A new user recently emailed us to point out that My Docs Online, using WebDAV and the Desktop App, is working nicely as an alternative to MobileMe and iDisk, which will no longer be available after June.
Here’s what he said to us:
I just signed up for your service after evaluating many others over the last few days. Your interface seems closest to what I had with the iDisk under Apple’s Mobile Me. I upgraded to Lion and also had to find something before June 30 when the iDisk goes away.
I use the OverTheAir app for my iPhone and iPad2 to get to your site, I use the “go to server” (WebDAV) method on my OS 10.6 Mac computer and the desktop app on my Lion (10.7) Mac.
– Bud Cothern
Apple’s iCloud is very different from iDisk. iDisk is (soon to be was) a remote server that is organized like a typical drive, with a folder tree, and accessible via standard, open methods like WebDAV. iCloud is closed, and accessible only via apps using the interface provided by the operating system. It’s another outgrowth of iOS, where the location of files is generally hidden, and files are accessible from the apps that handle them. Mountain Lion for the Mac will work much the same when it is released later this year.
That means there’s no way to use the iCloud storage outside the services and apps that make use of it, such as iPhoto, iTunes Match, iWork, and AppStore apps that makes use of the iCloud Storage APIs.
Those who prefer their cloud storage to more open, flexible, and accessible from non-Apple products will need to look elsewhere, and as this user found, My Docs Online can do the job.
If you’d like to try it for yourself you can sign up for a no-obligation, no-credit card needed trial here
WebDAV using the Finder’s “Connect to Server” under Mac OS X occasionally encounters transfer errors, usually error 36.
The way the Mac WebDAV support works it quickly claims to have transferred the file, then when it says “closing file” is when the actual transfer takes place, and when the error code 36 might occur.
In addition the error reported is often false, and if left alone the transfer will complete fine. The problem is you have no way of knowing if the transfer is still proceeding.
There are two WebDAV clients for the Mac that work well pretty well if you’re having this problem. One costs money but is a very good product, the other is free, works well, but it is no longer being supported.
The commercial product is Transmit, a very popular ftp client you may already be using for ftp that also does WebDAV very well:
The free product is Goliath:
Of course, if you are a My Docs Online user you can also use the Desktop App, but it only works with My Docs Online accounts.
We’ve been getting a lot of non-customer type support calls and emails from people with Web Folders questions. Since we’re naturally curious we did a bit of research on the source of these calls and found that Microsoft is actually referring Web Folder WebDAV questions to us through certain pages on their support website.
This page for example is a Microsoft Office Live support page titled “Use your own design software to create your Web site”. If you go to the page and scroll about half way down you’ll see a special message to Mac users:
“If you use the Mac OS X operating system, you can also create a Web folder as a network connection. The location associated with this connection is your domain (for example, http://contoso.web.officelive.com). For more information about how to create a network connection, see Web Folders/WebDAV Support.”
Just in case you didn’t click on the link, it takes you directly to the My Docs Online Web Folders / WebDAV page. Wow – So basically if you’re trying to use a Mac the help they have for you is to go to My Docs Online.
Well, we’re glad they’re referring people to our site and hope those people find the instructions for setting up and using Web Folders and WebDAV useful. Thanks to Microsoft for this vote of confidence.
The most recent Java auto-update through OS X (Leopard) is causing some problems with Java Web Start, the program used to launch the MDO Transporter program. If you’ve gone through the update and your Java Web Start is no longer available it means that the update wasn’t completely successful.
A symptom of this is trying to launch a Java Web Start Application (Transporter for My Docs users) and having it open something that looks like a text file.
Fortunately there is a fairly simple solution to the problem. You can manually re-install the Java Update from this Apple location
Let us know through the comments here if this doesn’t work for you.