Google desparately need to implement Identity Management

I’m a really really happy user of lots of Google services. I have my own domain linked to Google Apps For Your Domain (GAFYD). I use Google Docs. I’ve been a GMail user before. I put pictures I want to share on Picasa. May contacts are in Google Contacts. Some of my appointments are shared through Google Calendar. Of course I jumped on Google Wave immediately…

So, all should be fine, right?


The trouble began when Google Apps For Your Domain became available, and I had to migrate my data over from the old GMail account. I ranted enough about this, so I’ll spare you the repeat.

Ever since I completed that move, I feel like a second class citizen for all services that use Google’s authentication system, and the worst thing is – this is even true for Google’s own services.

Picasa, for example, is not included in Google Apps, so I have to use a different login. That GMail login uses the same email address than Google Apps, but a different password. You can run face recognition, but unfortunately Picasa can not access the Google Apps contacts for names, faces or email invitations – you have to maintain a second set of identities.

I still have my old email account which uses the same email for login, so that makes for all kind of strange confusing messages. I now have two Google Calenders, two Google Docs sites, both completely separate yet under the same email address.

Do you know all those other services that allow you to pull in your contacts from GMail? You probably guessed it – they can’t access my Google Apps account.

It gets even better when you pull Google Wave (they give you _yet another_ email!) and Buzz into the mix – complete confusion guaranteed.

This post has been sitting as a draft for a few weeks, only recently Gina Trapani picked up the issue on Smarterware. They found someone at Google with a half ass explanation, but do come on – there has to be a better way!

“When you add Android into the mix, Contacts get weird. Because, I think, you can add your Google Apps account to Android and not your “vanilla” Google Account. (GT: Yes, this is true.) But, when you sign in to Google Voice on Android, you will need to enter the password (which might be the same) of your vanilla Google Account. BUT, on Android, your Contacts are read from the system’s phone book. Not necessarily the vanilla Google Voice Google Account that has its separate contacts (accessible through the normal Google Voice webapp). Ugh. The “Contacts” issue is by far the most ‘hurting’ in this whole scenario.”

Eh… ok….

An update to the post brimgs it to the point:

“Clearly FREE vanilla Google Accounts get more preference than potentially-paid Google Apps accounts, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Welcome to third class citizenship.

What’s your experience with this – how do you make it work for you?

New GMail faetures available for Google Apps users

“Gmail’s revamped codebase was one such case, and we’re happy to mention this update is now rolling out to Google Apps users who haven’t already opted in to get the latest improvements. Employees, students and other Google Apps users will soon start seeing useful features like these:

* even faster interface
* group chat from the browser
* streamlined contact manager
* colored message labels
* improved keyboard shortcuts
* bookmarkable messages and searches”

That explains a lot – I was wondering if my DSL had suddenly gotten a lot faster ;)

New GMail Mobile version

Markus writes about a new version of for mobile devices.

Unfortunately, the mobile version of mail in for hosted accounts (GAFYD) has not been updated. So, not only do Google Apps users not get the J2ME app, they also don’t get the new mobile html version.

Guys, I’m not sure I’m willing to take this a lot longer. If Yahoo decides to let me send emails with my own domain as a sender, I’m gone.

UPDATE 2007-10-12: Scott Hanselman has a solution!

Google Apps: do you want a choice between free and premium accounts

After my move from GMail to Google Apps for Your Domain (GAFYD), I have a choice between standard (free) edition and premier edition. Premier edition costs $50 and gets you 10 gig storage and ad-free apps. Not bad, right?

No, not at all – but there’s a catch: you have to pay the $50 per user. I have 5 users on my domain, two of them are my 4 and 6 year old daughters (email forwarders to my account), and my mother and my wife will most likely never outgrow the free edition.

Either way, I’d have to pay $250 to get the one premium account I’d need. As this is far too expensive, Google gets no money at all. If I could upgrade only one account to premium, I’d be happy to pay the $50 immediately.

There’s a thread in Google Groups where people voice their opinion on this. Make your voice heard! Let’s tell Google what the users want.

New spam wave

A new wave of spam emails has been coming through my GMail (GAFYD) spam filter recently:

“der mineralbusiness entwickelt sich schnell!
sehen sie es am donnerstag 7. juni!

entreprise: harri expl inc
letzt. schlu?k: 0.45 prog.: 1.80

k,?rzel: e f d
w-k,n : a 0 h 0 5 q

verlieren sie keine moglichkeit
kau-fen vor es sehr spat wird

300-400 Interessen in folgenden 5t
fugen sie efd in ihre liste am
donnerstag 7. juni!

Das Schaf, das du willst, steckt da drin. So, du Samana, sind.

Tun, aber sagen und lehren kann man sie nicht. Die seine ist.
Obwohl. Der Geograph ist zu wichtig, um herumzustreunen.
Durst mehr fXhlte. Aber in meiner Herrscherweisheit.”

They seem to frame their distorted messages with literature which they automatically translate. I’m not sure what’s more annoying – the fact that they get through, or the fact that there must be people who make the effort to decipher that crap and act upon it on the stock markets. Maybe the stock market should introduce maturity checks…