Just minutes ago I had a client forward me a copy of an email that they had just received. The email looked like a standard email that you receive when someone shares a Google Doc with you. The email was from an @gmail.com address. It contained a link to “Open in Docs” and the link was legitimate. When clicking on the link, the following page was displayed:
Google Project Fi
Project Fi has been around now for a little over a year now and has been gaining more and more popularity, especially among those who like to have Google’s flagship phones. I’ve personally been using Fi since August 2015, and I have to say that I’ve been overly impressed with all aspects of my experience from the phone itself to the reliability and flexibility of the service down to the support behind the service. My previous carrier, Sprint, was very disappointing in most of these aspects.
Updated — Google Apps Free – It’s Still Here, Just Hidden — Haha, J/K
Recently, Google announced that they would be discontinuing the Google Apps Standard (Free) Edition of their Google Apps platform. This was kind of lame to hear, especially since Google seems to be so big on offering free stuff to personal/non-profit users. Luckily, I had already created my domains and had them setup on Google apps long before this “discontinuation”, so my account was grandfathered in. In fact, one of my accounts was created back when they offered 50 users in the Google Apps Standard Edition and I have apparently been allowed to keep those 50 licenses for that domain.
At any rate, I am posting because I have recently discovered that it appears Google Apps Standard (Free) Edition still exists. It is just slightly hidden. The trick is to sign up for a Google Apps Business Edition 30 Day Trial. Before your 30 day trial is up, Go into your domain settings and attempt to Cancel your Google Apps account. You will need to not have any users & all market place apps need to be removed as well in order to do be able to get the Cancel option. Upon attempting to cancel your account, you will be presented with 2 options: 1) Downgrade your account to a Google Apps Standard (Free) account — allows no more than 10 users & limits some of the Google Apps functionality, but perfect for those who just need good free webmail service with a custom domain & 1-10 users. Or option 2) Cancel the account immediately.
So for those of you who were wanting to take advantage of Google services with your own custom domain without the cost that businesses pay, this is how you do it. I have not actually gone through these steps. I just happened to notice the option when I was deleting some sub domains for one of my customers so that they could be re-added to their primary Google Apps domain. I did not take the time to test the Google Apps Standard option, but it is there.
Update (4/21/2013 1:57AM): I just attempted to setup a new domain with Google Apps following my method above. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work. The accounts I was toying with must have been grandfathered in to have the ability to downgrade while still in their 30 day trial period. But it appears that new domains do not have the options to become Google Apps Standard accounts period. This is unfortunate, but Outlook.com offers a solution for free (and up to 50 users). See my next post here: Outlook.com & Custom Domains
Protect Your Google Data From Yourself!
Are you one of the many users who has embraced the Google Cloud? If so, then you probably have a lot of data out there that is important to keep. Especially after an accidental deletion. Did you know that Google offers no built-in restore function for your calendar? Once you delete an event, it’s gone. What if some kind of a syncing glitch happens with Outlook and causes your calendar to delete? Or what if you accidentally sync in the wrong direction with a new empty calendar. oops. Now what?
Spanning Backup offers a solution. Integrated, online, incremental and daily backups. With a very simple setup (just sign in with your Google account and authorize Spanning Backup to access your account), you can enable backups for your Google account. These backups allow you to restore data from Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Sites from any point (daily) in time–at least since your first backup of course.
You just have to check it out, here is there website: http://www.spanning.com
They offer a 14-day free trial, no credit card required. After 14-days you can purchase a license, or your account will just be deleted if you decide to not use it after all. If you decide to purchase, be sure to use my link or coupon code below to receive $5 off the annual price of $40 — only $35 per year — The coupon code continues to apply each year!