MobileMe Upgrade / iCal Issues

If you don’t use (and don’t plan to use) MobileMe to sync your calendars, move along. Nothing to see here. If you use a me.com address as your primary email, you can also move along.

If, however, like me you don’t use a me.com address as your primary email, know this before upgrading to the new MobileMe calendar (which you’ll need to do by May 5 if you want to keep syncing calendars between devices):

  • You won’t be able to use iCal to edit events you created in iCal prior to the upgrade. You’ll only be able to edit them on the MobileMe site.
    • You WILL be able to edit events you create in iCal after the upgrade. Just not the ones you’d made previous to the upgrade.
  • Invitations for events you create in iCal after you upgrade will come from your me.com address. There is no option, currently, to have them come from an external (i.e. non me.com) address. So if you send meeting invites, the invitations will come from, and the responses will go to, your me.com address.

Here are my specific issues with the above:

  1. No forewarning from Apple that this might be an issue during the upgrade. It took 90 minutes on the phone , including escalation to a senior MobileMe advisor, to figure out why I was unable to edit events in iCal after the upgrade.
  2. No ability to give edit rights on a shared calendar to a non-MobileMe address (which would, in theory, resolve the edit issue above). Calendars can be shared with non-MobileMe addresses, but only on a read-only basis.
  3. No option to have calendar invites come from a non-MobileMe address going forward. This is not ideal for those of us who want work-related meeting invitations to come from our work email addresses, or who prefer to keep our me.com addresses private.

These things aren’t the end of the world, but they are irritating, particularly for a service for which Apple charges $100 per annum. If they irritate you as much as they irritate me, please join me in making your feelings known to Apple. If enough people have these issues, perhaps they’ll be persuaded to make some changes going forward.

Have you encountered these or other issues with the MobileMe upgrade? Let me know in the comments.

Arlene’s career has spanned film, television and web production, artist development, content creation, and senior management for Fortune 500 companies and startups alike. She is currently the head of the Las Vegas offices of advertising agencies 87AM and Allied Integrated Marketing, which represent a number of prestigious resort, entertainment and hospitality clients both on the Strip and in Downtown and suburban Las Vegas

3 comments: On MobileMe Upgrade / iCal Issues

  • I have yet to do the MobileMe Calendar upgrade as I use a device (a Palm Pre) that doesn’t have support for the new iCal/Calendar format yet. I also use an iPhone and iPad and want to continue syncing between all of my devices.

    I hate that these upgrades cut off support without having to do some level of steps to export and reimport calendar data – just to make this all work. I expect more from Apple, who has done wonders with their products. These glitches are not showstoppers, but at the same time, they take time to ensure all of our calendar data remains intact and syncing after the upgrade.

    Thanks for the details on this post. It’s made me go investigate more of what I need to do and what kinds of issues will arise after I’ve done the upgrade.

  • My remarks to Apple via the MobileMe feedback page:

    This MobileMe upgrade fiasco is just the latest disappointment in Apple’s engineering and marketing. I rely very heavily on iCal (Mac) and Calendar (iPhone). I use it multiple times per day. I normally have more items than I can handle in a day. When an item I haven’t gotten to, or won’t get to that day, is current, I’ll decide which day and at what time I want to “relocate” the event. When I do that I may end up reshuffling all the items for that day. My Mac is at home. My iPhone is with me all the time. I have many, many items that are now not editable on my iPhone. It has completely screwed me. I am so frustrated I am thinking of using my Time Machine backup, which is scary because it’s so friggin fragile, to restore my entire hard drive back to the day before the MobileMe change, then restoring my iPhone from there. That’s a lot of work and risk FOR NO REASON. The fact that you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, figure out a way to update previous event records to handle whatever internal data is needed so that events can be editable on any used platform is inexcusable. Bertrand, Scott and Phil all need a slap upside the head.

    The chance of me renewing my MobileMe account is getting close to zero. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Rusty, for reading and for sharing your comments/frustration. I could probably more equitably deal with these issues if they had bothered to alert us upfront. It was troubling, to say the least, that the MobileMe advisors hadn’t even heard of these editing problems.

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