How-To Replace MobileMe Features That Apple Discontinued In iCloud [Feature]

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MobileMepic
MobileMe will be gone in less than a month. Here are the best MobileMe replacement options.
Photo: Apple

Apple began sending out MobileMe eviction notices last week. The notices remind anyone still using MobileMe that they have until the end of June to transition to iCloud and/or copy all data stored in their MobileMe accounts to their Mac or PC. Any files stored in MobileMe’s range of services that can’t be converted to iCloud will be deleted. If you opt not to use iCloud, all data in your MobileMe account will be deleted.

Although iCloud offers several advances over MobileMe, there are some MobileMe services that don’t have direct iCloud equivalents. These include MobileMe Galleries for sharing photos and videos, website creation using Apple’s iWeb, and iDisk remote storage and file sharing. File and information sync is available using iCloud, but the functionality is implemented a bit differently than in MobileMe.

There isn’t a single online service that delivers quite the same mix of features and functionality that Apple offered with MobileMe but by combining some apps and services, you can get pretty close to MobileMe’s feature set.

Box Ups The Ante For Business And iOS Cloud Storage

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Box continues to lead the way in mobile and cloud options for business
Box continues to lead the way in mobile and cloud options for business

Over the past several months, Box has reinvented itself. The company went from being a pretty basic cloud storage solution to true enterprise solution and a hub for storing, viewing, and editing all manner of documents on an iPad or other mobile device. Box’s journey continued this week as the company launched a series of new features for business and enterprise customers.

Scanbox Turns Your iPhone Into The Perfect Portable Scanner For Just $15

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Yes, it is a fancy box, but it makes scanning on your iPhone a breeze.
Yes, it is a fancy box, but it makes scanning on your iPhone a breeze.

There are a ton of terrific iPhone apps that turn your device into a pocket-sized scanner, allowing you to capture documents and photos for copying, emailing, editing, and more. But the problem with these apps is that they only work well if you capture your subject at the right angle with a steady hand.

Scanbox aims to make this process a whole lot easier by turning your iPhone into a sturdy portable scanner for just $15.

Good Offers Secure iOS Data Management Platform With Developer Partners [Mobile Management Month]

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Good offers a complete platform for information security
Good offers a complete platform for information security

May is Mobile Management Month at Cult of Mac, where we will be profiling a different mobile management company every weekday. You can find all previous entries here  and read our Mobile Management manifesto here.

Although Good does provide device and app management, its primary focus is securing business data. To that end, the company effectively segregates all business information and documents on a device from a user’s personal content. To accomplish this Good’s iOS app delivers the same features as Apple’s Mail, Calendar, and Contacts apps – a move that ensures business messages event data are always secure. Good also includes a secure web browser and secure on-device document and data storage. The secure data store is sandboxed and can restrict users from copying data to unapproved apps as well as prevent such apps from accessing business documents or files.Good also provides a government agency solution that has been certified to meet various government and military standards for secure access including two-factor authentication.

Good leverages these technologies through a new solution called Good Dynamics that allows other companies, including mobile management vendor Boxtone who we profiled earlier in this series, to take advantage of Good’s secure data store. See our Good Dynamics coverage for more details.

Unlike iCloud, Google’s Rumored Cloud Storage Could Be a Privacy Nightmare

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Google
Google could easily amass a good deal of data on users of its expected cloud storage service

There have been rumors circulating for some time about Google releasing its own cloud storage service. According to reports, the service is on the verge of release a launch expected next week. Google’s service will enter a crowded market of cloud providers that includes Apple’s iCloud, Box with its new OneCloud feature, and the popular Dropbox.

Public cloud services like these tend to concern business and IT leaders because of the ease with which data migrates out of the office when they’re widely used. A Google service is likely to engender even more privacy and confidentiality issues on the part of businesses – and for good reasons that should concern anyone considering using it.

Cloud Squatting – Great And Free For Users But A Big Headache For Business

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Multiple free accounts can mean unlimited cloud storage but with serious tradeoffs
Multiple free accounts can mean unlimited cloud storage but with serious tradeoffs

Almost every cloud storage service on the Internet operates using a freemium model. Anyone who signs up gets a certain amount of storage for free. When someone uses up all their free storage, they can add more for a fee. Cloud providers usually layer on a few extra features for paid customers like the ability to stream audio files or the ability to restore deleted files or older versions of documents. Just like most companies now, they to outsource the support process making it easy for clients to resolve issues easily. Netzen is a company that provides IT support to businesses in the UK, consider checking them out if you need help with your IT.

With so many free options, however, it can be tempting to use multiple services simultaneously. Add files to a free Dropbox account up till the free 2GB, then create an account with Box for the next 5GB (Box’s free limit), then create a SugarSync account and on and on.

This approach, known as cloud squatting, effectively nets users unlimited free storage so long as they’re willing to play an ongoing game of musical chairs with their data. iOS and other mobile apps that can access and edit files across different services make it surprisingly easy for users to become cloud squatters – and it’s surprisingly difficult for a business or IT department to prevent or deal with cloud squatting employees.

Forget Jailbreaking, Cloud Services Are What Are Building A Usable File System For iOS

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Cloud management can be a great option
Could/developer partnerships fill the file management void in iOS

It seems that every week for the past few months, there’s been at least one or two announcements of app developers, cloud service providers, and mobile management vendors developing strategic partnerships to create or integrate their products into a single unified workflow.

Box’s OneCloud initiative, in which the storage provider teamed up with more than two dozen app developers to create seamless workflows for several different business and productivity tasks, is probably the biggest example of this trend. Others include Quickoffice launching its own cloud service as well as integrating with Accellion’s kitedrive, LogMeIn’s new Cubby service, and CloudOn’s virtualized version of Microsoft Office that integrates with Box and Dropbox for storage.

CloudOn Brings Office To iPad With Great Interface, Key Features

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CloudOn updates its cloud-based Office suite with some killer features
CloudOn updates its cloud-based Office suite with some killer features

Today CloudOn released the first major update to its cloud-based Microsoft Office solution. Like OnLive Desktop, which recently made changes to comply with Microsoft’s Windows licensing model, CloudOn delivers virtual copies of Windows versions the three core Office tools. Unlike OnLive, however, CloudOn doesn’t provide a virtual Windows desktop and the company doesn’t provide its own cloud storage for user documents.

Instead, CloudOn integrates with Box and Dropbox to provide document storage and sharing. The interface of the company’s iPad app provides a simple launcher and file browser. When one of the Office apps (or the newly added Adobe Reader app and File Viewer) is launched a virtual instance of that app is provided from the CloudOn servers.

Accellion’s kitedrive Offers Secure Enterprise Alternative To Dropbox, iCloud

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Accellion's iPhone app
Accellion's iPhone app

BYOD may be the poster child for the consumerization of IT (CoIT) movement, but employee-owned mobile devices are just one of the consumer technologies that are steadily making their way into the workplace. Consumer cloud services are another big headache for IT.

Consumer clouds represent a way for data to easily leave office and the office network. Files can be placed in a consumer cloud very easily and often without IT even knowing about it. Despite that big security concern, cloud services like Box and Dropbox are popular with workers because they’re an easy way to ensure access to files and documents while out of the office and/or while working on a mobile device.

While blocking specific cloud services is a possibility, it’s little more than a stop-gap measure. Truly solving the problem means addressing the underlying need – users needing mobile access to data – in a secure way, which enterprise file management company Accellion aims to solve with a new Secure Mobile File Sharing service and sync capabilty dubbed kitedrive.

Quickoffice Connect Aims To Be iCloud On Steroids For Business Users

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Quickoffice's new Connect service offers great potential but at a price
Quickoffice's new Connect service offers great potential but at a price

Earlier this Box launched its new OneCloud feature, the goal of which is to integrate a range of iOS business and productivity apps around Box’s cloud storage. The biggest advantage to OneCloud is that it neatly sidesteps the lack of file management in iOS, essentially functioning almost like cloud-centric iOS version of the Finder.

Box isn’t the only company looking to get around the iOS file limitations while also connecting users to the cloud. Quickoffice this week announced its new Connect solution, a dedicated app and cloud service combination that aims to make it easy for users to access, edit, share, and sync files and documents across all their devices as well as across a range of third-party cloud services.