One of the big announcements yesterday from Apple was that it is replacing its .Mac service with MobileMe, a new service that will sync your email, contacts, calendar, photos, and files between your iPhone, Mac desktop, and a Windows PC. It will cost $99 per year. But if you want most of the functionality of MobileMe without the cost, you will be able to download an app from Funambol at the official iPhone App Store on July 11 that does many of the same things.
Funambol offers open-source mobile syncing software for email, contacts and calendars. It works with Exchange, Domino, POP, or IMAP email servers, and already supports hundreds of different phone models. It even works on current (jailbroken) models of the iPhone. Funambol’s jailbroken iPhone app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times. The company hosts its own synchronization servers a beta site, myFunambol, which support Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. Says CEO Fabrizio Capobianco:
Now, with the SDK on July 11 when the new iPhone comes out, we will have our synchronization product ready. It will be a free, open-source competitor to MobielMe, which is $99 a year and completely closed.
The software won’t sync your files or photos, but since it is open-source there is nothing stopping other developers from building such services on its underlying synchronization engine.