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  1. 1

    Walter van den Broek

    Tried a lot even this post to get a solution. My gmail is clearly adifferent game from my apps account. Would really like to get this solved so i can use only my apps account. read a lot even the google apps book by granneman still only compliated solutions and no greader and contacts with google apps.
    Take care Dr Shock, not going crazy yet.

  2. 2

    Chris Davis

    I have the same issue. For the most part right now I just import my apps contacts to my gmail contacts. But it’s getting a little old.

    It seems more and more I want to use the services on the gmail account because they aren’t on apps.

    What I’ve consider doing is just having my apps account forward emails to my gmail account and start using that as my primary account.

    When buzz came out I was planning on doing this, but not sure how well buzz is being received now.

    I don’t fully understand the complaint on the android side of things. I just add both my accounts to the phone and to my knowledge it syncs them both contact wise.

  3. 3

    Justin Cardinal

    I’ve been waiting for an explanation like this for years! My problem is that I thought I could merge the accounts by adding my Apps account to my vanilla account and then set the Apps email address as the primary one. It turns out you can’t do that, but now my Apps account is somehow associated with the vanilla account. I really have no idea what data would and wouldn’t be retained if I disassociate the two and then create a vanilla account using the method described in the article. To me, the solution *seems* so simple…allow me to merge the accounts and set which email address is the primary one. Bonus points if they let me choose the alternate email address at will (ex: for emailing stories from Reader).

  4. 4

    Marsh Gardiner

    This issue has plagued me for years. Having an Android phone has only made it worse. Thank you Gina for raising the issue—I can’t wait for it to be properly addressed!

  5. 5

    Tim Weston

    I’ve been experiencing this issue for quite some time. The only things I use my Google account for are Reader, FeedBurner, YouTube and commenting on Blogspot blogs. Any mail that is sent to my gmail.com address (I believe that was the only thing available when I signed up years ago) is forwarded to my Apps address.

    Because of the separation of apps, I don’t use Google Voice, Wave or Buzz. These are all apps I’d love to use/try, but I’m not willing to jump through hoops to get things working nicely.

  6. 6

    Brian DeHamer

    Thanks for addressing this Gina, this is an issue that has been haunting me for years — it’s good to get some semi-official confirmation that my understanding of the way these accounts work is accurate.

    BTW, I was playing with Soocial just this morning and it did NOT require that I enter passwords for either my Google Apps account or my Google Account. Seems like this may be the answer to some of my contacts-related woes.

  7. 7


    Thx Gina for pointing it out once again. I really hope Google comes with something to migrate your Google Account (or Gmail) to your Google Apps.

    I recently wrote about how you can use your Google Apps Gmail to send shared items you want to share via e-mail in Google Reader (Google Account). Tweak Google Reader to use Google Apps

  8. 8


    I can backup the soocial recommendations. It is the most awesome app for contact sync.

    An additional benefit of soocial is that it allows 2 contacts to connect so that when the contact updates his contact details it is automatically updated your side. This is really awesome because i do not have to worry about info being obsolete.

    For dealing with all these other issues i have always just used my vanilla account as the main one and use the apps account as a forwarding address, because as you say. The free has more features.

  9. 9


    Add another frustrated Apps user to your list. Maybe with Gina and TWiG’s exposure of this problem we can get Google to move their butt!

  10. 10


    I’ll also backup the Soocial recommends. I use it to sync my contacts between all of my google address books, including my google apps account. That brings my contacts over to my google voice account, which is just awesome.

  11. 11

    Guillermo Esteves

    The Contacts issue has bothered me forever, and the only thing I can do is manually sync my regular contacts and my Google Apps contacts periodically, but it’s still a pain in the neck. I wonder if it’s possible to build an app to automate that sync.

    This has also been a problem for me with the launch of Google Buzz, because tons of people have been adding my main vanilla Google account to their Buzz, which is also a Google Apps account, but since Buzz hasn’t been added to the hosted Gmail accounts, there’s not much I could do with it. The workaround I came up with is 1) use Google Dashboard (http://www.google.com/dashboard/ ) to manage the sites I have connected to Buzz; and 2) create a Fluid app for http://buzz.google.com using the latest Mobile Safari user agent:

    Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16

    That at least lets me do something with Buzz until they enable it in hosted Google accounts.

    I really wish Google offered a way to consolidate both accounts, though.

  12. 12


    I just checked out soocial and it does not require you to give up your account credentials. It instead asks you to grant access using the google account connect.

  13. 13

    Noah Levin

    Gina, you are my personal hero for bringing this issue to light.

    The particular irony, of course, is that a Google Apps account is penalizing PRECISELY the wrong people. It is leading-edge users who signed up for Google Apps in the first place, and it is those same users who most expect a unified experience and access to new features.

    I hope your gClout can bring about an official answer to this maddening problem…

  14. 14


    Great post, I posted about these issues yesterday. Seems like the conclusions I came to were about right…


  15. 15

    David Konigsberg

    Wow, thanks for putting what I have been thinking in writing and getting some attention to it. I have been pondering what I have been doing wrong all to find out that others have the same issue. I am looking to get an android phone soon and was trying to figure out how it would all work with Google voice and my email which is on a Google aps account. Thanks for letting me know that i am not alone on this nor did I set it all up wrong! Keep us posted if you hear more.

  16. 16

    Chris Barnes

    Yet more fuel for my fire. Google needs to FIX the products it’s already providing instead of coming up with new products (like Buzz/Wave) that are also part of the existing problem.

  17. 17


    I have mixed feelings about this…I kinda wish that I could have buzz…but then again…I am glad I don’t…I wish I could have wave…but I never use it on my gmail account…I need voice! besides that I am fine

  18. 18

    Andrew Wardlaw

    I have that exact problem… for me (and this comes as massive fan of all things Google) if I can’t get the service I want on my Apps for Domains I don’t use it. However I do have one exception; Google Reader, I used that before I moved to Google Apps and so continue with that on a “normal” Google account.
    Sure I tried buzz and wave but without my contacts there it’s useless to me. However Soocial looks pretty interesting, might have to play around with that.

    Also I second everything Noah Levin said a few comments up. Thanks Gina for bringing this to the front.

  19. 19

    Andrew Wardlaw

    As a quick follow up, Soocial worked perfectly. No passwords needed, you just have to grant it permission. Now I have all my contacts in both accounts. Google Buzz may just have become useful…..

  20. 20


    You’ve struck a rich vein here, Gina, and I hope you’ll explore it in some detail over the next few weeks on TWiG – I don’t think it’s something that’ll be widely understood or solved by Google quickly.

    I have both an Apps Account and a standard Google (Gmail) Account. Before Gmail came along I had already established a domain of my own and an e-mail identity there that remains my primary e-mail. Unfortunately I got in on Gmail late and missed the opportunity to claim my own name – instead choosing one that is rather tied to my job – a job I likely won’t have in another two years (d’oh!). When Apps came along I was very pleased to be able to host my domain with Google Apps so as to use Gmail, but since all of the more innovative services (Reader, Wave, Buzz, etc.) were only available on the main Google Account all of my activity in those areas has been done associated with a Gmail Acccount I rarely use for e-mail. I’d love to simply merge the two, selecting which personal data to preserve from each.

    The issue really came to a head for me when I got a Droid and the reality of my split personality began to have more far reaching consequences. I’ve basically had to recreate my contacts and calendar (things I’d previously maintained under my own Apps domain) in the Gmail Account so that I could take better advantage of the phone’s capabilities. There has been a silver lining, though. The high volume of Buzz e-mail notifications has not polluted my main e-mail account.

    (P.S. There’s another issue I’ve run into with Buzz that I’d like a good solution for. I still POP all of my e-mail into Thunderbird (out of habit or paranoia). The Gmail filters you and others suggested to keep the Buzz notification stream from polluting the Gmail inbox don’t appear to help for POPed accounts. I can set up a mirror set of mail filters in Thunderbird, but I’d rather do it in just one place. Any suggestions?)

  21. 21


    Funny that this article should come out today.

    I have two Google for your Domain Accounts, plus a regular gmail account. I’ve always wanted the same features in Google for your Domain Accounts as I have in my regular Gmail account. So today I did the following.

    Using the Google Labs “Multiple In-Boxes” in my reg Google account, I set up two inboxes. 1 for each of my Google for your Domain accounts. I then had my email from my Google for your Domain accounts forwarded to my reg Gmail account.

    I set up filters for each Google for your Domain account email, so that it doesn’t hit my reg Gmail inbox but just goes straight to Archive. However, since I have Multiple Inboxes setup, the forwarded email shows up in those boxes. In order for that to work you have to use the “to:” variable when setting up your multiple inboxes, eg. to:me@mydomain.com.

    One draw back to doing this is, Gmail Notifier does not notify of me of all email received, only email that is sent to my reg Gmail address. i can live with it.

    Hope that all made sense. Ping me if you have questions.

  22. 22


    Just piling on. I thought I was being smart when I moved my domain to Google Apps. Now I have to login to my domain, Voice, and Reader. Buzz is over on my Gmail account!

    Fix it Google!

  23. 23

    Matthew Hooper

    I thought I had found a solution but it turned out to be a bit kludgey. In the settings/accounts tab you can “Get mail from other accounts” and “Send mail as” the account that you received the email from. But the problem is that this solution using POP3, so my email was always delayed. I still do this within my Google Apps account since this is my main account. If Google would allow push IMAP instead of POP3 then I could live within my gmail account, basically allowing me to use Gmail as a mail client. I wrote about my solution here:


  24. 24


    I have the Palm Pre running WebOS and it is very tightly integrated with Google contacts. I have multiple Google Accounts and an Apps account which syncs with the phones contacts across all accounts. If I make a change locally it will change on all my Google accounts. Same if I change in one of my accounts it will change on the phone also. Google calendar is also sync from all my accounts into the calendar app on the phone using colors to differentiate the different accounts. Now, most of this works great with those to apps, but Google Voice, Reader and such do not enjoy the same benefits, same with other Google products.

  25. 25



    Even with a “vanilla” Google account, there is some issue with sharing contacts between Google services.
    The contacts and groups of contacts in GMail do not update with contacts in Reader (sharing list). That is my experience with Reader french version.
    What is your experience ?


  26. 26

    Nathan Bowhay

    I can see how all that can be frustrating. I haven’t had to deal with it yet although I am hoping to in the future when we move to Google Apps of a horrible register.com email service at work.

    Playing the devils advocate: In a way I can kinda see how they may not integrate every new Google service especially those in Beta as far as the Business end goes because of possible security issues that could arise. Although they would obviously want to disable them by default and then and then make you enable them through the dashboard, but there could still be holes since things aren’t sand-boxed. I know one huge worry our boss had when we suggested using Google Apps for email is both up time, support and most importantly security and privacy. And even reading the Google Apps Site it is not clear where the files are stored, how to grab them when moving them to another service or any other common security and privacy questions most business have. The answers are probably out there, but should be much more easily accessible (ok I have gone out on a bit of a tangent).

    Anyway I can possibly see how they wouldn’t want to integrate it right away although being able to have sandboxed contacts and sync them between two accounts seems very easy, little security issue especially within Google servers and contacts has been around a while so that seems a little silly it isn’t there yet.

    From the looks of it most people use some service be it a phone with something like synergy (Palm Pre) or Social which manages the syncing the accounts, cause Google has tools and api’s to export and import it is just a matter of using those to keep both up to date in an automatic process and of course securely.

  27. 27

    Rob Blatt

    The other thing to note wit all different kinds of accounts is that you CAN’T ACCESS BUZZ without a gmail address. If you’re signed up with a Google account, but it’s not a GMail account, you can’t access Buzz at all. LAME-z0rs.

  28. 28


    It’s beyond belief that Google can’t or won’t fix this issue.

    They obvious solution would be simply to make every Google Apps account username into a full and complete Google account.

    Instead, we have a position where I have to have two Google accounts *with the same login* that work in different ways.

    They have 20,000 employees. I don’t know how many are engineers, but you’d think they could find the time for *someone* to fix the problem.

  29. 29


    Yeah, you can add me to the list of annoyed paying Google Apps Premier users that cannot understand why Google’s best customers are given the crappiest service. I’m the decision-maker for our company’s Premier subscription (we have a bunch of users enjoying the system) but that we still have to do manual Contacts exports and imports to use Voice, and have no integrated Reader, Buzz, iGoogle or most other G services is really irritating.

  30. 30


    Like everyone else, this has been driving me mad for years. The way I have resolved it for now is simply (ie I’m sure that there’s no new info to anyone here):

    – forward all my (Apps) me@example.com email to my regular Gmail account (this seems to be pretty quick)
    – Set up a SMTP “Send mail as me@example.com” in my Gmail account
    – Set that as the default address so that all email from Gmail goes from me@example.com instead of my regular Gmail account address.

    This means that my Gmail account is my “google world” and that I don’t use my Apps account for anything other than email redirection, which seems a waste, but as I don’t need the collaborative capabilities of a small company, it’s not really an issue for me.

    My reader, buzz, chat, profile etc address is all Gmail, but that’s OK for me personally – it is the email address that I primarily don’t want change over time.

    Given you and the TWiG team’s track record on this Gina, I suspect this will be fixed pretty soon. Thanks for raising it.

  31. 31

    Robert Butler

    I have tried using Google Apps together with a Google account (without GMail/calendar etc) and it does give you the facitily to sign into Google services with your Apps address. The only downfall is that there won’t be contact integration so that google reader won’t use your Apps address book (and I’d imagine the same for Google Voice).

    I think Google should clarify the differences or make the account types more alike, but I see why they haven’t yet.

    I did post about this a couple of months ago – the fact my blog post gets a steady stream of hits suggests lots of people are asking the same questions.


  32. 32


    I’m a little confused. I have been using Google Voice and Google Reader on my Google Apps account for the past month or so. I wonder why this isn’t working for everyone.


  33. 33

    Chris Ford

    In the end I just abandoned my Google Apps for Domains account and moved us over to fresh vanilla Google accounts.

    DNS is setup to forward domain emails to the correct Google accounts. We now get contacts working across all Google products mail, talk, reader, wave and simple iPhone integration.

    Was complicated at first; had problems with talk friends and calendar invites but we have not lost any useful functionality and gained a while bunch.

    Apps for Domains provides a walled garden of lowest common denominator functionality, which is probably good for most of the true target market but bad for the early adopters who jumped on before it became clear that new capabilities wouldn’t just turn up at the same time as they did on Vanilla accounts.

    Haven’t lost anythi

  34. 34

    Rob Butler

    @riotryan You can open a Google account with your Google Apps email address but you end up with 2 address books, and not full integration like you get in GMail.
    Look at your contacts in Google apps and then goto http://www.google.com/contacts – are they the same? (The contacts are also useful for Picasaweb if you like to tag your photos with your contacts).

  35. 35


    Gina — I’ve been using a Google App called “Shared Contacts” for a few months that I realy like. It was a little tricky to set up across the Gmail/Google Apps for my Domain, but now that it’s running, it works quite well:


  36. 36


    Gina – nice article, thanks!

    I’m a Mozilla Thunderbird user and use the zindus addon to sync contacts between my gmail and apps accounts. Not relevant to me but it looks like the zindus developer/s are entertaining a firefox version of the addon too.

    I’m happy with my current setup but I wonder what Google’s final solution will be – a feature to allow different accounts to use the same set of contacts?

  37. 37


    Gina, great post as always.

    Can you answer a very simple questions re. Google Apps that I have been struggling with for days?

    I run a small business with one user (ME!), but with multiple email accounts, e.g. feedback@domain.com, admin@domain.com and sales@domain.com.

    Is there a way for me to login with my admin@domain.com address into Google Apps and check/read/answer/action email sent to the other email accounts (feedback and sales)? It sounds tedious to have to login to each account separately just to check email when I’m the only user and Administrator? I am comparing this to my current setup where I use my own GMail address but with POP, reply-to addresses for my business…it’s tedious and messy, but gets email from all email addresses to my ONE GMail account for me to read and respond.

    I’m hoping there’s an elegant solution that I haven’t seen or discovered yet.

    Many thanks and as always, keep up the excellent work.

  38. 38


    Hi Gina,

    I googled this post after listing to you talk about this issue on TWiG.

    I really don’t have anything to add, your post and commenter have covered the issue pretty well. Just want to add my voice to the chorus of Google Apps users (Premier in my case) who are struggling with the Google Apps/Gmail problem.

    I told a couple of my friends, who I know are dealing with the same issues, to check out your blog. I hope Google is listening.

  39. 39

    Rob Butler

    To bakhlawa – you need to assign aliases (dashboard – users – click on a user) to add extra email addresses to a single account (you would probably have to migrate mail from these accounts and close them before you could reuse the names)
    Or you could just use forwarding from the Google Mail settings and forward all email into one account.

    I’m torn between Google Apps and a Google account – I like the joined up functionality of Google accounts but having a slick custom logo and branded interface is much nicer and far more professional on printouts than my GMail one (what a difference a new logo makes!)

  40. 40


    Thanks Rob. What I’m really trying to answer is: when I respond to mail in Google Apps that came through an alias, will the reply-to and from address automatically default to the alias address or will they seem to the user as they came from the main account?

    e.g., I have an admin@domain.com email address and alias setup for feedback@domain.com. When mail comes to feedback@domain.com at the admin address:

    1. Will replies to mails to the feedback address appear to the receiver with a From: and Reply-To: address of feedback@domain.com or admin@domain.com?

    2. For new emails, can I set a From: address to an alias, e.g., feedback email address?

    You see, I am currently living in GMail with access to feedback and admin email addresses through POP access. It’s messy because my business email is getting mixed in my personal account.

    I would be happy to move to Google Apps, but I’m the only user with multiple email addresses. I just want to login once and check all emails in Google Apps and reply on behalf of each address without having to log back in as another user. Possible or am I just making this too complicated?

  41. 41

    Andre Kuzmicheff

    I had run in to this issue as soon as I started using Google Apps. Some of my teammates even had called me too curious and had blamed me for setting our small company’s accounts in such a complex way. Thank you all for posting your comments, I know now I’m not the only one! Almost every use case mentioned in the article does apply to me, except the Android situation, since I work on iPhone. I have three accounts, two Google Accounts and one Google Apps account. My decision was to stop winding up on this disconnect between all of my accounts and work out a strategy that would keep my day relatively stressless. I use Google Account (kuzmicheffATglowingmind.net) and Google Apps account (kuzmicheffATglowingmind.net) in one browser, and those do not conflict so far. My third account (kuzmicheffATgmail.com) is kept aside until the moment Google resolves its multiple account issue, and I will become able to use Google Voice (I have really sweet number reserved in that one) and Google Wave with my Google Apps account. Let’s all hope that Googlers will deliver some solution to this problem, given the frequency with which they deliver new features for Google Apps. That means to me they really aim at increasing their sales, but it will unlikely happen, if this problem remains.

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