iCloud Vs Gmail | Which Is Better?

For Apple users, there seem to be always two choices for certain applications. One from Apple itself. And one from a third-party developer. You can observe this tug of war for web browsers, e-mail clients, cloud storage, navigation assistant, and several others. Let us focus on the e-mail providers for a moment. Gmail and iCloud (or Apple Mail) are the two top e-mail clients in the world. One is strictly for “Apple” users while the other is for everyone. So, if you have an Apple product (MacBook or iPhone), then which e-mail client should you prefer? In this guide, let us compare iCloud vs Gmail and see which is a better option for Apple users.

What Is iCloud?

While Apple makes great hardware, it also focuses on developing great software for its users. iCloud is one such service from Apple. With the obvious naming scheme, you can already guess what iCloud is (if you aren’t already familiar).

iCloud is primarily a Cloud Storage Service from Apple among other things. It helps you upload (manually or automatically) all your photos, documents, music, files, email, backups, etc. to cloud storage.

In its basic form, you get a free email account with 5 GB of free cloud storage. If you use the same email id on all your Apple devices, then you can share all the files you uploaded to iCloud across all these devices.

What Is Gmail?

Gmail or Google Mail is a free email service from Google. It is a web-based email service. That means you use it on any web browser to send and receive emails.

Once you created an account with Gmail, you can seamlessly connect with other Google services such as YouTube, Calendar, Maps, and importantly Google Drive.

Speaking of Drive, it is also a Cloud Storage Service, but from Google. When you create a free Gmail Account, you get 15 GB of free Cloud Storage. You can use this storage to upload photos, documents, backups, etc. across multiple devices.

It has support for both Android and iOS operating systems. And coming to the desktop version, use any web browser to access Gmail or Drive.

Comparison Of iCloud vs Gmail

Let us now compare iCloud vs Gmail in terms of UI, Cost, and other features. After this, we will try to figure out which one is a better choice.

User interface

The first thing we will compare is the UI of iCloud and Gmail. Both of these services have a simple and clean interface.

Apple Mail has an advantage in Apple devices. For instance, you can make use of the 3D Touch feature of the iPhone to bring up previews or other things that you certainly can’t do with Gmail.

But it also makes certain things difficult. Attaching a photo or document to an email is very difficult as there is no dedicated button.

Gmail has a lot of features and this makes it an excellent choice for both personal and business emails. Its labels and filters can help you neatly organize your inbox.

Both these email services have somewhat similar features such as a swipe to delete an email, control over your notifications, etc.


iCloud is an Apple-only service. In order to use the iCloud service, you must own at least one Apple Device (iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.). Apple Mail, the client for sending and receiving emails is available on all Apple devices.

Gmail is a web-based email service. So, you can use it on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, or any other system that has a reasonably modern web browser.

Apart from web-based access, there are Gmail, Drive, Maps, and other Google apps for both Android and iOS devices.

Price and Storage

Both Gmail and iCloud have straightforward free plans. Once you register with it, you get 15 GB of free space with Gmail and 5 GB of free space with iCloud. All this at no extra cost.

But if you want more storage, you need to subscribe to their respective paid plans.

Google offers several plans through its Google One membership. The basic plan starts at $1.99 per month that gives you 100 GB of storage (among other things). You can go all the way to 2 TB of storage at $9.99 per month.

iCloud also has similar paid subscriptions for additional storage. iCloud+ with 50 GB of storage will be $0.99 per month. For the 2 TB storage plan, iCloud will charge you the same $9.99 per month as Google.

With all these paid plans, you get a lot more than just additional storage. You can take a look at all the features on their respective web pages.


Both Gmail and iCloud boast about the privacy and security they offer to their users. One thing you need to remember is that Apple Mail is an email client that can connect to a different email account, be it from iCloud, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.

While Apple may have strict security measures at its end, it needs support from the respective mail service providers.

Both Gmail and iCloud have a two-factor authentication system. They both also have SSL Encryption to protect data.

Additional Features

Here are some things both iCloud Mail and Gmail have in common. You can customize your emails with fonts, formats, attachments, etc. in both iCloud and Gmail.

Writing emails, drafting or sending them, and reading them in both these services is very modern. All the functions that you expect from a typical email service are available in both iCloud and Gmail.

You have seamless integration across all your devices with iCloud as well as Gmail. Also, you don’t have to worry about contacts as they manage them for you.

Google has a good history with add-ons. You can use several third-party add-ons to enhance your emailing experience. Whether it is for email-open notifications, automating certain tasks, customizing email, etc., you can do them with Google Chrome Extensions.

We cannot say the same with iCloud or Apple Mail. There are only a handful of add-ons or extensions that can improve your Apple Mail experience. Further, customizing or modifying the iCloud Mail experience on Apple Devices (iPhone or iPad) is a challenging task.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Gmail

  • Simple UI and very easy to use
  • Free email account with seamless integration of Google Services
  • 15 GB of free Cloud Storage
  • Available as web-based, apps for iOS and Android
  • Supports several addons and extensions
  • Huge online support, either directly from Google or from the community

Cons of Gmail

  • Must have a Gmail account to access any of Google Services
  • Fewer customization options

Pros of iCloud

  • An excellent option for users with multiple Apple Devices
  • Easily backup, share, or sync your data
  • Very easy to use
  • Easy to share files with other iCloud users

Cons of iCloud

  • It is an Apple-only service
  • Only 5 GB of free Cloud Storage
  • Can be confusing for beginners

Which Is Better? iCloud vs Gmail

Now, the important question is, which is better among iCloud vs Gmail? The answer is, it depends.

Both Apple Mail or iCloud Mail and Gmail have their share of pros and cons. If you are already using Apple Mail and multiple Apple Devices, you can continue to use that.

As Apple Mail is technically an email client, you can use it with other email services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc.

Gmail has both the web version as well as apps for Android and iOS devices. If you use other Google services such as YouTube, Google Maps, etc., then a Gmail Account will be much more beneficial.

You get 15 GB of free cloud storage with Gmail. It is only 5 GB with iCloud. Both iCloud and Gmail have respective paid plans. So, if you are looking for a “free-only” plan, then Gmail is a clear winner.

You can use Gmail with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. But you can use iCloud only with Apple Devices.


In this guide, we saw the basics of iCloud Mail and Gmail. We compared iCloud vs Gmail with their important features.

After looking at their pros and cons, we also gave suggestions on which is a better choice between iCloud and Gmail.

Leave a Comment