Stochastic Scribbles
Random musings in a variety of subjects, from science to religion.

Moving off of Google Apps

I’ve been a loyal user of Google Apps, a.k.a. Google for Work, for the past few years. The big draw was being able to use email addresses such as, which provided an email address with my own domain. It also gave me the ability to create a new email address for every separate place which asked for an email address which got sent to a single inbox, since I was paranoid about spam and wanted a way to be able to track who leaked my email address to spammers. For a while, using Google Apps worked reasonably well.

Unfortunately, I’ve been finding it increasingly harder to stick with Google Apps. Its stability and existing functionality is fine, but the unfortunate reality is that new features in Google can take forever to get released to Google Apps. My own configuration is set up to use a “Rapid Release” schedule, but unlike what it’s supposed to do, it can take years for some new feature to be released to Google Apps. For example, Google Now for Google Apps accounts still do not support email content, which takes away a huge part of what makes Google Now awesome. More recently, family plans for Google Play Music does not support Google Apps accounts.

As someone who actually does work at Google, I can’t talk much about the reasons for these problems (especially since I still find them quite mysterious myself), except to say that the situation is unfortunately not going to change soon. The spam reduction strategy I had hoped with my Google Apps account has also turned out to be less effective than I had hoped; part of it is that I often can’t remember which email address I used previously when I need to resume correspondence, and partly because the primary address I wanted to hide gets leaked out anyway through various channels.

This is why I’m going to try to restart my Google life with my old account. (I’m still going to stick with Google, since I do like its services so much, and I actually want to use the new stuff that I can’t get now.) As a first step, I’m going to start using my old Gmail account again for email, and turn off paying subscriptions I have on my Google Apps account. This will be followed by a migration of my photos, Google Drive data, and Google+ account.

The biggest issue is going to be my Play Store purchases, for which there is currently no way to transfer. If I were so obsessed about it, I could in fact afford to buy all of them from scratch, but I don’t feel filthy rich enough to actually do so. They’ll still be available with the Google Apps account, so it’s no big deal. Who knows? Maybe they can be transferred by the time I moved over most of my stuff.