger at Apple out of frustration without first understanding where the problem really is.

  23. Well since we know MobileMe didn’t do this maliciously (it is software after all), how about posting more about what you actually did that might have caused this so your readers might be able to help or provide suggestions. I know 5 people using MobileMe and not having and problems. Was Outlook only working with MobileMe or was Outlook just a client to an Exchange server and you were trying to coordinate that? Which machine and client/server is your truth? All of that would be a lot better than just complaining and pointing the finger at Apple out of frustration without first understanding where the problem really is.

  24. Scoble: “Apple’s Mobile Me just deleted every single item from my Outlook calendar on Windows Vista. Gone. Deleted.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As if we couldn’t see that coming. HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving Microsoft tool. Too bad it isn’t true.
    So who’s next on the Microsoft Mobile-Me disaster list? Dave Whiner?

    Mark wrote: “Well since we know MobileMe didn’t do this maliciously (it is software after all), how about posting more about what you actually did that might have caused this so your readers might be able to help or provide suggestions.”

    Another comedy writer. This isn’t about helping Apple, Mark. It’s about making as much of the Apple info on the tubes as ugly as possible. Killing sales.

  25. Scoble: “Apple’s Mobile Me just deleted every single item from my Outlook calendar on Windows Vista. Gone. Deleted.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As if we couldn’t see that coming. HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving Microsoft tool. Too bad it isn’t true.
    So who’s next on the Microsoft Mobile-Me disaster list? Dave Whiner?

    Mark wrote: “Well since we know MobileMe didn’t do this maliciously (it is software after all), how about posting more about what you actually did that might have caused this so your readers might be able to help or provide suggestions.”

    Another comedy writer. This isn’t about helping Apple, Mark. It’s about making as much of the Apple info on the tubes as ugly as possible. Killing sales.

  26. Look, mobile me is not so bad that you should not buy it. You just happened to have a very bad experience with it…others may feel different based upon there needs.

  27. Look, mobile me is not so bad that you should not buy it. You just happened to have a very bad experience with it…others may feel different based upon there needs.

  28. Zato, are you saying that Scoble’s lying? Because I’m damn sure he isn’t.

    Robert, MobileMe’s “fun” doesn’t just extend to Windows. One day it decided to delete all my contacts, except three. Why? No idea – I just woke up one morning and everything bar those lucky three were gone. Fortunately, Time Machine is wonderful and I was able to get them all back.

    My advice is to just use Exchange if you want push.

  29. Zato, are you saying that Scoble’s lying? Because I’m damn sure he isn’t.

    Robert, MobileMe’s “fun” doesn’t just extend to Windows. One day it decided to delete all my contacts, except three. Why? No idea – I just woke up one morning and everything bar those lucky three were gone. Fortunately, Time Machine is wonderful and I was able to get them all back.

    My advice is to just use Exchange if you want push.

  30. Having had long experience with synching (I bought the first Palm when it came out) and with .Mac (using it since iTools days and the Mac since ’93), I knew not to completely trust MobileMe right out of the box. After getting a duplicate calendar and other problems in the first few synchs (such as appointments appearing only in certain views), I disabled MobileMe and will not use it. Coincidentally, my .Mac subscription was coming up for renewal, and I did not renew for the first time. I made these decisions before Mossberg or Pogue published, and I felt certain about them then and still do. While Apple may get MobileMe up and running eventually, I’m not sure I could ever trust it with my Calendar data, which goes back to 1999. I think MobileMe and being locked into iTunes are reasons to not get an iPhone, and instead of upgrading mine to the 3G model, I’m currently looking at other smartphones.

  31. Having had long experience with synching (I bought the first Palm when it came out) and with .Mac (using it since iTools days and the Mac since ’93), I knew not to completely trust MobileMe right out of the box. After getting a duplicate calendar and other problems in the first few synchs (such as appointments appearing only in certain views), I disabled MobileMe and will not use it. Coincidentally, my .Mac subscription was coming up for renewal, and I did not renew for the first time. I made these decisions before Mossberg or Pogue published, and I felt certain about them then and still do. While Apple may get MobileMe up and running eventually, I’m not sure I could ever trust it with my Calendar data, which goes back to 1999. I think MobileMe and being locked into iTunes are reasons to not get an iPhone, and instead of upgrading mine to the 3G model, I’m currently looking at other smartphones.

  32. Shows you how Cloud Computing is taking over the world. You cannot rely on your PC, hard drives, Windows, etc. anymore. You cannot waste your time troubleshooting crashes and corrupted drives anymore. There are far more useful things to do in life.

    Put everything up on Google, Youtube, Picasa, etc., and forget it. Your stuff will be there sacrosanct for the next 100 years!!! That’s the new world order. Goodbye Microsoft.

    Can’t believe how, thanks to Microsoft, most of the world’s population has been wasting their lives troubleshooting computers for the last 25 years.

  33. Shows you how Cloud Computing is taking over the world. You cannot rely on your PC, hard drives, Windows, etc. anymore. You cannot waste your time troubleshooting crashes and corrupted drives anymore. There are far more useful things to do in life.

    Put everything up on Google, Youtube, Picasa, etc., and forget it. Your stuff will be there sacrosanct for the next 100 years!!! That’s the new world order. Goodbye Microsoft.

    Can’t believe how, thanks to Microsoft, most of the world’s population has been wasting their lives troubleshooting computers for the last 25 years.

  34. But APPLE just WORKS. Huh huh. Look at the buggy software. iPhone has become bloated and slow and I have to reboot it all the time like it’s Windows95. I heed the above warning about MobileMe issued weeks ago but went ahead with Exchange and it wiped everything. Thankfully it was also synced with my outlook and Google.

    I know Apple cultists hate hearing it but face it, Apple software with more and more features with added interoperability will become as buggy and unstable as a Windows product. You’ll see.

  35. But APPLE just WORKS. Huh huh. Look at the buggy software. iPhone has become bloated and slow and I have to reboot it all the time like it’s Windows95. I heed the above warning about MobileMe issued weeks ago but went ahead with Exchange and it wiped everything. Thankfully it was also synced with my outlook and Google.

    I know Apple cultists hate hearing it but face it, Apple software with more and more features with added interoperability will become as buggy and unstable as a Windows product. You’ll see.

  36. Junk. Plain and simple. Leopard is still a wonder to behold, but iPhone 2 and MobileMe, Apple doing a bad Microsoft.

    For once I agree with you.

  37. Junk. Plain and simple. Leopard is still a wonder to behold, but iPhone 2 and MobileMe, Apple doing a bad Microsoft.

    For once I agree with you.

  38. [...] and so does my email, calendar and invitations to events. It has a rock-solid feel that right now MobileMe cannot seem to provide. I’m sure Apple is working hard on their own version of ActiveSync for OS X Server, which [...]

  39. The reason Apple software has so many bugs when first introduced (seems like every x.0 iTunes upgrade has tons of bugs) is because they don’t use public beta testing programs. It’s like doing such is beneath them in some way or another. “Our programmers are perfect; what need of beta testing?”

  40. The reason Apple software has so many bugs when first introduced (seems like every x.0 iTunes upgrade has tons of bugs) is because they don’t use public beta testing programs. It’s like doing such is beneath them in some way or another. “Our programmers are perfect; what need of beta testing?”

  41. …because ActiveSync never hosed my calendar or contacts. Oh wait, it did. But my Outlook calendar never got hosed…oh never mind. Why does Microsoft insist on all that secrecy…oh, they don’t, do they?

    Scoble, I feel for your loss, believe me I do. But among other things, I gotta point out that given all Apple’s secrecy – - how the fuck do you know how much testing does or doesn’t go on?

    I got tired of your whining and booted you for a couple months – just in time to find you whining again. Sheesh.

  42. …because ActiveSync never hosed my calendar or contacts. Oh wait, it did. But my Outlook calendar never got hosed…oh never mind. Why does Microsoft insist on all that secrecy…oh, they don’t, do they?

    Scoble, I feel for your loss, believe me I do. But among other things, I gotta point out that given all Apple’s secrecy – - how the fuck do you know how much testing does or doesn’t go on?

    I got tired of your whining and booted you for a couple months – just in time to find you whining again. Sheesh.

  43. MobileMe is simply terrible. My problems include:
    Outlook grinds to a halt
    iphone crashes
    Lost data
    Sync failures

    Apple hang your head in shame … you have lost me as a potential convert

  44. MobileMe is simply terrible. My problems include:
    Outlook grinds to a halt
    iphone crashes
    Lost data
    Sync failures

    Apple hang your head in shame … you have lost me as a potential convert

  45. I SIMPLY LOVE APPLE & MOBILEME

    It works like everything works at apple. PLUG AND PLAY! I am convinced people theirselves are most of the time the cause of their own problems. For the last 12 years I haven’t had any problems that where not my own fold, as I take good care of my stuff, my mac is just one of my pets.

    I have seen so many people treating wrong their laptops/computers, like pussing many buttons at the time, even if the mac is ‘thinking’ or lifting it up by holding it at the screen, downloading and installing crap, restarting when not necesary, not turning the laptop of while taking it in a bag, move or kick against a table while the computer on top of it is not turned off etc. etc. etc.

    Mobileme works fantastic for me and I hope more features will come out soon!
    They are doing a wonderful job there and untill so far it is absolutely the best product in its area.

    I would say BUY IT, its a good investment to share/have all your files close to you every minute, on every computer or iphone.

  46. I SIMPLY LOVE APPLE & MOBILEME

    It works like everything works at apple. PLUG AND PLAY! I am convinced people theirselves are most of the time the cause of their own problems. For the last 12 years I haven’t had any problems that where not my own fold, as I take good care of my stuff, my mac is just one of my pets.

    I have seen so many people treating wrong their laptops/computers, like pussing many buttons at the time, even if the mac is ‘thinking’ or lifting it up by holding it at the screen, downloading and installing crap, restarting when not necesary, not turning the laptop of while taking it in a bag, move or kick against a table while the computer on top of it is not turned off etc. etc. etc.

    Mobileme works fantastic for me and I hope more features will come out soon!
    They are doing a wonderful job there and untill so far it is absolutely the best product in its area.

    I would say BUY IT, its a good investment to share/have all your files close to you every minute, on every computer or iphone.

  47. Oh and another thing for windows users:

    Just stop trying to use A-brand software and solutions on a B-brand computer… JUST BY A MAC you sillies!

  48. Oh and another thing for windows users:

    Just stop trying to use A-brand software and solutions on a B-brand computer… JUST BY A MAC you sillies!