Yes, as flawed as it may be, MobileMe lets you access your email, calendar, address book, photo gallery and iDisk storage via the Web as well as via Apple’s own devices. It was a key selling point of the service and yet, while customers are being transitioned over to iCloud, there’s as yet been no mention of Web access.
On the iCloud page detailing contacts, calendar and mail, there’s only mention of access via Apple devices. So, what’s happening? As I see it, it’s one of the following.
- Apple is working on Web apps for iCloud but hasn’t revealed them yet.
- Conspiracy theory time – now that MobileMe (a paid service) is being replaced by iCloud (a free service) Apple wants to lock you into its ecosystem completely. Offering Web access would let you access iCloud services on those dirty Android devices and Windows PCs. Apple wants to sell iCloud as a premium service that complements its hardware. As such, why would it want you being able to use iCloud anywhere?
While that argument makes sense on a commercial level to Apple, it will surely annoy people who want to check their email on a friend’s computer or add an appointment to their calendar from a hotel lobby PC.
Hopefully, Apple’s silence on the matter indicates that the company thinks it’s obvious that iCloud will get MobileMe’s Web apps, so why mention it? However, given Apple’s track record for doing thing its way rather than the way everyone else thinks is obvious, I wouldn’t be certain of that.