PSA: You can buy a domain directly from the iPhone Settings app

File this one under Today I learned: You can buy a domain name directly from the Settings app on your iPhone. Whether for a small business or a personal website, having your own domain offers significant advantages…

As we explained earlierowning your own domain has many advantages, both for the website and for the email.

For starters, if you have a business, it can make your business seem more legitimate. More importantly, custom email domains allow you to “own” your email address, providing portability that allows you to move it between email hosts. If an email host closes or their business practices no longer match mine, I can move it to any host I choose whenever I want. I could even host it myself if I wanted to, but that’s a tutorial for another day.

The same goes for web hosts, and even for personal use, a domain name that includes your own name is easier to remember than a generic name.

But the ability to purchase the domain in the Settings app was new to John Gruber Also.

I knew iOS 16 introduced custom domain name support for iCloud + Mail – bring your own domain name but use iCloud as your email provider and web interface. Here’s something I only learned today: you can sign up new domain names directly in the Settings app of iOS 16.

According an Apple support documentthe feature was quietly added as part of iOS 16.

If you subscribe to iCloud+, you can purchase your own domain. Then you can send and receive email from a custom email address with iCloud Mail.

To purchase a domain to use with iCloud Mail, you must be 18 or older, have an Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled, and a primary iCloud Mail email address set up to use a domain personalized messaging.

To share a domain with others, make sure they also have an Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled and have a primary iCloud Mail email address.

Apple explains how to buy a domain:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap your name.
  3. Tap iCloud, then select iCloud Mail.
  4. Select Custom email domain, then press Continue.
  5. Select Buy domain.
  6. In the text field, enter the domain name you wish to purchase.
  7. Press Search. If the domain or similar domains are available, the pricing options are listed.
  8. Select a domain, then follow the on-screen steps to complete your purchase.

Note that Apple is only facilitating the transaction, with the company noting that a third-party domain registrar handles the purchase. For the US and UK, at least, it’s Cloudflare.

Once you have purchased your domain, follow our video tutorial to set it up for use with iCloud Mail.

Background picture: Vinicius “amnx” Amano/Unsplash

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