It’s always been disappointing that Google Apps accounts (those with custom domains) haven’t had access to as many services as accounts with addresses @gmail.com. That is now changing.
As was reported a few weeks ago, selected Google Apps are now being given the opportunity to transition their users to “enhanced” Google Apps accounts. Such enhanced accounts include:
- Access to services, like Google Reader, that haven’t been available in Apps accounts previously. While Google says that many services will now be available, some, like iGoogle, Google Voice and Google Wave, are not yet integrated into the new accounts.
- A “single sign-on” function that allows users to access Gmail, Calendar, Docs, iGoogle, Sites, Talk, Groups, Contacts, and Knowledge Search with the same user name and password information. It’s also possible to log in to these services at locations like http://mail.google.com with your full Google Apps email address.
- The ability for domain administrators to select which services their users may access.
Google has set up a system for managing personal Google accounts that were set up using the same email address as organization-managed Google Apps accounts. Such “conflicting accounts” can be resolved in a couple of different ways.
There is an extensive help menu that explains how the whole process works, although I found the step-by-step instructions fairly clear. I did get a couple of “invalid page request” errors during setup of the transition, though, so it appears that Google is still working out some bugs.
Domain administrators have the option to transition all users immediately, or to select up to 10 “early adopters” that get access to the new services now. Once the testing is complete, administrators can transition everyone, or roll back the updates temporarily, although Google says that the updates will be universal by September 30.
As is usual with Google, these changes are being implemented gradually. As of this writing, I’ve found expanded access for only one of the many domains that I administer.
Do you have access to the enhanced Google Apps accounts yet?
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Report: The Real-Time Enterprise