Announced at WWDC 21, iCloud+ is the latest subscription service offered by the Cupertino tech giant. Along with major privacy updates including Mail Privacy Protection, Private Relay, the service also allows users to personalize their iCloud Mail address with a custom domain name and invite family members to use the same domain with their iCloud Mail accounts.
According to an opinion piece written by 9to5Mac’s Bradley Chambers, the tech giant is using the first version of a custom domain option as a test for its iCloud+ option for schools.
Apple could start offering custom domains for schools with iCloud+
According to Chambers, who has been managing Apple devices in an educational environment since 2009, it is very unlikely any school will switch from Google or Microsoft to Apple as email is an extremely important system for most schools therefore it must work seamlessly – especially in the day and age of virtual learning. However, if Apple starts bundling iCloud+ with a rollout of iPads and Macs in schools, custom domains for education systems could catch on.
Apple is in a tough spot here with email. When it launches (probably in 2022), it will be 10 years later than it should. It will not be easy to convince schools to change if they are already heavily invested in competing solutions. Where Apple’s new messaging solution will benefit is schools making significant digital transitions.
When Apple walks into a school with a giant rollout of iPads and Macs, they can offer email as part of the solution. Then it will be tightly integrated with Managed Apple IDs, Shared iPad, and possibly Apple’s MDM protocol in the future.
As for pricing, Chambers speculates Apple could offer an upgrade option of $ 2-5 per month per user for added features. Currently, the tech giant offers 200 GB of storage for Managed Apple IDs. iCloud+ is currently available for developers as a part of iOS 15 beta. It will be made available to public users in July with a general release slated for fall.