Email always felt like an awkward offering for Apple. I never had the need for a .Mac account, although I did sign up for their MobileMe service for some of the syncing features. Now that iCloud feels like a service that is intended for developers to leverage and users to enjoy, why would they keep email around?
It wasn’t until reading a comment on an article on The Loop – I can’t remember which one – that it hit me. Novices.
The commenter had mentioned how his grandmother never had emailed or used a computer in any meaningful way for communication before the iPad, and now she sends email all the time. Granted this commenter on The Loop is likely to have enough expertise to set up a GMail account for his grandmother, go to Settings, and enter her credentials, but not everybody in the Apple Store looking for an iPad is going to be relying on a tech-savvy relative. They might rely on a Genius, but what if they just take it home?
This is where the user experience comes in. The wizard you go through as a new user asks you a few questions, one of which is whether or not you have an Apple ID. No? No problem; let’s set one up. Would like to use iCloud? Yes? OK, you’re ready to start sending email.
Now there is no reason to open Safari to look for an email provider, fumble around with settings, or call your nephew. You’re done.