This Weekend: Switch from Google to iCloud
Lately, I’ve been feeling as if I’m less of Google’s customer and more of their product. This is a debate that has been going on for a little while now, but I’ve decided that I won’t be using some of Google services for my personal usage. I also decided that I wanted a more seamless integration with my Mac, iPad and iPhone.
The challenge of course is figuring out which services I’ll be using to replace Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar. (As I’m really only trying to replace the services that are holding my personal data.)
What I’ve decided is that the best service that offers integration on my Mac, as well as the most cohesive set of products, is iCloud. So I’ll be stepping through the process of switching your email, calendars and documents to iCloud from Google.
First up is Email:
The best way to do this isn’t free. It’s a service called YippieMove and lets you log in to Google and iCloud separately and then it handles the transfer for you. This will cost you $15. However there is a free solution: Apple Mail.
Set up Gmail and iCloud together in Apple Mail, setting the Gmail account properly: click on both your Google Sent mail folder and go to Mailbox>Use this Mailbox For and select Sent. Do this again for the Trash folder. Now that you’re all set up properly, you can go through the time sucking processing of moving messages. Create a new folder in iCloud for each “Label” fold in Google. Then select all the messages in each folder to the iCloud folder by dragging or right clicking and selecting Copy to. Also do this for the Inbox, Drafts, Sent Mail and Trash folders. Finally copy the All Mail folder to iCloud’s Archive folder.
The final step when all of your email is copied over, which may take many minutes, is to set up forwarding. Log into Gmail.com and go to Mail Settings. Under “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” select Add a Forwarding Address and go through the set up process.
Next Up: Calendars
Calendars is a bit easier than it sounds. You can get it done with just iCal on your Mac. Just like before, log into your Google Calendar account inside iCal. Then recreate each calendar on iCal. Now select each event for each corresponding calendar and right click and select Calendar>iCloud:[CALENDARX]. Give it a minute or two to update between Calendars, but you should be golden in just a few minutes. Alternatively, you could export and reimport your .ics files from Google directly. This can be done in the Google Calendar settings under “Calendars.” Then select Export. Reimport those into iCal and select your iCloud account to be used.
Unfortunately iCloud does not feature an online document editing platform. Nor does it work really well with the Mac version of iWork. At this point, iCloud Documents is really aimed at those working on their iPad and iPhone within the iWork suite. Those documents sync perfectly between your iDevices. There is just this major disconnect with the Mac and the online experience.
Now I may be crazy for thinking that it would be a smart idea to leave Google. I’m not crazy about Google selling my data to advertisers but that wasn’t the real reason I wanted to switch. I really wanted things to sync and integrate more seamlessly with my Mac and iDevices.
Are you thinking about switching platforms? If so, why?