I’ve been increasingly thinking of ditching my GMail account. I have a couple of reasons for wanting to do that but they mainly boil down to one thing: I don’t like how comfortable Google is with delivering products that don’t pay attention to details.
- You can’t rename a domain in Google Apps. You have to delete the domain and start over with the new name.
- You can’t rename an admin user in Google Apps. You have to create a new user account and start over. (If the user was the initial user in the domain, it won’t even work to demote the admin user and then rename him.)
- GMail likes to add a “Sender” header anytime you send a message from an alternate email address. You can prevent this (setup instructions) but it’s a bit clunky and requires you to have an external SMTP server.
- GMail IMAP is wonky, making me reluctant to use my GMail account with a desktop email client.
- You can’t use a Google Apps account with Google Plus.
- On a more general note, Google Plus is overly dramatic in its requirement that people to use real names and not pseudonyms.
All of these things add up to give me a general feeling of using a half-baked product from a company that doesn’t sweat the details. And I don’t like it.
There are a lot of things that I do like about GMail.
- I can host multiple personal domains.
- I can have e-mail addresses setup at my domain (for family members) that either deliver mail to a GMail account or else deliver mail to an outside account (so that I can provide a “forwarding address”).
- I get generous email quotas.
- The service is free.
- I get mobile push email.
- Google provides a very good, nearly instantaneous, email search.
- There is a great conversation view, in the web interface.
- I really like the entire Inbox / everything else paradigm that Gmail created and I like being able to one-click Archive my messages.
- I can create unlimited message filters to automatically file messages and mark them as read or starred, even when my computer isn’t running.
- Robust spam filtering.
But, given that I no longer trust Google to provide a high quality product, I’m looking to move to a new email provider. I’m willing to pay for my service. Here’s the baseline feature set I’m looking for.
- Let me host email for multiple domains.
- Let me create multiple aliases either for a mailbox at the host or to forward to an outside mailbox.
- Robust spam filtering.
- Generous email quotas.
- Server side message filters, to sort and file my email.
Here’s the features that I’d like to see.
- A good, web-based, email search.
- A web-based conversation view.
- Push email, for mobile clients.
I'll be looking around to see who can sell me that, at a price that's reasonable for just 2-3 mailboxes.