If you have an Android phone and you use Gmail, you’re in luck. There are plenty of apps for you to choose from that work great, but if you’re a Google Apps email user, the setup is a bit more tricky with most apps because there are currently no specific Android apps for Google App users.
What’s the difference between a Gmail account and a Google Apps account if the email looks the same in a browser?
Google Apps users may have noticed that things are a little different than Gmail. While the mail interface is now the same, that hasn’t always been the case and you can’t login to your Google Apps account through your Gmail address, although there are options, which I’ll discuss later. While a Google App email address can become a Google account or be linked to an existing Google account, a gmail account can’t be used to access a Google Apps account directly.
So what are my options?
First, if you are checking your Google Apps email from Outlook or Thunderbird because that’s how you or your IT department or vendor set it up for you, great. You’ll probably need them to help you set it up on your Android phone as well. This really isn’t for you. But if you check it in a browser or on your Android mobile device already, you are who this article is for. Google provides several web addresses to login to your Google Apps email even if you don’t have a custom domain setup for it such as mail.yourcustomdomain.com. Try placing your domain name after the a/ in http://mail.google.com/a/yourdomainnamehere. Adding a ‘s’ to http makes it secure. Google will change it to https anyway because that is the new default. If you browse here on your mobile phone, chances are Google will redirect you to the mobile version. This is your best option if you want to view pictures in your email. The default Android email app with Sprint’s HTC Hero, which is what we use, does not display pictures in email because it does not support HTML email.
So what is the best Android email app for Google Apps email users?
If you want to see pictures in your email, use an HTML email viewer, of which there are few. This is because Google has had an inline image/html email problem with Android since 2008. MailDroid is said to have success with viewing images, but Google says that the best way is to browse to http://www.google.com/m/a/example.com where example.com is your domain. If you have a T-Mobile G1, then you have pre-installed programs for Google Apps, but otherwise, you’re out of luck and the browser is the best alternative. The only downside to using a browser is there is no push email; there is no alerts when new email is received. This means that you’re stuck constantly checking your email through the browser or not getting inline images or HTML email through your default Android app.
The solution? Use your default Android email app for push email and syncing, but keep an icon to the web address in the browser for viewing inline images (attached images can be downloaded and viewed just fine). This is the work around until Android and it’s apps develop a little further. Remember, it’s new here.
If you or your business needs help or support with Google Apps, please contact us and we’d be happy to consult you.