A few weeks ago, Apple opened up a beta for a redesigned MobileMe Mail on the web. After a few hours of maintenance last night, MobileMe has closed the Mail beta, made the new design available for everyone, and updated the navigation across all the web apps.
When you see the new Mail, it looks very much like the iPad’s version of Mail. In fact, the redesigned navigation elements are reminiscent of iOS as well. The new Mail features widescreen and compact views, server-side rules, single-click archiving, formatting toolbar, faster performance, increased security, support for external email addresses, and improved junk mail filtering.
The navigation elements will keep two items consistent across the different web apps: a cloud icon on the elft to switch between apps (also achievable with shift-esc), and your name on the right. Clicking on your name will give you access to help, account settings, and signing out.
Find my iPhone also saw two developments during the downtime. First, the web app within MobileMe has been redesigned to show just a sidebar with your devices, and a map taking up the rest of your browser window. Once a connection has been made with your lost device, you can send a message with a two-minute sound that plays regardless of whether the device’s sound is muted. You can also remotely lock it with a PIN code, or if it looks as if the device will be unrecoverable, you can send a command to wipe the phone. Wiping the phone will make any future attempts to locate it with Find My iPhone impossible.
Find My iPhone also received an iPhone, iPod touch, & iPad universal app. I think this is good to have. Previously, if you left your iPhone in a coffee shop, but were unsure, you’d have to find a Mac or Windows PC to perform the Find My iPhone actions on it. Now, let’s say I leave my phone in a coffee shop, now I can just grab my iPad or my wife’s iPhone and locate it, lock it, and display a message really quick. This is definitely the app you hope you never have to use, but it is one of the reasons MobileMe is worth it in my book.
Finally, I didn’t notice any other enhancements to any of the other web apps. Hopefully the MobileMe team in Cupertino will set their sights on refreshing the others. Especially iDisk (is it too much to ask to make it like Dropbox?).