Using iCloud Mail with a custom domain: it’s the fifty bucks

I usually opt for superior technology, but this is one of those times when I submit to practicality.


This should be the last word on the subject of where my custom domains’ email will “live” going forward. Really. Pinky-swear. Et cetera.

In my most recent post about this topic, a few weeks ago, I summarized how I’d explored it since Apple had enabled iCloud+ subscribers such as I to host their custom-domain(s)-based email on iCloud Mail. However, my (seeming) end point had been that I’d be sticking with Fastmail, instead. Although this would mean I’d be paying both the monthly iCloud+ charge and the $50/year1 for Fastmail, I found that acceptable because of the apparent technical superiority of Fastmail over iCloud Mail.

However, as an old retired guy who has to watch his pennies carefully, I reconsidered that A/B choice over the ensuing weeks and, this past weekend, decided to save the fifty bucks by going with iCloud Mail, other niceties be damned. After all, to quote a line attributed to Artemus Ward: “When a fellow says it ain’t the money but the principle of the thing, it’s the money.”

One thing that would help iCloud Mail greatly would be the adoption of the impressive JMAP protocol that Fastmail uses. Although JMAP is now an open standard, I have no idea whether adopting and implementing JMAP is even a topic for discussion within Apple.

In any event: my annual Fastmail subscription has only a month to go as I write this, so the likelihood of my doing a double-/triple-/quadruple-reverse flip back to that provider is fading fast. Besides, I just spent four days once again laboriously copying thousands of old emails from Fastmail to iCloud Mail, and I didn’t do so lightly, having already done it enough this year that I knew what a pain it would be. And it was.

Yep, Artemus, you were right: it’s the money.

  1. At least, it’s $50/year as of this post’s initial publication date. When/whether the current inflationary times will change that, I don’t know. ↩︎