> I actually do use desktop calendaring software which will stop working this summer.
What's the software? Google CalDAV support isn't actually going away, it's just switching to a whitelist, so depending on your client, it should be fine. I don't know how that's going to work exactly (is it just an API key? how will that work with open source calendaring software like Lightning?), but if it's even moderately actively maintained software, it's likely that they've already applied for access.
> Google started by dropping XMPP invites under the questionable guise of spam protection (from the article)
Just FYI, they turned federation back on shortly afterwards. Of course, it's being dropped for the new chat system, but it's worth getting that right.
> Fastmail is owned by Opera Software and operates both free and paid tiers of service
As others have pointed out, there is no free tier, just a free trial. And if you're going to pay for it, I don't really see the difference between that and going full Google Apps, but that's just me. (edit: ah, apparently there used to be a free tier, but no longer)
Regardless, paying for the services you use is a good thing, both for getting better guarantees for service, and for teaching the market that ad-supported services aren't the end-all be-all, that we can have other business models, and maybe even a diverse market of them to support different uses and different requirements.
Speaking as someone who uses Google Apps for personal email, it sucks. I hate having a google apps managed account under my personal email address (my primary google account is a gmail address), I hate the limited filtering options that Gmail provides, I hate the faux-IMAP layer that Gmail has, I hate the fact that every time I switch networks with my laptop I get a "too many simultaneous connections" error from the Gmail IMAP server, and I hate many more things about this.
So many thanks to Ken for finding what appears to be a good alternative. Time to convince my family to switch email providers.
The software is KDE (Akonadi), Thunderbird (Lightning), and a few small utilities. It seems probable, though not guaranteed that Lightning will keep working. But I don't want to bed the farm on that, I doubt KDE will be supported, and I'd really rather just use a calendar that faithfully implements the standard instead of whitelisting the standard for certain clients.
In terms of XMPP, I checked yesterday. After updating the Android Talk app to Hangouts, all of my XMPP contacts disappeared.
In terms of email, using Google Apps on a custom domain would avoid lockin and actually not be a bad choice, at least for now. I went with Fastmail anyway, and I think it's just a better service.
I have to disagree on the whitelisting as breaking an implementation of a standard; nothing in a standard like that requires it be universally accessible...you're already authenticating to get the CalDAV data in the first place, for instance. Whitelisting clients is not really different and is quite common, though I'm not sure if Google ever gave an explanation other than "our API is totally awesome", which is not much of one. I definitely do understand reluctance to depend on future support because of reasoning like that, however.
For XMPP, it's the Hangouts app that I was referring to as the "new chat system". Federation for regular google talk was turned back on, but you'll need a third party XMPP client now, I guess. Fortunately they're quite common.