mobileme SMTP down: a fix


Like many folks, I’ve had it up to here with Apple’s new MobileMe service, which is really the long-time .mac on anti-steroids. At this point, I use it to serve my Web site (but not this blog), and my music site, and I do have a .mac e-mail address (sorry, but the thought of a ‘me.com’ e-mail domain is untenable; I’m keeping it as .mac). Anyway, I don’t use push for contacts or calendar entries, and it seems that others feel the same way. The service is just too unreliable. After a ton of work and literally two hours on the phone with Apple last week, my contacts and calendar entries sync again pretty quickly with my iPhone via USB, and that’s fine with me (no need for the cloud, IMHO).

But now I’m having issues with sending e-mail. It just started this evening, both for me and Debbie (we both have .mac accounts). I ended up sending out my personal e-mail using my work domain, since that functioned just fine. In any case, looking at Apple’s Discussion Forums, lots of people are having the same issue. But there’s an easy fix: change the SMTP port from 25 to 587, and if one hasn’t done so already, require authentication for SMTP (which is what I use by default). That works. Of course, it’s ridiculous that this should suddenly happen on a Friday night, and that I had to find this out by combing through the Web. I kinda doubt it’s an ISP issue. I’m somewhat locked into MobileMe(ss) for now, since beside changing e-mail, it would be cumbersome to download all my iDisk files and dump them onto a dedicated domain. But it’s also very tempting (and probably much cheaper). When I’m hearing people write of Apple as “Crapple” or of MobileMe as “MobileMess,” Apple would seem to have a pretty significant PR problem that they need to address faster and better than they have with just blogging about it and offering a one-month extension of service (which amounts to just over $8 in credit—thanks very much!).