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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    rstark18's Avatar
    iMore Intermediate

    345 Posts

    Default Gmail vs iCloud

    I've been a long time gmail user and have been fairly happy with it. For me to switch email addresses is a big deal (I had my @pacbell.net address for almost 15 years). For me I don't see the advantages of switching my mail, calendar, & contacts over to iCloud. Now granted I am primarily PC based and I do use it for backing up my iOS devices. So my Request to you is to write only the advantages or disadvantages you see in one system over the other. I'm just looking for constructive comments about this not start a flame war.

    My biggest problem for not making the switch to iCloud is I need my address book available to my email system and that just isn't happening across multiple platforms (PC, iOS, Mac). With gmail, one sign in on any platform gets me to all my info. I don't see anything in iCloud that does anything extra that would push me to switch.
  2. #2  
    bonesb's Avatar


    Email, use which provider suits you. They're both free now, it's all about personal preference and both allow for IMAP access anywhere. I use both, iCloud for personal use and Google Apps for my company.

    As for the other two services you're asking about - contacts and calendaring, I've waxed on elsewhere with my opinion. Google's way of parsing data just doesn't cut it for me with my Apple and Outlook-based systems. For 3 years, I paid through the nose trying to sync BBs, Android, WebOS, and iOS mobiles to my Google Premier Apps accounts - my cost reductions (I don't call expenditures "savings" - savings is a misnomer when you're spending money...) absolutely weren't worth it as hours were spent editing contact and calendar data. Google hasn't set any schedule for their updates, they've changed their calendaring "standard" at least three times since I signed up. So I use my hybrid approach - Gmail for email, and anything else for contact management and calendaring, and I will never use Google's product for contacts/calendaring again - this year is the first in four years we have had no IT expenditures related to data management, and it's the first year we're Google-free.

    I'm sure you think you know what you're doing with trying to meld an iOS device with Google services, but you'll rue the decision one day - I did, and moved on. There's thousands of posts on Google's own discussions that whine just like I used to. I'm moving off of Google Apps to my own server or Office 365 sometime soon (with my own domain, my clients will never know I switched), Google's services are just too much in flux - unlike most of the people in this forum, Google's been paid a fair sum from me but it's just a bunch of procured and aggregated services. Google contacts are geared toward Keyhole-based services and they work great for that. I'll keep my free Gmail accounts for Google Voice and junk mail - which is all that Google is really worth to me now. My 2.
    cardfan likes this.
  3. #3  
    cardfan's Avatar
    iMore Elite

    2,237 Posts
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    5,862 Global Posts


    Yep, gmail is good for email. For contacts and calendar? Not so good.

    Another thing to consider is icloud storage. Your email will take a chunk of it. For these reasons, I'm sticking with gmail as my primary although i got a me.com account kind of sitting there.

    I changed the contacts and calendar over to icloud. But you really need a Mac or Outlook, if using windows 7 to help manage it. And i still have a few google calendars that i subscribe to (like my daughter's school) but again, use outlook as a conduit.
  4. #4  


    I use gmail I have 160 contacts and 3 or 4 calendars that I have shared etc. my phone is set on the gmail exchange setting so my contacts are the same on computer , iPad and phone .. It works fine for me ... I did download the iCloud agent for windows 7 to sync bookmarks .. Photo stream etc . I don't use outlook simply if I was on another computer that doesn't have outlook I wouldn't have my info .. Not sure if iCloud has a online mail log in they might .. If you like the outlook calendar it might sync more features ..

    I wish I could use both and sync across but my gmail contacts don't sync to iCloud lol I think it's one or the other but I save my contact to iCloud just because it handles relation ships with Siri better gmail was putting my sister as my assistant lol but that fixed it ..

    It all depends on what devices you have and what you use

    Sent Into Orbit from my iPhone 4S using Tapatalk
    Mr diddy likes this.
  5. #5  
    narrow_minded#WN's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    21 Posts
    Global Posts
    120 Global Posts


    I have everything on Google and love it. Mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks. I prefer to have it all in one location, and I can't stand iCloud's way of doing it. I use Google's Exchange services, which gives me true Push. I've had no problems with it thus far. I can't say the same for iCloud.
  6. #6  
    robertusvi's Avatar
    iPhone Nanite

    9 Posts


    I have also been a long time gmail user and live in a PC only world except for iphone/ipad/apple TV.

    Advantages of iCloud:

    1. visual/functionality: you see the same exact UI/functionality no matter what platform/device you are on. All the buttons, folders, dialog boxes, inputs and most importantly your data all matches no matter where you view it from. And of course the apple design.

    2. the calendar is just better period - simple/elegant and yet powerful

    3. contacts - the data fields actually match up with all devices

    4. iwork: i enjoy using pages and keynotes with my ipad and iphone and it does have some limited functionality with the PC but again on all devices you see the same thing - ever tried to edit a google doc on an idevice?

    5. backup - break your device - get a new one and icloud restores it all including all your pictures/videos

    6. Now consider all the other services like bookmarks, purchased music/apps/tv shows, notes, reminders, photostream, find my phone and you start getting a feeling that this is a complete package - instead of individual components scattered all over the web.

    Disadvantages of iCloud:

    1. email: search (icloud.com) is almost non existent - limited to searching in a specific folder not the whole mailbox / email functionality in general is different and probably not as good as gmail / there are problems with the mail being pushed

    2. iwork - limited functionality on a pc

    3. expensive - 80gb on google is $20.00 p/year vs 55gb on icloud is $100.00 p/year

    4. no photostream on the web / no icloud photo storage facility (like picasaweb)


    I have made the switch to icloud as much as I possibly can with the exception of moving all my gmail because there is no easy way from a PC so I am just forwarding my mail from gmail to icloud and this seems to work well. In addition I have a lot photos on picasa web (gigs) and they will be staying there. All other components have been switched to iCloud. I know most people don't get iCloud as I can tell by all the threads on this forum, but I think iCloud has so much potential and remember how the first iOS was lacking in fuctionality and look where it is today. Imagine iCloud 2 or 3 years down the road and you will probably find that it will be mainstream for all idevices.
    Last edited by robertusvi; 11-05-2011 at 05:07 PM.

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