Claim your @icloud.com address

Tonight, my wife received a routine email from Apple. Hey, I didn't get one. But since I declared independence from Apple in July, I really don't care. But you might.

Apple is in process of migrating existing email addresses from @mac.com and @me.com, all of which reflect different iterations of cloud services. I've had mac.com since 2000, or thereabouts. Then four years ago, Apple moved everyone to MobileMe, adding a second domain. Now there's a third supporting iCloud, which debuted about a year ago. This means some Apple users will soon have three different email addresses -- and all of them functional. Confused yet?

The email she received (with identity removed):

All new iCloud Mail accounts now come with an @icloud.com email address. As an existing user, we'd like to offer you this new address as well. We have reserved xxxxxxx@icloud.com for you, and you can now use this address with your iOS devices and computers by following these simple instructions.

If you prefer, you can continue to use your current email address just as you always have.

No matter which address you use, you'll continue to receive all your mail, whether it's sent to your @me.com, @mac.com, or @icloud.com address.

I presume that someday Apple will do away with @mac.com and @me.com. The sensible thing is move everyone eventually to @icloud.com but redirect messages sent to the others. Hypothetically, shouldn't ibreakforspammers@icloud.com be enough?

Changing email addresses can be a nightmare for users, so Apple does right by allowing customers to choose new or old and keep messages flowing regardless of choice. Also, switching is pretty easy. Basically:

You can send email from your @icloud.com address by following these instructions:

  1. Begin composing a new email on the device of your choice.
  2. Select the From: field in your message.
  3. Choose your @icloud.com address from the list of addresses.
  4. Compose your message and send it.

There are additional specific, but simple, instructions for making the @icloud.com address default for iOS, OS X and webmail.

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