iCloud vs Outlook.com, mail only: a quick call for opinions

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by exi, May 16, 2015.

  1. exi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #1
    Have posted about this before. Some threads here got me thinking about it again recently. Narrower choice these days.

    Hardware: iPhone 6, MBP, iPad.

    Wants: Push, read status syncing (ideal, but have been living without for a long time), seamless function; as close to complete reliability as possible; least likely to be "junked" silently by servers or to the junk folders of my recipients.

    Currently: iCloud for everything.

    Considering: Outlook.com for mail, and mail only; iCloud for everything else. Rarely use webmail interface, so split services not as big a deal. Would consider Gmail if there were a way to have push on iOS natively.

    Pluses with Outlook.com: push with read status synchronization; supposedly more reliable than iCloud, a biggie if true.

    Minuses with Outlook.com: split services just in principle; blacklisting issue (though seemingly not as big an issue as with iCloud). IMAP without IDLE, of unclear significance with Office 365 platform unification rumored; unclear if less reliable than Gmail.

    Would prefer one service for all but am trying to have the best of all worlds. Thoughts welcome. Like the idea of a custom domain and hosted service but contact field mapping and the little iCloud-specific things that can't be done with Exchange are an issue. Also don't want to bother with a custom domain.
     
  2. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #2
    Unless/until outlook.com (or iCloud) support EAS (exchange active-sync) you won't get a top notch mail service with all the sync you want.
     
  3. impaler macrumors 6502

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    FL
    #3
    I use iCloud for my mail. The read status updates do work persistently on my MBP and icloud.com. There is an engineering and battery choice the iCloud engineers have made to not sync read status on iOS devices. It's not a bug, but a choice, that they have not decided to implement. For instance, it's been talked about a bunch on here before, but the Gmail app on iOS does update real time status, but namely because it keeps a persistent connection, whereas Mail on iOS does not. The read status is updated when you either check for mail or when there is a new mail that comes in. Notifications are not handled via IMAP IDLE, but the APN service. IMAP IDLE is enabled on Mail for OS X, thus why real time read status notifications are synced when checked on any device/icloud.com where read status is changed.

    Mail isn't exceptionally important to me to have to be updated to the SECOND - however, I appreciate the push of iCloud mail - and read status will update eventually on iOS. If I see a bunch unread, I just open the app and it's fixed.

    If you want to use iCloud (and I, like you, have chosen that since I'm all Apple for integration purposes), then you need to decide if read status notification is more important than push. If read status notification is that important, you can set it to fetch every 15 min and it'll update 4x/hour without your intervention - however, that may use more battery if you don't get lots of email.
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    FYI - Outlook.com already supports EAS, and has for months - I'm connecting to an Outlook.com account via EAS in Outlook 2013. MS went on the record several weeks ago that they're moving Outlook.com to EWS "later this year", the very same platform Office 365 is running on.
     
  5. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #5
    Yes I am aware of that. My point was EAS for outlook.com outside of Outlook on mobile and Mac mail.
     
  6. Maki Roc macrumors member

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    Aug 9, 2014
    #6
    One thing I noticed is that Microsoft has been constantly improving Outlook.com and adding features. They added IMAP support, very powerful message filters, sweep function...etc. Now there planing to switch the whole thing to the Office 365 platform (Exchange).
    On the other hand Apple has not been improving iCloud email that much. I haven't noticed any significant changes in the last two years.
     
  7. Maki Roc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    #7
    Some new info about Outlook.com's upgrade

    https://www.thurrott.com/cloud/microsoft-consumer-services/outlook/3607/microsoft-announces-major-changes-coming-to-outlook-com
     
  8. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #8
  9. Maki Roc macrumors member

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    Aug 9, 2014
    #9
    Outlook.com already supports EAS. It has for years. You probably mean EWS (Exchange). That wasn't mentioned. The platform they are migrating to supports it (obviously), but I guess we will have to wait and see if they will enable it for Outlook.com. You can vote for that feature on this link

    http://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/284136-outlook-com
     
  10. colburnr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Crown Point, IN
    #10
    What is the difference between EAS and EWS? I googled and found some info, but I am interested to hear your thoughts.
     
  11. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Portland / Seattle
    #11
    There's no thinking or consideration to be done. Use Bing and not Google for better relevant results with this. I'll ignore responses/quotations taken out of context - look up the Office 365 Roadmap (http://roadmap.office.com/en-us?legRedir=true&CorrelationId=d38271c7-c360-4407-aef8-fed7ccdf1362) and 2015 Microsoft Product Roadmap (https://rcpmag.com/Articles/2011/02/01/The-2011-Microsoft-Product-Roadmap.aspx) for additional details.

    EAS - a sync protocol for mobile and "light" clients, initially intended to be used on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, but recently been added to Microsoft Outlook 2013 and Windows 8 Mail/People/Calendar. FYI, Outlook 2013 is not "solely" a "light" client and I'm not inferring that here (I use Outlook 2013), however, it uses EAS to sync to certain/some providers (such as Outlook.com).

    EWS - a sync protocol generally reserved for OS X desktop clients and a potential "future" replacement for MS's MAPI protocols.

    FWIW, choose between EAS and EWS and IMAP/CalDAV/CardDAV based on one's usage - they're sync protocols, not some magic toolset. If you are on a mobile device, EAS can be used, even with large mailboxes. For instance, EAS works very well on mobile devices but not desktop clients like Outlook 2013 for Windows, is because mobile clients ask for a set timeframe for synchronization, such as a month (or less) of mail - it will not pull back all mail in an mailbox (unlike Microsoft Outlook 2013 for Windows). Keep your needs and your host's/server's needs in mind when choosing a sync protocol - and you won't have to whine like so many others that "my email/calendar/contacts won't work - waaaaaaahhhhh" - so many choose the incorrect sync protocol as they're just too lazy to choose what could best for them and adamantly choose (and defend that choice) what's conveniently posed in the OS system's settings... :rolleyes:
     
  12. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    #12
    FWIW, thurrott.com has been kind to us Mac users but they're like almost everybody else regarding the preview Mac Office suite and Outlook.com improvements - The Next Web has been all over both, at least 2-5 days ahead of every other web site in the true MR spirit. TNW is first on most of this, everyone else seems to follow... Just saying!
     
  13. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
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    #13
    You're correct about EAS, but EWS is certainly not "reserved for OS X clients". It's in fact the predominant protocol used today to access Exchange servers in enterprises. Both Outlook for Windows and OS X, as well as some 3rd party clients (e.g. Mac Mail) support it. It is a much richer protocol than EAS, but not optimized for power/battery efficiency (which is why MS came up with EAS for use in mobile clients).

    That said, one of the major benefits *if* MS decided to enable EWS for Outlook.com would be to finally enable calendar and contact syncing on Macs (using either Mac Mail or Outlook for Mac), which is not possible today due to the lack of a Mac EAS client.
    EAS is absolutely capable of syncing entire mailboxes. This is entirely up to the client.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #14
    I use both services, outlook.com and iCloud and I don't really see how one may be better then the other, of course my needs are very basic. Just email and in both cases, iCloud and outlook.com work wonderfully.
     
  15. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #15
    Well said, but mailbox sync across devices for iCloud.com would be a desirable feature. Here me and the wife use calendar and reminder sharing on iCloud and it works very well. But we still use outlook.com
     
  16. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Portland / Seattle
    #16
    No offense intended, you've taken some of what I wrote out of context, and I have my information directly from MS. Start, please, where I wrote - and you opted to not cite - the word "generally", and take it from there.
     
  17. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
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    San Jose, CA
    #17
    Your claim that EWS was "generally reserved for OS X desktop clients" (quoting you literally this time ;)) still doesn't make sense, given that EWS was introduced in 2007, years before there even was an OS X client for it.
     
  18. macgeek88 Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Location:
    Illinois
    #18
    I've thought about switching to iCloud for email (already have an address) from Outlook.com for desktop push but with the new news about possible changes to Outlook.com, I'll wait a couple months before doing anything.

    I only have Apple devices (Mac, iPhone, and iPad) so iCloud would be great. Not a fan of the web interface though.
     
  19. AGX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    #19
    If you need a very good email service, I suggest you Fastmail.com, is a little provider, but I have read very good review.

    If you don't have a web domain you can use with @fastmail.com
     
  20. Maki Roc macrumors member

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    Aug 9, 2014
    #20
    Fastmail has no push on the native ios app. Need to use their mobile app if you want push.
     
  21. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #21
    I have both and like them both a lot. No issues with either, and they both do what they should do.
     
  22. reese2147 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #22
    My **only** complaint using Outlook.com is the lack of alias support. I have a couple different aliases that I use for different purposes (business, newsletters, etc.). Outlook.com currently does not support the ability to send email from an alias, only your primary account. Even within Outlook's own iOS app, this feature is missing.

    If iCloud would get a refreshed web UI, I would consider moving my email there.
     
  23. Maki Roc macrumors member

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    Aug 9, 2014
    #23
    Can you not add additional SMTP servers for your aliases? You then get a drop down list of address you can send from
     
  24. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Yes you can, I do it with no issue from my native iOS mail app. I have 3 aliases that I use from outlook and I can send from any 3 I want with no issues.
     
  25. Maki Roc macrumors member

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