Will Apple now combine iCal / AB / Mail ("Me")?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Cepe Indicum, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Cepe Indicum macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2006
    I'm impressed by the web interface Apple have come up with for MobileMe, and was just wondering if you think this might be the time Apple merges iCal, Address Book and Mail (plus notes, to-dos and RSS feeds) into ONE application - like Outlook.

    I have read - and take on board - the arguments from both sides as to whether or not this is a good idea, but I - for one - am all for it.

    I would also like to see a small 'browser' window (similar to the Media Browser for audio, photos and movies in iWeb and iWork), universal across applications such as Pages and Numbers so that I can drag contacts into letters, spreadsheets, etc. much more easily.

    As for the single application: I would love to be able to go to the "Address Book" tab / section, click on a contact and be able to see - not only their contact information - but also a list of all the emails received from, and sent to, that contact; as well as all the linked calendar events and to-dos.

    The closest third party app I've seen (and tried) is Contactizer Pro and I know there are others - nothing wrong with them, except they don't feel quite... "Apple-enough"... :confused: I know this sounds picky, but I would like to see what Apple could come up with.

    So... what do you think? Stay separate, or merge (or is there middle ground)? What could the new app be called? As the new service will be called MobileMe, could it simply be called "Me"?
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    Terrible idea.
    From the Snow Leopard beta, it looks like they're still separate anyway.
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I could see address book and calendar maybe, but not Mail. That's too big an app.
  4. dws90 macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    While the option of a unified interface might be a nice touch, they should keep the apps themselves separate. I, for one, use iCal and Address Book but generally stay away from Mail in lieu of Gmail's web interface. I don't want to have to have my mail application open just to see where I'm about to have lunch - I want to be able to open iCal, and see just my calendar.

    I envision something like KParts from KDE, which allows developers to, essentially, embed parts of stand-alone apps into other ones.
  5. Cepe Indicum thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2006
    I respect your opinion, but why is it a terrible idea in your view?

    They are fair points I've heard before. I like the optional idea myself - perhaps this is more of a Pro app rather than an app built into the OS?

    The main argument I have heard against the idea is that the app would be a memory hog - and I totally understand this. However, from what I've heard of Snow Leopard, Apple are doing a pretty good job of streamlining all their applications.
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    nope. no reason too. they already work together in the way that they should. which is what matters. i don't need to open my calendar and have my mail there too. or my address book.

    i'd rather have separate apps that work well together than one big monstrosity.
  7. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    I'm sure it was rumoured to be in Leopard but didn't happen (obviously).
  8. Cepe Indicum thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2006
    Hmm... I don't seem to be getting much backing :eek: To be honest, I wasn't expecting much! I've heard many arguments against, and not many for.

    I'm far from complaining about the separate Mail / Address Book / iCal apps - they do work together very well, and I use them all on a daily basis. But, as a small business owner, I would like a bit more functionality and centralisation - as I described in my original post.
  9. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    Like Outlook? I hope not...

    I enjoy having the separate applications, it gives them each a chance to shine.
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Monolithic applications are a holdover from MS-DOS. They go against the Macintosh paradigm since something like System 6. With a multitasking OS, monolithic applications over no advantage over well-designed limited purpose applications.
  11. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i'm all for increasing functionality. especially in iCal. what sort of centralisation do you want? they each do their own thing and integrate together behind the scenes.

    i agree that they each have their own weak spots, but by making it one app i think they'd lose some of what makes them work so well independently.

    there is always Entourage if you want a centralized app.
  12. sel macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2008
    Absolutely Yes

    Integration will allow one to fully access the features of the Apple communications "suite." Mail has to have access to the other two and vice versa in order to utilize all of the information it needs automatically. While Entourage does this and offers a "Project" section that allows integration of all of the data, it is a memory hog and slows down everything else that is running at the time. There has to be a better way to integrate or, at least, provide inter-access. Filemaker is trying to do this with its Bento app.; but the beta doesn't yet include Mail.
  13. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Found it. The rumour was the unification of Apple's Address Book and iCal applications into a single app.
  14. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    I like to be able to open the individual apps when I need them. Plus, with Expose and Spaces, one app would be a pain for window management.
  15. Cepe Indicum thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2006
    I don't disagree that the separate apps do their own thing well - like I've said, I use them (and not Outlook / Entourage).

    However, my line of work revolves around clients - I have a folder containing a sub-folder for each client I am currently working with, plus an Address Book entry (obviously), plus iCal events and tasks associated with each client, plus emails to and from each client.

    For me, the ultimate app would allow me to have all of this centralised, so that - say - if a client was to call, I could go to the single app, enter a search for their name, and have everything - contact info, events, tasks, mail and even files - all in a single window.

    I know this won't be the case for everyone (not even the majority), but this kind of functionality must be of benefit to other Mac users out there. It also can't be that bad a formula - how many users of Outlook are there? You never know, a unified approach may actually encourage some more people to switch from Microsoft...

    I'd forgotten about that - the rumour originated from the red "Address Book" icon, didn't it?

    Yep, this seems to be the main argument against the unified approach, and I do understand that not everyone would like it. I think I should be asking for something different: a Pro app.

    - "Casual" users have iPhoto; "Pro" users have Aperture

    - "Casual" users have iCal, AB and Mail; "Pro" users could have... err... "Me Pro"? :eek:
  16. nathannookie macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2007
    Make it Optional...

    Why not have a simple check box in the preferences for any of the 3 apps. that said, Combine Mail, Address Book, and iCal, into one tabbed window?

    That way, users could select the interface they'd prefer. The apps would still talk to each other the same way they do now, but selecting the unified preference, would simply put them in tabs.

    OR, why not have a Pro version. MS Outlook will be included in the next Mac Office, according to reports yesterday on Cnet's website:

    although there's Entourage today, so Apple really should have an offering that has the same benefits. After all, you know Apple's interface would best Microsoft's.
  17. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2007
    I don't like the idea of a single interface. This is coming out of an Outlook/Windows perspective where every app prefers to be full-screen. The more common theme on the Mac is to have a number of Windows (both within the app and multiple apps) open at the same time and work between them. Another example of this is that Windows users will use cut-and-paste to move files around, whereas Mac users will usually drag them from one window to another.

    You could argue that this was a hold-over from limitations in Windows 3.1's "File Explorer", but it has become so ingrained in the Windows mindset (much as the multi-window idea is powerfully ingrained in the Mac mindset) that I don't think that origins really matter at this point.
  18. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    I have always hoped so... People thought so with leopard (there were many mockups)

    But alas, all separate.

  19. techfreak85 macrumors 68040


    Jan 13, 2008
    i could see this happening in an outlook type fashion. all in Mail.app ur..... Me.app
  20. MattPat77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    Merge it!


    I have long lamented the fragmented nature of the separate apps. Personally, I feel that they use of contact lists, email, and calendaring are all so interrelated that it would be very helpful to have them in one neat interface. The fact that I have to switch between applications to, say, look up an address, seems cumbersome.

    I used to use Entourage (Outlook), but when I got my iPhone some years ago, I gave it up. I'm still not over the loss in some sense, as it really boggles my mind that these features aren't integrated. Think of any web-based email (including me.com) and these features are all integrated. So are all of the other "productivity" software solutions out there.

    Apple's suite feels overly simplistic as individual apps, and cluttered as well. I would like a more robust and integrated app for a neat, quick, and easy experience. As to others' comments, as with any productivity software, you don't have to use the email part if you don't want to...just don't set up an account. Although, since Mail integrates well with gmail and exchange servers, why wouldn't you? Perhaps some have resisted this because the mail app doesn't give them all the features they are used to in gmail!
  21. philxor macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2010
    I agree, I own no other Apple devices and ditched the three apps for Outlook 2011 and couldn't be happier.

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