For sometime now, we have been hearing about Google’s plans to let users link their Google Apps account with Gmail so that it can be used with other Google services that are not part of Google Apps. I know many people, including Cloud Ave’s own Zoli Erdos, who wanted such a tie-up. Luckily, Google invited me to link of of the many domains I have on Google Apps to transition to the new set up. I immediately jumped in to check it out. I thought I will post some of my initial thoughts here. Please keep in mind that I haven’t fully explored the transition and my opinion may change in the future.
Some of my first thoughts are
- The transition itself was pretty smooth for me. I cannot say the same for those folks who already use their Google Apps email with Gmail and other services. If you are one such user, I strongly urge you to check out their extensive help section before making the transition
- Your Google Apps email uses vanilla gmail after the transition. If you have more than one gmail accounts (including the transitioned account(s), don’t forget to activate multiple sign-on settings on this page
- Once you set up multiple sign-on, shifting from one account to another is breeze. I am really loving it. It is just a click and the change is seamless
- Right now, the Google Apps admins have an option to disallow certain users from linking the accounts but everyone will be forced to switch over by end of september. I would have loved to have the option to disallow certain users from linking it
- Google apps admins also get to decide which services to allow (not for specific users but to all users). It is a pretty neat feature but I would like to have a more fine grained control at the user level (at least for Premier accounts)
- It looks like all Google Apps account will be forcibly shifted to new system by Sept. end. Again, I would love to have the option to activate without being forced to activate the new system
- They may bring this feature in the future but I would love to use my own subdomains for services like Picasaweb and Youtube
- I noticed a change with Google Voice. I am not sure if it is part of this transition. Earlier, if I try to add a phone number already associated with another Google Voice account, it will throw an error and prevent me from adding the number. Yesterday when I added a phone number associated with another account to the Google Voice account I created with my transitioned Google Apps email address, it got added and the number was automatically kicked off from the other account with a warning email. I think it is a bad idea
Overall, I am satisfied with the new system but I am sure Zoli may not like it because it renames the accounts which are already linked to Gmail accounts before this new system was put in place. If you have already transitioned to the new system, I would like to hear your opinions about it.