How do I get cloud-based email for all OS X & iOS devices?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by DaveF, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I want an improved email system. Suggestions desired :) Things that cost $$ will be considered.
    There are three details that bug me currently:
    * iOS mail to use my actual email address for outgoing, rather than the gmail address
    * mobile devices to see emails sent from the desktop
    * cloud storage, so all email is searchable from any device


    I have a domain name and personal email: fischer@shoutingman.com
    I route all email (via domain registrar) to my gmail account: shoutingman@gmail.com
    Apple Mail and iOS Mail are config'd to get / send email by IMAP through the Gmail account.

    Because of this, the iPhone and iPad send / reply email as if from my gmail account, not my actual domain name.
    There's Google's IMAP weirdness, so folders or flags or whatever don't map correctly to Apple Mail.
    And emails sent from Apple Mail on OS X can't be found on the server by mobile devices.

    Switching to iCloud would seem to only make things worse. My wife uses it, and there's no "cloud" storage of email. It's all downloaded to the computer and deleted from the online service. What she has on her mobile device is just the last 200 or so messages it captured. There's ability to emails not actually on the iPhone. And there's no archive of email in iCloud. It's all on the desktop. I think this is madness...but seemingly is what Apple provides?


    Sam Posten has mentioned Google Pro before, to possible fix my domain-name problem.

    I'm out of my depth and short on research time at the moment. Hoping the HTF BrainTrust can point me in the right direction. :)
     
  2. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
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    I have thought about switching out from Gmail a few times. From the research I did, I think I would probably go with FastMail. Although I haven't looked at them lately, in the past, FastMail seemed to get a lot a positive comments from its users.

    -Keith
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    The only reason I keep a GMAIL account at all is because
    all the regular accounts I use get pushed through it.

    GMAIL does an excellent job of weeding out spam. It has
    one of the best free spam filters available.

    So, I merely use GMAIL to import mail from my main
    accounts (iCloud and Verizon) and then use it to forward
    all mail to my main email account.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Gmail is foremost a great spam filter, free infinte storage, and has a good web interface. But it does weird things with imap and doesn't play perfectly with apple mail.
    I'd switch to iCloud if it would improve things. But looking at my wife's setup, I'm not impressed with apples mail system. And it can't do custom domain names, I think.
    I'll look at FastMail.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ron, who do you use for your main email account?
    Keith, I'll look at FastMail.
     
  6. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    I can login to icloud.com and see all my emails, which are also on my Mac and iPhone. But I've been a member since iTools, so maybe I am great-great-great-grandfathered in, or had some setting migrate along the way? Or perhaps it's a setting on her mail clients that is erasing the online copy?
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    She has her Apple Mail download and organize all mail into folders per rules on her Mac. The email gets deleted from iCloud. I understand its a setting, and necessary because of her rules-based organization - rules and foders dont work on icloud? And also because iCloud has some paltry storage limit, so it can't hold all her emails. I've not looked into it much.
    On her side, I'd enable iCloud storage if it was affordable and wouldn't break her email organization scheme.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Dave,

    I use Apple Mail for my main account.

    However, I also have an Android phone that I need to work with Apple Mail.

    Not sure my setup is going to help your situation, but basically here is how
    I set everything up (and believe me, I am confused by it all but somewhow it works)....

    All my devices get set up with my iCloud account. This is because iMap
    is the basic fundamental of getting everything to communicate correctly
    across the board.

    My iMac, Macbook Pro, iPad and Android phone all use the same iCloud
    account.

    However, here where GMAIL plays into all this...

    I don't use my iCloud account as my main email address. I use my
    HomeTheaterForum email address.

    So how do I make this work?

    I import all my email addresses to my GMAIL account (which happens
    to be HomeTheaterForum). I then forward anything coming into the GMAIL
    out to the iCloud account. GMAIL acts as a "middleman" to transport all
    my accounts from one address to another while filtering out spam.

    As far as sending mail, I don't set up my SMTP through iCloud. I set it
    up through my Verizon SMTP settings so everything I email goes out with
    my HomeTheaterForum address. I suppose I could also use GMAIL as
    the SMTP and get the same results.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    When you an email from you phone, what account does it goes through, and email address does it show to the recipient?
    If you sent me an email, would it be from 'Ron.epstein@gmail.com' or 'Ron.epstein@htf.com'? I get the former; if i send you an email on my iPhone, you'll see it coming from my gmail address, not my personal domain.
    It's all confusing to me :)
     
  10. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Sounds like your wife has rules set up in Mail.app on the Mac to file mail locally. I set up my rules within iCloud...automatically moving inbound messages into specific folders. Those folders are then accessible to me through Mail.app on my Macs, through Mail on my iOS devices and through the iCloud web interface. They are never removed from iCloud unless I choose to delete them.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Dave,

    It is rather confusing but I did manage to get it to work.

    When I send mail from my iCloud account it does send from my hometheaterforum address.

    That is because I use the iMap iCloud email as my incoming email and
    use my Verizon SMTP account as my outgoing.

    But I think I may have found an easier way for you to do this.

    Create an alias account in Apple Mail

    Use your incoming iCloud account to receive mail, but set up
    an ALIAS (your normal email account address) as the outgoing one.

    Let me know if that works, or, if instead I am just confusing this entire situation.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Michael, yes she's using local rules to move emails into folders in Mail.app. I haven't looked into it carefully, but I meant to see if her emails are really deleted from iCloud. I think so, due to iCloud's 5GB storage cap. It might be I should pay for more storage for her and me.
    Ron, I have to read carefully, but that link looks promising.
     
  13. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    I'm pretty sure they are removed from iCloud if she's using local mailboxes. If she wanted to keep them in iCloud she could create mailboxes within iCloud. Alternatively, she could continue using her local mailboxes, but set the rules to copy the messages into their specific mailbox locations instead of moving them. But then you wind up with duplicate search returns if doing a search across all mailboxes.
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I just wanted to quickly chime in and say that as long as you use
    iCloud as the receiving account on your other device (with an outgoing
    alias or other account), your mailboxes will also copy over.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Folders, ugh. Folders are the root of all evil with Gmail. I understand why people do it. I understand why gmail won't. You can either do it Google's way and live a problem free life, or you can try to make it do what you want it to do, which it is not designed to do, and go batshit insane trying to make it work. It's like smart play lists and small iPods tho in that regard. Be reasonable, do it Google's way. Or get a different mail provider.
     
  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Quote:
    Actually, folders on iCloud work out great for me.
    So, I remain particularly satisfied with my current setup, thank you.
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    OK, but how does that help Dave with his issue? You've hacked together something that will work for you but he's stated that it's either not working or too complicated for him to do the round tripping that you are. Wouldn't it be easier for him to move to a different email provider that works the way he wants it too? Is the spam sieve really that much better than those are for less effort? I tried using IMAP with Gmail a few years back when they first started supporting it and chose to skip it. The folders were nice to have (and I get it, I used folders for mail since 1983 and it took me years to come around to using Gmail the way google wants you too (tho I still delete, not archive!!!) but ultimately I was not getting anything out of it that couldn't be handled better for me natively the google way. I get that others have different priorities, I just question whether those are better served by email providers that don't fight it.
     
  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    First, I don't think Dave ever said it isn't working for him. It doesn't hurt for me to suggest something for him that is working perfectly for me. If he can duplicate what I am doing and get results that satisfy him, then that's a big win. He can try it your way too, but you have just interjected a personal opinion that you don't like using folders. Perhaps Dave would like to use folders. I know I do. You mentioned Spam Sieve. Spam Sieve is perfect on the Mac end, but it doesn't exist for the phone -- and that is why I use Google Mail to filter everything. There isn't any email client I am aware for the phone that has spam filtering. THAT is why I run everything through GMAIL first. So, to each their own, Sam. I am just offering up yet another option. If he is able to do it, great. If not, you have offered up another option.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    He said in the OP that IMAP and iCloud were not playing well together. I asked him why he was using iCloud at all, you replied because of folders, I noted the issue with Gmail and folders, which is what IMAP support was intended to allow, but it's wonky. So I don't know if his answers would be the same as yours. Either way trying to make Gmail work with folders, with or without round tripping to Apple Mail or other apps is going to be a bit tricky. The Spam Sieve product you mention is not what I'm talking about. I asked if you were round tripping just to use gmail as a (generic) spam sieve solution, using another client as a front end. That seems to be what you are doing. I have no opinion of the product known as Spam Sieve as I have never used it. Sorry if that was not clear. Anyway, my recommendations stand: If you absolutely must use folders, you can make Gmail work using IMAP to iDevices and Apple Mail on the desktop, but it has it's own set of tradeoffs and frustrations. Working through them can be a challenge, and it may not be worth it in the end. Using a different host will be much easier for most people. If you can live without folders, gmail for domains work great directly within the Mail App in iOS and even better in a web browser on any Mac, no native mail app needed, and in fact, using a mail app is a step down from the web experience. Also, I still don't see how iCloud comes in to the equation unless you were both equating the Apple Mail app(s) with iCloud. I still seem to be missing something here. I don't see why you would round trip from Gmail to iCloud for any reason other than wanting that Apple email domain to show, which doesn't seem to be the case for either of you.
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm not sure why you have iCloud involved at all. can you explain that part of it?
    Just set up mail to send and receive from your domain, done. Don't even involve iCloud.
     

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