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Apple Blocking Certain Browsers from iDisk Access

Apple Blocking Certain Browsers from iDisk Access

by , 1:40 PM EDT, June 16th, 2008

Accessing an iDisk, Apple's online storage system that's part of the .Mac service, isn't quite as easy as it used to be because the Cupertino company has begun limiting its Web browser requirements to Safari 1.3 and Firefox 1.0.4 and later. Unsupported Web browsers, which apparently include Firefox 3, simply display a page listing recommended browsers without an option to continue.

While Safari 3.1.1 and Firefox 2.0.0.14 are capable of displaying the contents of a public iDisk, Firefox 3 and OmniWeb were both blocked. OmniWeb, incidentally, is WebKit-based, just like Apple's Safari.

Unsurprisingly, Camino is still supported thanks to its shared foundation with Firefox. Opera 9.5 properly displays iDisk public pages as well.


iDisk: Not all browsers are welcome.

Windows users have a different set of Web browser requirements: Firefox 1.0.4 or later, and Internet Explorer 6 or later. Apple's own Safari for Windows isn't on the list.

The Web browser limits look to be imposed only on iDisk access since Apple's .Mac service still supports all browsers. Since the MobileMe domain currently routes to an information page on Apple's Web site, it's not yet clear which browsers will be compatible with the service when it launches.

Apple spent some time during the Steve Jobs keynote event at the company's World Wide Developer Conference on June 9 showing off some of what's in store for its .Mac service once it transitions to MobileMe early in July. MobileMe will include "push" services to keep user's calendars and contacts up to date on multiple devices (including the iPhone and iPod touch), and a Web-based application for updating iCal, Address Book and Outlook data online.

The behind the scenes work Apple has done to create a Web interface that looks and acts strikingly like a desktop application may have played into the decision to limit which browsers can access an iDisk. That move, however, goes in the opposite direction from the company's typically any-browser-compliant stance.

It's possible, too, that the limited browser option is in place while Apple works out last minute bugs before moving away from .Mac.

While the choice to limit browser options for iDisk access may be necessary -- at least for now -- to ensure that MobileMe works as advertised when it launches, the move may not sit well with users that have grown accustomed to using nearly any browser when taking advantage of Apple's online services.

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