I’ve been subscribing to Apple One for several months and I’m happy enough with the value it represents. We have family sharing so the four of us have access to Music, Apple TV and 2TB of iCloud storage. I was already paying for the storage and Apple TV so extending to One and getting Music, Fitness and especially Apple News seemed a no-brainer. I’m surprised how much I use Apple News and it’s meant I no longer need to separately subscribe to the last few magazines I was holding onto (Nat Geo etc). No-one in the family - not even my gamer son - has EVER used Apple Arcade.
I’m yet to use the custom domain but one day I’ll get around to it. Most of the external email accounts I have forward to my iCloud account so it’s nice and neat already.
First, thanks you for this post - it was very helpful when I finally got a chance to try this myself. I also learned some things:
I have a family plan with my wife and kids, and my Apple ID is not an iCloud email address. In a case like mine, you first need to set up an iCloud email address, if you don’t already have one, by opening iCloud in your Apple ID settings, clicking Mail, and turning on iCloud mail. This then asks you to create an iCloud.com email address. It took a bit to find one that wasn’t taken, but then when I found one and hit “Create”, I got an error message - can’t create your account right now, try again later. I kept trying, on multiple devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac), and kept getting the same error. Quick hint to anyone who runs into this problem: it’s a known issue, and the way to fix it is to sign out of iCloud on your device, then sign back in. As soon as I did this (and it’s a pain in the neck, as everything that syncs has to re-establish syncing), I was able to create the account.
I should say that I wondered if creating this account would change the email address of my Apple ID, but it did not. It just added this new iCloud.com email address to my Apple ID, plus created it in all of the Mail apps on my devices, etc., but my Apple ID remains as the same email address I had before.
I then went through the steps to add the domain to my Apple ID. (Thanks again @paul9 for the hint on TTL for the MX records.) My only issue with the was, like with @paul9, that the required SPF TXT record had quote marks around it, and I had to remove the quote marks to get it to register.
And then I found the reason why iCloud Domains will not work for me: I added three accounts to my account in the family share, but that doesn’t create discrete email accounts that I can add to Mail, etc. All that this does is to send mail sent to any of these addresses to the iCloud email account I added in Step 1 above.
That’s just not going to work for me. I was expecting this to be more like traditional email administration, with the ability to create accounts in the domain, create passphrases for those accounts, etc.
So I switched everything back to Google Workspace for now, Like @doug2, my domain host has the ability to create mail accounts (as it turns out, this is what I had done prior to Google Accounts for Domains, as I still had the email accounts set up on the control panel.) But I still think that I will switch to Fastmail and depend on them to use advanced security (2FA, etc.) for the domain email, as I don’t see those advanced controls for my domain host (and at this point right now I can’t switch to another host, which would be another reason to have email on an other service, so I can make this switch later on.)
I am in the middle of a 30 day trial with Fastmail for just an @fastmail.com account but so far everything looks good to me, so that’s what I will probably end up doing. I’ll probably decided one day next week.
Glad my post was helpful, sorry it didn’t work out.
iCloud custom email domain is definitely not traditional email administration. It’s only a sort of layer over iCloud email, optionally with Family Sharing.
You were close, sort of: What you could have done is have each of your family members also turn on iCloud mail for their own Apple ID, then they would each have a discrete @iCloud.com email account. Each be aliased with an address under your custom domain. And/or you can create family Apple IDs that are actually used by you, with the overhead that that entails.
But if you want normal admin control over the email accounts, or are doing this to have multiple real inboxes that you access, I expect you want something other than iCloud custom email domain.
While I’m probably not taking that route (still waiting a bit to see if Google relents at all) I think the trick here is that each of your family members needs to add their custom email domain address to their iCloud account.
So it’s really just me with any of the email addresses in the domain. One general account (which I stopped using as my main account shortly after I created it), one I use as my PayPal account only, and one I created that I called shopping@ a long time ago that I believe I intended to use for all online shopping when I created it.
My son has one account but he really stopped using it a long time ago. It was still being used as his Apple ID account so that was the only email he got - email from Apple regarding his Apple ID. He’s since switched the Apple ID to another email address not in the domain, so it’s just me using this.
Oh, I thought you were trying to get the custom domain to work with your family. It’s in that case that each will need to create the email address in their Family Shared iCloud+ account, from what I understand.
If it’s just you, then what’s the problem? That they all end up in one iCloud mailbox?
FWIW, Google Takeout for email is very disappointing. You basically get a single .mbox format file with all of your mail, including trash and spam, in a single location, rather than separate .mbox files for all of the labels/folders in the account. It’s not even worth using for moving mail (unless you truly have no other way) - it’s much better to just do it manually from each folder on Google Mail to the new account, one folder at a time.
At least that’s what happened on my domain when I used takeout.
That’s not surprising, given that the GMail architecture claims to actually store the data this way. Their system doesn’t have folders - only labels.
In the mbox file, do the messages include any headers containing the labels? If so, then you can create smart mailboxes that filter on these - like what GMail’s web interface does. If not, then I agree - it’s not very useful if you have a non-trivial number of messages.
Update: Yes, they include it. I just exported my mailbox, and every message has a header named X-Gmail-Labels: which is a comma-separated list of the labels assigned to that message. For instance, a recent message I received includes this header:
Unfortunately, you can’t create smart mailboxes based on header info. You can create rules, but they only work on actual mail accounts, not imported mailboxes, so you need to copy/move the messages into an account before you can apply the rules.
Another alternative to GSuite/Gmail is easyMAIL, an IMAP-based email service offered by easyDNS. My family and I have been using it for well over a decade, and have been very happy with it. The mail service is bundled with their DNS offering, so you can retain your personal domain name by transferring registration over to easyDNS. The standard DNS package is $30/yr and includes 3 IMAP mail accounts. The ‘Pro’ package raises that to 10 accounts, for $55/yr.
To ease the pain of migration, easyDNS developed an IMAP migration tool that will import mail from an existing account and move all the messages into sub-folders of an easyMail account. I haven’t used the tool, but they claim it has the smarts to deal with Gmail labels.
I guess the deadline is drawing near. Google never did come out with more info. Nothing about that rumored “one free address in your custom domain for legacy accounts” either.
As mentioned, I’m stuck with Gmail for my small company account (3 emails), but am still undecided whether to move my personal Gmail account (2 emails - just my sister and me) to standard IMAP using a migration tool. I’m already paying for that service.
I guess the way Google will preserve access to other services (Google Photos, YouTube) will be to just recognize the address.
I had 100 to use on my domain before I certified that it was non-commercial use, and that number is the same afterwards. Looks like Google has let people keep what they had before the beginning of the year.
My legacy account allows for up to 50. But I’m currently using only 3: me, my sister, and my late mother’s account.
I also offered one to a first cousin with the same family name but he never logged in, so I deleted the account when this started.
My company legacy account also uses only 3 accounts, and has even less email in it. I guess it wouldn’t be right to try to pass that one off as a personal account to save money. I wouldn’t mind switching it to another service, but one of the members swears by it and says he spent a lot of effort labeling and archiving things in there. So I guess starting in August I’ll upgrade that one to a paid account. Though I have to admit in the back of my mind it occurs to me to try to get away with claiming it’s a personal account. I guess that wouldn’t be proper though.