Apple has updated Backup, one of the overlooked perks of MobileMe, to version 3.2. The update is about par for the course, including reliability improvements, but it introduces one interesting new feature apparently borrowed from Time Machine: automatically recycling old backups to conserve space.
Detailed in this Apple support document, Backup 3.2 for MobileMe users will now “recycle” backups (read: delete them to recover space) after a certain time period, depending on the original schedule used to back up that data, as well as the destination.
For example, if you use a “Daily” schedule to back up your Documents folder or Address Book to iDisk, backups older than 30 days will be deleted to prevent your iDisk from filling up and becoming unusable for anything else. “Weekly” iDisk backup schedules will be purged every twelve weeks. If you use Backup to store your files on hard drives, CDs, or DVDs, then you’ll be able to choose your own interval: four weeks, 12 weeks, six months, or “only if full”.
Backup’s new recycling abilities are nothing mind-blowing, though any improvement to a backup application is a plus in my book. As of this writing, Backup 3.1.2 (which still contains references to .Mac in some menus) remains the latest version waiting in MobileMe users’ iDisk/Software folder. Until Apple updates that version, you must have some version of Backup already installed and run Software Update to get Backup 3.2.