Stack Change

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how irritating the Firefox iOS app is. It’s slow, it’s cumbersome, and while I love it for being in sync with my laptop browser, the UX was irritating enough to forget all the features.

I switched back to mobile Safari. It took only a few taps and moving the app icon to the dock and suddenly I was a safari user again. I know this is a ploy by Apple. No one cares for the default browser, but they’ve created an anti-competitive environment which forces everyone to use their browser engine. Invariably, adding features on top of an average browser engine makes the outcome trash. But lacking any government agency having the backing to take on Apple, IE is turning in its grave at what has come to pass.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with someone online and I realized that the timeline to move from free Gmail for custom domains is over and I needed to move post haste. They recommended Fastmail. I moved to it. The transition was very smooth. Fastmail is amazing at pulling over a 100K emails over IMAP and very quickly, I was set.

But last evening, while having a conversation with my brother, I realized that I don’t want to use Fastmail. I don’t even want to use the alternative he proposed – Zoho mail. I want to use gmail. But zoho is cheaper. Where Fastmail wants to charge me $50/year for 50 GB, Zoho is giving me a 10 GB mailbox for $15 a year. At 8 GB, my mailbox fits nicely within this package and paying them allows me access to SMTP, IMAP, and POP, letting me avoid Zoho’s terrible UX and just forward my email to and respond from it too.

So, overnight, I’ve moved my email stack to Zoho.

To those wondering why I didn’t stick with Google Apps after receiving years of free email from them – it wasn’t free. Google was collecting data on us and when the value of the data reduced, they declared its time to pay. It’s the same story as Google Photos – they were happy to give it to us for free till their AI models needed fodder. Once they’d built up enough data, they converted the service to paid.

As for the moves themselves – I still use Firefox on my computer, so while syncing has become a little difficult, it’s not impossible to move between devices and continue working on whatever I’m focused on. As for Zoho (and Fastmail), I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to move my mailbox from google to Fastmail (taking content out of it is painful apparently) and irritating but doable wrt Zoho (they made me setup a cloud app with keys and permissions and still ended up taking the entire night to transfer my mailbox, but at least it was straightforward and well described in their docs). As for the DNS, Cloudflare makes it a breeze!

When I setup Fastmail, they let me setup some email aliases too. I love their domain. It’s so niche! If Fastmail lets me continue using their email for free, I’d love to use these aliases. Otherwise, I’ll miss them.

I also discovered that Cloudflare has an email routing feature that lets me forward emails directly to any email address as soon as it hits their servers. That’s sure to be useful someday. What an epic company! They just keep adding useful features for you to discover on your own time.