Hi Allison – Kevin from Connecticut here. Now that I am primarily a Windows user on the desktop (laptops included), I wanted to find a good way to check iCloud email in Windows via a client with full contacts and calendar support.
For some time now, there has been an iCloud Connector for Microsoft Outlook. While I have Outlook, I find this connector to be problematic. Perhaps it’s just a Windows 7 issue. I’ve found several Office 365 (aka Office 2013 desktop) features to work better in Windows 8.1 including the OneDrive (formerly sky drive), their Dropbox alternative and Office 2013 in general. Perhaps Microsoft thought everyone was going to go for Windows 8/ 8.1. Boy, were they surprised. I bought this HP laptop in January for Windows 7 and it’s done me well.
So what was I do to ?
Back in the early spring or late winter, I discovered a European team of developers who put out a product called eM Client (email client — how creative) from emclient.com. However, it just works and it’s a mature product currently on version 6. It is a freemium product and looks very similar to Outlook. With the free version, you can sync two accounts for free. With the paid version, you can sync unlimited accounts.
While eM client can sync with any POP / IMAP account – it shines brightest as a facilitator for iCloud and Gmail accounts: providing full email, calendar and contacts sync. eM client also allows for the import and export of contacts in vCard format AND can import from Outlook’s unique .pst format.
eM Client is frequently updated and they do have an online discussion forum. Owners of the paid version, $50 per license, do get premium support. Once again, eM Client is a Windows only application.
Now for the PS on this otherwise feel good story.
One very interesting tidbit — that may FREAK OUT some privacy nuts and cause a little doubt about how Apple is storing iCloud data……..
Long time iCloud users, especially those who used the service when it was Mobile Me and dot-Mac before that, remember that email aliases are allowed. These are essentially sub accounts on your iCloud account. I think of them as more than aliases because you can receive mail at those addresses also.
Using an iCloud alias might be a good way to weed out spam. You could make an alias just for shopping sites and have those emails all filtered into a folder. Also someone could make a special purpose account — for example firstname.lastname@example.org if no one has taken it yet. Over the years I have made NUMEROUS iCloud aliases and deleted them when I no longer needed them. On iCloud.com or on Apple Mail or your iOS device, it appears that old, deleted iCloud aliases are gone. Sounds, great, Apple honored my wishes and got rid of that address I no longer needed.
OH NO — it still lurks somewhere!! When you log into eM Client with your iCloud credentials and compose a new message — you can select from a drop down menu to see all of your aliases. BUT WAIT … all of those past aliases that you thought you got rid of are in the list. Say what? Yes. The inactive aliases are there, but are greyed out indicating that they can’t be used.
Out of sight, but apparently not out of Apple’s mind. Signing off, Kevin from Connecticut