Apple Makes Changes to .Mac: Storage Now 1GB, Groups Added, Backup 3 Released

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Apple on Tuesday announced several changes to its .Mac online service. Online storage was increased from 256MB to 1GB, a Groups feature was added and Backup 3 was released. In addition, .Mac is now available in French and German.

Users can now store 1GB of data in their iDisks and e-mail accounts, with .Mac Family Pack customers receiving 2GB of combined storage. An additional 1GB of storage is US$49.95 per year. Members can continue to designate how much capacity theyid like to assign to their e-mail accounts and how much they need for their iDisks.

.Mac Groups enable users to create private online communities similar to those found in Yahoo! Groups. Users can send e-mails to everyone in a group by using one address and can upload files to a common group iDisk. In addition, they can publish group Web pages, post Web links and use a shared iCal calendar.

Finally, Backup 3 offers the ability to automatically archive files created with iLife applications, a useris Home folder, music purchased at the iTunes Music Store and more. Backup can also now perform automatic scheduled backups to CDs and DVDs as well as incremental backups, in addition to backing up more than one Mac to an iDisk.

.Mac is US$99.95 per year for individuals and $179.95 annually for a Family Pack, which includes one master account and five sub accounts. Free 60-day trial memberships are available. System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.3.9 or v10.4.2 and 128MB RAM.

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