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Apple MobileMe Mail Beta By Invitation Only

The next version of Apple's MobileMe Mail includes multiple viewing options, mail rules, and single-click archiving., but subscribers to the online file-sharing service must request an invitation to use the beta.

Apple has introduced a new MobileMe Mail beta that's available to subscribers on an invitation-only basis. MobileMe subscribers can log in to the service and click a link to request an invitation. "You will receive an e-mail notification when you have been added to the beta and can start using it," Apple said in a statement released late Wednesday.

New features in the beta include a widescreen view to see more messages and reduce scrolling. There is also compact view to hide folders or a classic view to more of the message list.

Mail rules have been added to reduce inbox clutter by automatically filing messages into selected folders. Setting up the rules at will apply them to Apple's online e-mail service, an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and PC.

Single-click archiving is available to quickly file messages into and archive folder. A formatting toolbar has been added and security has been improved by the addition of SSL when accessing e-mail on the Web. SSL, or secure sockets layer, is a cryptographic communications protocol.

MobileMe beta works best with Safari 4, Firefox 3.6 and Internet Explorer 8, according to Apple.

Along with e-mail, MobileMe is an online file-sharing service that synchronizes data on Apple hardware and a PC. Last June, the company launched the "Find My iPhone" and remote data-wipe services in a major upgrade of the service that coincided with the introduction of the iPhone 3G S, the last major version of the smartphone.

The location feature makes it possible to find a lost iPhone on a map and send a message or alert to the device that will play even when it's in silent mode. If the device can't be recovered, then the owner can use MobileMe to remotely wipe out all the data. The deletion can be undone if the owner later recovers the device.

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