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?

Nope.

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 @gmail.com 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 @googlewave.com!) 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 gina@example.com “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?