iCloud.com Alternatives?

I have a corporate Exchange account, which I access on my PC via Outlook and on my iDevices by setting up an Exchange account via Mail, Contacts, Calendars. All works fine!

I also have an iCloud account which I use for personal and consulting purposes. I access this on my iDevices (native) and on my PC by using the iclould.com website. The iCloud website is the problem. It's clunky and I have issues with it regardless of whether I use IE, Firefox or Chrome.

So my question is: Are there any alternatives to using the icloud.com website to access your iCloud account on a Windows 7 PC?

I have already tried to set up an IMAP account in Outlook 2013. Which did work for emails but was actually more clunky than the website. I was having a real bear of a time getting all my email folders to display and sync, and once I finally did, I wound up with two different deleted items folders (one from deleting emails in Outlook, and the other when deleting them on iDevices.) Plus there seems to be no way to access my iCloud calendar and contacts in Outlook this way.

I've also looked into the iCloud for Windows application that Apple pushes. But from everything I can see, this is used for syncing Outlook with your iDevices that would not normally use the Exchange ActiveSync which I am currently using.

So there you have it. I'm looking for a way to access my iCloud email, contacts, calendar, notes and reminders on my Windows 7 PC that is better than the clunky icloud.com web interface. Any ideas?
Eric JackIT ManagerAsked:
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jcimarronCommented:
Eric Jack --
Go to the section "Accessing Your iCloud Data From Windows" in this reference
http://www.howtogeek.com/175712/what-icloud-does-and-how-to-access-it-from-windows/
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Justin BradshawOwnerCommented:
So iCloud for windows won't install if you're already using exchange? That's really your only option besides iCloud.com so I'd really try to get that going if I were you.

The only other way would be to substitute other services entirely, like google which works on iOS with all of the things you mentioned you want to sync. That, of course, would require quite a bit of moving data from one service to another which is a pain in and of itself.

Good luck.
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Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Go to the section "Accessing Your iCloud Data From Windows" in this reference
http://www.howtogeek.com/175712/what-icloud-does-and-how-to-access-it-from-windows/

This link is useful because it gives more information than the Apple website does about iCloud and how it works.

So iCloud for windows won't install if you're already using exchange? That's really your only option besides iCloud.com so I'd really try to get that going if I were you.

No, iCloud for Windows will install. The last time I tried using it I had problems where it duplicated my Exchange contacts and calendar entries into my iCloud account, which I do not want to happen.

In the end, I decided to install the iCloud for Windows control panel again, and initially I thought it did the trick. I found that I could access all my email, contacts, calendar, and tasks from Outlook. Everything seemed to sync fine. And I was receiving my iCloud emails in Outlook. Then I tried to send an iCloud email from Outlook and was prompted for my iCloud password. Entering the password didn't work and started an infinite loop of asking for it.

Looks like Apple may have fixed some of the issues (duplicating entries between iCloud and Exchange), but it's still far from perfect! Heck, I just noticed I have 2 deleted items folders again! One that my iDevices use and one that Outlook uses! Really!?
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Justin BradshawOwnerCommented:
Different Mail apps tend to map the important functions (sent, trash, junk, drafts) to different folders which can be annoying across devices, especially on generic IMAP accounts. You should be able to consolidate the "Deleted Messages" or "Deleted Items" folders by mapping all devices to a single folder (usually "Trash") and then that folder will sync as expected. Kind of annoying it doesn't work automatically, especially for an iCloud account, but oh well...
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Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
I see no way to map the folders differently on the iDevices. Nor am I aware of a way to map the folders in Outlook. Regardless, this is an annoyance, but only a minor one.

The biggest problem was being able to receive email from iCloud in Outlook but not being able to send. This was a deal-breaker. After much mucking about by trying to uninstall and reinstall the iCloud control panel, and double and triple checking settings in Outlook, I finally found a way to fix it from asking for a password all the time and not sending.

I had to go into Mail Accounts in Outlook and remove the iCloud account. Then re-add it manually (as opposed to how the iCloud control panel added it) and lo and behold, I was able to see all my iCloud email, receive and even send!

Much more work than should be necessary, and I'm still annoyed by the folder mapping, but at least it's a slight improvement over using the web-based iCloud interface on different browsers with varying degrees of awfulness.
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Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
I troubleshot the problem with the constant password requests and not being able to send on my own.
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jcimarronCommented:
Eric Jack--
Thanks for telling us the fix.
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Justin BradshawOwnerCommented:
On iOS, you can change folder mapping in Settings  > Mail Contacts Calendars > IMAP account > Account > Advanced > Mailbox Behaviors

This isn't a solution for iCloud, but for standard IMAP accounts it's crucial to adjust these.
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Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
On iOS, you can change folder mapping in Settings  > Mail Contacts Calendars > IMAP account > Account > Advanced > Mailbox Behaviors

This isn't a solution for iCloud, but for standard IMAP accounts it's crucial to adjust these.

That's useful information but doesn't help in this instance since it's an iCloud account. However, if I can find a way to map it on Outlook's side...
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