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Dear Apple Again

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Jul. 23rd, 2008 | 10:49 am

Please fix your MobileMe web interface.

Actually, it's not technically broken - it works adequately on relatively powerful Macs and Windows machines running Safari, Firefox 2+ or IE 7+. However

(a) it deliberately browser-sniffs for Firefox on Linux and won't let you in without you spoofing the user-agent, which isn't hard but should not be necessary;

(b) taking the "superheavy AJAX site" approach means that you get a very nice web desktop app, lovely to use, fine, but it's useless on any mobile or mostly-mobile device - say, an Eee, or a smartphone, or a Palm. I actually did manage to get it to load on the Eee, eventually, by browser-spoofing, installing Java (why?) and using Iceweasel instead of Firefox (double why?) but half the time it doesn't load everything, there are dozens of "script is unresponsive" boxes to click through as the Javascript takes so long to execute, and the minimum screen width is set too wide for it to be usable. I can use other heavyweight AJAX sites like Google Apps, Zoho and Mindmeister without trouble, so I don't see what makes this so special.

This means that it is functionally broken, if not technically broken; functionality for a web interface to a service that is designed to be able to be used when away from one's main computer should include "ability to use it on all appropriate devices", and that definitely means ultramobile Linux laptops, which are becoming increasingly popular. This isn't too hard surely - just a bare bones form-based "mobile" interface would be okay. Either that or there should be some sort of offline syncing available, which there isn't.

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