I’ve been using my gmail account since a few months after the beta started. I’ve moved a dozen times since then, but my email stayed the same.
However, over the years Google has lost my confidence that they’ll do the right thing and do no evil. It’s for this reason I don’t use their apps, don’t invest in tweaking gmail, or even (especially) sync my contacts.
As a Mac user for almost 20 years, I’d like to use iCloud for my email, but I can’t use custom domains with Apple. While I don’t foresee Apple losing my trust and confidence, I can’t be sure.
Tying my email to a third party domain will lock me in to their ecosystem, for better or worse. Moreover, I could lose it all in an instant by the whim of an algorithm with little to no recourse.
With Gmail, I’m not the customer, the advertisers are. And because our interests are not aligned, I have no idea how my data will actually be used.
What to do?
The obvious answer is to move my email to a domain I own. Then find a provider that supports open protocols and that I pay at a regular interval.
I’m leaning towards Fastmail. They’ve got a nice detailed migration guide, I’ve been a customer on the business side for a number of years, it’s time to renew, and most importantly their systems behave in ways that I expect.
The main blocker isn’t even money, it’s updating each account that uses my gmail as a login to my new address. Lock-in, albeit defacto and of my own doing, is a bitch.