Apple upgrades .Mac webmail

.Mac webmail
Apple finally realized that .Mac users were bailing in droves because of the service's lack of recent updates updates and the march of progress to distant locales like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Windows Live Mail. In response, it has unveiled a new version of its .Mac webmail offering. The service takes a lot of cues from the new batch of Ajaxy webmail clients, but also from Apple's own Mail.app. In fact, the app looks quite a lot like a desktop app with an interface that fits very well alongside OS 10.4 Tiger. It features IMAP syncing, organization by drag-and-drop, a new message pane just like Mail.app and Outlook's, a Quick Reply feature that lets you "Dash off a response without leaving your Inbox," address book integration, keyboard shortcuts, and Gmail-esque "message previews." Overall, it looks like it will fit in reasonably well with the current crop of webmail offerings, but keep in mind that .Mac still costs $99 per year, which gets 1GB of storage, including what you might use for iDisk backups.

So I want to hear from .Mac users: Is the new .Mac webmail really awesome? How does it compare to Gmail or Yahoo! Mail? Is it worth $99 per year when free webmail (Gmail, 2.8GB) and online storage services (Xdrive, 5GB) are out there? It's not rhetorical--I haven't used .Mac and I really want to know, is it really worth it, and if so, why?

Update: TUAW's David Chartier has penned a nice long review of the new .Mac webmail entitled New .Mac webmail delivers, mostly. He concludes, "Let's face it: no one can please everyone, but this new webmail is pretty hot, considering everything .Mac is up against, like a segmented demographic and high expectations from the nerdier half of it."

1 comment:

Richard said...

I don't think the new web mail works very well. It's nice to look at, though. I had a terrible time trying to edit a long email yesterday. Drafts would not save. The automatic timeout feature gave me a five minute warning, and I indicated, "no, continue," but it logged me out anyway and didn't save my final changes. When I finally did think I had saved my final version, it turned out not to be the case after I downloaded the message from my sent folder using Apple's desktop Mail application. Could not check the Sent folder in the webmail because it would not open. At this point, I prefer my Gmail account, and sometimes I wish I had not renewed my .Mac account, which I've had ever since .Mac was created -- just habit, I guess. Hope that answers your question, though other geekier people, I'm sure, could provide better details.

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