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iCloud: What about Mac OS X Snow Leopard users?

October 12, 2011

UPDATE (2011-11-21):

VMware clarifies:

Running Mac OS X client in a virtual machine continues to require Lion (purchased from the Mac App Store or a USB thumb drive.)  Users should always ensure they remain in compliance with any applicable software license agreements.

It seems that the next update will restrict installations of Mac OS X Snow Leopard or older to Server and OS X Lion.

VMware has just released VMware Fusion 4.1 and allowed installation of Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard client in virtual machine.
As long as you have Mac with 64-bit processor, you can now install OS X Lion while keeping Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard in the virtual machine.
It is a good time to buy VMware Fusion 4 now if you haven’t already.

Apple has just opened iCloud to OS X Lion 10.7.2 and iOS 5 users. What about Snow Leopard users? For those who own any Macs with 64-bit capable processors (Core 2 Duo or newer) should upgrade to OS X Lion before moving their MobileMe account to iCloud.

Before I go on, let’s recall that Mac OS X Leopard is the last Operating System from Apple to run on PowerPC Macs. They are out of the pictures.

Apple sold quite a lot of Core Duo Macs and some Core Solo Mac minis. Those Macs do not meet the system requirements to run OS X Lion. Thus iCloud is not supported on those Macs. I am still using a MacBook Pro Core Duo from January 2006. I can only use iCloud through In the meantime Apple is committed to run MobileMe service until June 30, 2012. By that time Apple would hope that Mac users would have at least an iOS 5 device or a Mac running OS X Lion.

If you already are a MobileMe user, you do not have to hurry moving your account to iCloud. If you do not have any iOS 5 devices and/or Macs running OS X Lion, please refrain from moving your MobileMe account to iCloud. If you are still using a non-OS X Lion compatible Mac or a non-iOS 5 compatible devices (iPhone, iPhone 3G and older iPod touch), Apple would hope you would buy a new one.

Someone reminded me the lack of Rosetta support in OS X Lion, another reason to stay with Mac OS X Snow Leopard.



19 Comments leave one →
  1. Harvey permalink
    October 12, 2011 8:19 am

    I have a core 2 duo imac, an iphone 4 and an ipad 2. I also have a mobileme account. I do not plan to install Lion because of the lack of Rosetta support and the loss of very expensive software. So here are my concerns and questions; If I upgrade my iphone and ipad 2 to ios 5, will I lose my sync capability while keeping Snow Leopard (10.6.8) on my Mac? The calendar function is important to me, I would like to be able to receive email on my devices as well, can I do that? Apple could have made this really simple by supporting Rosetta with Lion, that would have mede the process a no brainer.There ares ome rumors about an upgrade to OS 10.6.9, but all I have heard are rumors. If anyone knows the answers, please respond.

    • October 12, 2011 5:29 pm

      You don’t have to worry about upgrading to iOS 5 since it is still supporting MobileMe.
      Do not move your MobileMe account to iCloud yet. We have until June 2012 to figure out what to do.

      • Harvey permalink
        October 12, 2011 6:35 pm

        I’ll wait, thanks

  2. Pee Jay permalink
    November 2, 2011 7:08 pm

    So if I understand you correctly, we can install ios5 withOUT moving to iCloud? I am still using Snow Leopard and will continue to do so until Jan or Feb but I want to move to ios5 on my iPhone 4. If I am reading what you are saying correctly, I can do so, but simply refrain from activating iCloud. Is that correct?

    • November 2, 2011 7:13 pm

      Yes, you don’t have to move your MobileMe account to iCloud yet. Obviously, you wouldn’t be able to use iCloud without iCloud account. MobileMe will still be active until June 30 2012.

      • Pee Jay permalink
        November 2, 2011 7:54 pm

        Thanks. But I realize that you need an iCloud account to use iCloud. Yet from how ios5 has been described on this and other pages, after updating, I will be prompted to set up such an account (or convert my mobileme account to iCloud).

        What I want to make sure of is, that before I install the update to my iPhone4, that I can ignore this prompt and continue to use mobileme (and related syncing ability) on an ios5 iphone – at least until mobileme ends later next year (by then, I will have a new computer with Lion installed, so converting to icloud will not be a problem). Sorry if I was not clear before.

      • November 2, 2011 7:56 pm

        You can skip the iCloud part by selecting “Do not use iCloud” if memory serves correctly. Worst case scenario, you can create a new iCloud account for now.

      • Pee Jay permalink
        November 2, 2011 9:11 pm

        Thanks! That’s the confirmation I was looking for. 🙂

  3. Mark in Perth permalink
    November 14, 2011 12:08 am

    Happily using ios5 on 2iphone 2 touches and an ipad but home computers are both only capable of running snow leopard as they are original intel duo cores so can’t run lion and mobile me won’t let me convert to icloud…. having heard problems with office 2004 and other legacy software (means they do what I want) I’m glad. Hoping they release 10.6.9 with icloud compatibility before 30/6/2012 when mobile me runs out . Apart from messing about with multiple apple id’s mobile devices for me and my kids things seem to work fine without Lion.

  4. Harvey permalink
    November 15, 2011 7:50 am

    My main concern is that after June 2012, when I upgrade my iPad 2 and iPhone 4 to ios 5, I will be unable to sync my three snow leopard Macs with iCal and address book. As I understand it my ios 5 devices will sync, but not to my Macs running Snow Leopard. I guess I have little choice except to buy universal applications for my Macs, but with three of them it gets very expensive. I have already bought the new garbage Quicken program (it really sucks) and Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 (I hope this works with Lion) since my Photoshop MX 4 will not work with Lion, and I don’t know about Fetch either. There is also not a three license version of Microsoft Office, so I will have to buy two copies, a two license copy and a single license copy. I guess iWorks could be used in place of Office, but I have no idea whether my friends who use email would be able to read my documents since they use Office?? If Apple would agree to add a Rosetta-like component to Lion it would go a long way to resolving the issue(s) being brought up, and would stop the alienation of us old Apple users. Backward compatibility is a big and expensive issue for those of us who will be forced to trash our very expensive software that we bought and would like to be able to continue to use with Lion and iCloud.

    • November 15, 2011 12:22 pm


      I understand your concern.
      We here have numbers of perfectly working Core Duo Macs running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. As we all know that OS X Lion is not supported on these Macs.

      In my personal opinion, Apple will never add Rosetta-like support to Lion.

      Other avenue we’re looking into is to somehow running Snow Leopard in a virtual machine. Apple doesn’t sanction this, but we’ll have to do what we must. Until all the software are Lion-compatible, we will keep using Snow Leopard on the older Macs.

      We’re hoping to replace the softwares in 2012 so we won’t have to deal with PPC-apps anymore.

      • Harvey permalink
        November 15, 2011 1:53 pm

        Thanks for the comments. I have no idea of how to run a virtual machine, and i have no issues as to whether or not Apple sanctions it. If you have a pointer to a website that can walk me through the process, I would appreciate it. At this time my plan is to stay w/SL to its dying breath, then upgrade to Lion on an external HD while keeping my SL loaded on my internal drive. I will also upgrade my mobile devices to ios 5 at that time. In that way I can use the external drive for iCal and address book updates and be able to continue to sync to my iPhone 4 and iPad 2. I understand that Office 2008 is compatible with Lion (with a few minor glitches) so I will be looking to buy a cheap copy of that. What a royal pain……..Time and money will eventually bring me into the modern world, hopefully I have plenty of both in my future.

      • November 18, 2011 9:47 pm

        Apparently the ability to run Snow Leopard Client in VMware 4.1 was an oversight. Supposedly this feature would be taken away in the subsequent update. (2011-11-21)


        VMware Fusion 4.1 now supports Snow Leopard Virtualization.

        There you go, the problem is now less problematic??????

        Buy VMware Fusion 4 from

  5. February 24, 2012 1:23 pm

    hi guys,

    what happens with my me-account after june 2012 because I won’t be up grading to Lion?
    My I pad II and My Iphone 3gs will also work with what the IOS they have …no I-OS 5.

    thank you

    • February 24, 2012 4:50 pm

      I assume that Apple would move your MobileMe account to iCloud.
      We’ll get better idea as we are approaching June 2012.

    • Harvey S permalink
      February 25, 2012 1:36 pm

      Although I did not want to do it, I upgraded my Macs to Lion, my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 to iOS 5, and upgraded to iCloud. I am still able to use MobileMe for the time being, but what I miss most is the ability to store various types of documents such as Microsoft Office, Adobe and even TurboTax and Quicken. I bought Office 2011 for Mac, and I use the Outlook program for mail since I do not like Apple mail. It wasn’t cheap to buy the upgrade to Lion and the Microsoft Office program, but I just did not see any other realistic choices. My hope now is that Apple will expand iCloud to allow storage of these documents in a drag and drop fashion similar to mobileMe, that would be worth the $100.00 annual fee I was paying for MobileMe, and resolve all of my issues with iCloud. In the meantime I have established a DropBox account for external storage and document sharing since MobileMe will be deactivated in June.

      • February 26, 2012 2:04 am

        We all here use Dropbox in lieu of iDisk.

  6. February 29, 2012 7:32 am

    Please sign my petition asking Apple to not abandon their earlier users and make iCould available to Snow leopard users. If enough people show their disapproval I believe they will succumb…You can sign it at

  7. Scott Vandiver permalink
    March 4, 2012 2:20 pm

    Well the date is fast approaching and I guess there is no love from apple. Either upgrade or f- off is apples message.

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