iCloud Mail - Free Email Service

iCloud Mail's web interface is a breath of fresh air

iCloud logo

Apple, Inc.

iCloud Mail is a free email service from Apple. It comes with ample storage, IMAP access, and an elegantly functional web application.

Expert Review of iCloud Mail

Email is tricky enough without convoluted interfaces, cryptic configuration options, multiple tags, and various circles. Apple's email service, which is free to anyone who signs up for a free Apple ID is, by comparison, an island of sane and simple effectiveness.

All of Apple's devices support iCloud.com mail including the Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple TV, as do Windows computers with iCloud for Windows.

After you have an iCloud address, adding that email account to Outlook and other email providers or mobile devices is a snap because iCloud Mail comes with standard IMAP access. Setting it up in most other email programs and on most devices is relatively straightforward. POP access is missing from iCloud Mail, though.

iCloud Mail Spam and Archive Folders

iCloud Mail comes with a junk filter that separates the junk from the inbox for the most part. Marking messages as spam is a matter of moving it them to the Junk folder.

iCloud Mail comes with a sensible Archive folder to keep mail you want to retain without pondering a structure and method, and you are free to add any additional folders you like.

iCloud Mail on the Web

Access iCloud.com with any browser. A simple set of buttons, dragging and dropping of messages and a handy set of key commands make operating iCloud Mail easy.

You can compose emails and replies using rich formatting, send huge file attachments using Mail Drop, mark mail as junk, flag it (which synchronizes with most email programs) and file it to custom folders in addition to the Archive folder.

Inside each folder, iCloud Mail offers a comprehensive search that lets you find messages by sender, subject, recipient or content.

New messages from the most important senders are easy to find if you make those senders VIPs. iCloud Mail automatically creates special searches that show the messages of VIPs from the inbox. VIP senders synchronize with OS X Mail.

That interface at icloud.com does not offer labels or other advanced tools for productivity and for organizing mail, though, and does not support for accessing other email accounts.

Pros

  • iCloud Mail offers free email accessible via IMAP and on the web
  • The iCloud Mail web interface at icloud.com does not include advertisements
  • Keyboard shortcuts make iCloud Mail on the web efficient to operate

Cons

  • iCloud Mail does not offer labels and search folders
  • You cannot access other email accounts in iCloud Mail on the web
  • iCloud Mail is not accessible via POP

More About iCloud

iCloud Mail offers free email accounts with 5GB of online storage, which is shared with calendars, documents, and backups. Additional space can be purchased for a low monthly fee.

Accessible via IMAP, iCloud Mail is particularly easy to set up in OS X Mail, iPhone, and iPad Mail, and in Outlook. iCloud Mail IMAP also works in most other email programs.

The minimalistic iCloud Mail web interface at icloud.com mimics a desktop application and is easy to use with the help of dragging and dropping and keyboard shortcuts. An Archive folder and button keeps your inbox clean without much effort.

You can search mail in any folder by sender, subject, recipient in the complete message and header text. Filters are available to sort messages to folders based on simple criteria automatically. You can also set up iCloud Mail to forward all incoming mail automatically.

For sending files, iCloud Mail supports traditional attachments of 20MB or up to 5GB with Mail Drop.

VIP senders synchronize with OS X Mail and have their messages collected automatically in special views. The iCloud address book also syncs.

For messages from many mailing lists, iCloud Mail on the web offers an easy unsubscribe button.

Up to three email aliases let you set up alternate identities and addresses for use at icloud.com.