Gmail vs. MobileMe

  • Posted: 22 September 2009 12:59 PM

    I have multiple personal email addresses and all used to go to a paid web host where I ran my own IMAP server. For the sake of reliability I moved it all over to Gmail a few months ago. However, MobileMe has its appeal and I am torn on which one to use.

    Gmail Pros: Proven reliability from personal experience, fast, has lots of quick keyboard shortcuts.
    Gmail Cons: Tags don’t necessarily translate well into folders. Do I want to trust Google, the giant information cataloging and searching business, with all my personal info?

    MobileMe Pros: Push notifications to my iPhone. Web interface is integrated with my contacts and calendar. Has real folders instead of tags.
    MobileMe Cons: I’ve never used it as my main mail provider before so it doesn’t have a track record of reliability for me (yet), and it’s not free… though that is kind of a moot point because I was already paying for it anyway.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts and other pros/cons you may have for either service. Thanks!

    [ Edited: 22 September 2009 01:02 PM by David Nelson ]      
  • Posted: 23 September 2009 01:32 AM #1

    I, like you, am torn about all this.  As of today, Gmail push is available on the iPhone, so that feature is a wash.  I think MobileMe contacts are far superior to Google Contacts, in how customizable they are, with custom fields and photos.  To sync photos to a Mac, as well as sync contacts without an iPhone/iPod Touch, you need Snow Leopard.  I can do this with Leopard.  I just don’t trust mail entirely, and the blasted refresh problems on the website are maddening.  Gmail also pulls in POP accounts for me.  I like having folders too, though.  I have both…but MobileMe also syncs bookmarks, keychains, settings, passwords, etc., between my two Macs.  So that alone is worth it.

  • Posted: 23 September 2009 12:42 PM #2

    The huge win for Gmail against any other service is their Spam filtering.  No other program or service that I have used works as effectively as gmail’s filtering.

  • Posted: 23 September 2009 12:47 PM #3

    The ONE thing that keeps me from moving from Gmail to MobileMe is server-side filters.  I have re-created all my Gmail server-side filters in Mail but I hate having to have Mail running to get my mail filtered.  As soon as they implement this I’ll likely move to MobileMe full time.

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    Posted: 23 September 2009 12:48 PM #4

    I personally don’t like Google cataloging my email so I don’t use gmail. So I can’t comment too much on it.

    I do use MobileMe as my main personal email account and it has been reliable. I like the fact the you can check it directly in as I have several email accounts and nice to have it all in one application.

    But if you are already paying for MobileMe then I can’t think why wouldn’t use the email account. MobileMe is relatively expensive for what it provides using the email would add more value when it came time to renew.


    My mind is a bad neighborhood that I try not to go into alone.

  • Posted: 23 September 2009 01:45 PM #5

    Everyone in my family has multiple emails which include gmail, yahoo and mobileme. Everyone has migrated to mobileme having mail on the other accounts simply forwarded. The appeal is several. First IMAP is nearly perfectly implemented. You delete a message on your iphone and it’s gone from your laptop or desktop immediatley. The speed of delivery especially from one mobileme account to another is astonishing as is the speed of the push function. Finally there is the mobileme website which is aesthetic, functional and works just like a desktop. I should also not forget mobileme ability to send large files easily to anyone for download at their convenience. My wife is a professional photographer so for her sending gargantuan files is routine.

    Google mail is free and that’s what it’s worth (to me). The mobileme service does cost but i have never felt it overpriced. It does what it says it will seamlessly.

  • Posted: 23 September 2009 02:40 PM #6

    I have used .mac/MobileMe since it was free. I really haven’t had a problem with mail until I a gmail account. Well, until I 2 accounts. For a while both were fine and I read them using my mail app. But soon synching started to fail intermittently. Then one of my gmail accounts could not be read by my mail app no matter how many times I reloaded it. I finally got fed up and switched it all to gmail. I have a few months left on my MobileMe account and I don’t know about renewing.

    FWIW, I do like the Mail app much better than gmail. Gmail is just plain ugly. Look at it’s icon for goodness sakes! But it works. And it’s built in spam is pretty darn good.

    I use the regular mail app on my iPhone and synching is never a problem.



  • Posted: 24 September 2009 03:10 AM #7

    I don’t know…. maybe I’m odd, or maybe I’m oversensitive, but the idea of Google scanning my personal mail for the sake of advertisements is just creepy to me. I’ve never liked that idea. However, that has not stopped me from using it for all my mailing lists. All my list mail goes to Gmail, and is read there on the web interface (I like the conversations feature for lists). Since my lists are fairly limited in scope, and there is no private information there, I don’t really care what Google scans, as it’s all public anyway. And Omniweb seems to do a good job anyway, of letting me not see the ads. wink

    But for truly ironclad personal mail, I have both my email, and I’ve been slowly phasing out the latter, however.

    MobileMe, for other reasons has several compelling points. I like the parental control for email for my kids. Not that they get a lot of spam, but just the fact that if they get gross spam, it’s in my spam filter, and gets deleted without them ever needing to see it. (They like it too). I like my iDisk, and Backup, the syncing of all my important info, so I can use the web interface without needing Address Book. It’s seemless without extra software, and is more full-featured than Google’s offerings. The fact that Apple runs the whole show means it works together well. I have no complaints. And I don’t have to worry too much about Apple sniffing through my personal email. wink




  • Posted: 24 September 2009 12:16 PM #8

    Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback so far! It is much appreciated.

    A few new points:

    - Yes, Gmail has added push as of yesterday via their Exchange server. This is sure to make it even more popular with iPhone users. I tried enabling it yesterday on my iPhone and could only check my email intermittently, but that may have been because it was brand new and was overloaded with users who are trying it out. I’ll have to check again in a day or two.

    - The reason I pay for MobileMe even though I don’t use the email is that I wanted to reserve my email address, and I like how seamlessly it syncs my calendars, addresses, and bookmarks between my multiple home and work computers as well as my iPhone. Plus the new Find my iPhone feature would make the fee well worth it if I ever lose my phone and then locate it again using that service.

    - The fact that Google targets ads based on my email contents doesn’t *really* matter since it’s primarily a free IMAP server for me and I rarely actually use the web interface, but it does still bother me on principle.

  • Posted: 11 October 2009 11:35 AM #9

    Hi I am so new I am a newby. I love my Mac. However how do you move mobile me over to gmail??


  • Posted: 11 October 2009 11:42 AM #10

    Questions what did you do to move over to gmail. I cannot figure it out???/ Need your brains

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    Posted: 11 October 2009 08:06 PM #11

    lancer47 - 11 October 2009 02:42 PM

    Questions what did you do to move over to gmail. I cannot figure it out???/ Need your brains

    You need to be a bit more specific with what you are trying to do from Mobile Me to Gmail.  Are you trying to save your old emails or create a file structure which matches. 
    Also are you using Mail.App as your mail reader.  If you arer trying to map mailboxes this old thread has some hints GMail IMAP

  • Posted: 11 October 2009 08:20 PM #12

    Thanks for the reply. I have been using mobileme but think I will start to use gmail. How do I go about importing all my mobileme over to gmail. It does not work automatically like my old hotmail account. Thanks for considering my question

  • Posted: 06 November 2009 11:17 PM #13

    I move between email services by configuring both as IMAP accounts in an email client and copying the messages or folders over via drag-and-drop.

  • Posted: 03 September 2010 07:36 PM #14

    I tried several times to logon to MobileMe and gave up. I got my Visa bill yesterday and they had billed me 3 times for $105.54. I sent 6 notices to the MobileMe support and no one will respond. Does anyone know how to reach MobileME or a live person?