In a somewhat expected turn of events, a notice appeared on an old Mac running Tiger seems to confirm Apple will provide basic support for iCloud sync on Snow Leopard machines. As reported by MacRumors, a developer testing the MobileMe to iCloud transition with Tiger’s .Mac preference pane noticed a message about a 10.6.9 requirement for calendar, bookmark and contact sync.
You will no longer be able to sync with this machine because you’ve upgraded to iCloud.
iCloud requires a computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.9 or later for Contacts, Calendars, and Bookmarks.
Whilst Apple made no mention of Snow Leopard compatibility when detailing iCloud and the transition from MobileMe (actually indicating “some features of iCloud” will require iOS 5 and OS X Lion), it would certainly make sense to provide an additional 10.6 upgrade to ensure basic former MobileMe functionalities under the new iCloud brand. Apple has already started migrating MobileMe developer accounts to the new iCloud ecosystem, providing a desktop add-on for testing on the 10.7.2 developer seed. iCloud is expected to go public this Fall alongside the aforementioned 10.7.2 and iOS 5, whereas MobileMe will be officially discontinued on June 30, 2012.
Developer accounts that are being transitioned from MobileMe are automatically given free storage regardless of the previous subscription until next year, and considering Lion is still touted as an “upgrade to Snow Leopard” (which is required to purchase Lion from the Mac App Store) and that Snow Leopard is still available on Apple’s website, it would be an optimal solution to provide 10.6 users with one last software update to migrate from old MobileMe services to some new iCloud free offerings. There’s one caveat, however: assuming the MobileMe to iCloud transition goes as planned and Apple will really push 10.6.9 to enable iCloud sync, some old MobileMe features like syncing of Mac Dashboard widgets, keychains, Dock items, and System Preferences won’t be available on OS X anymore, as Apple explains here.