Many of the organizations I work with have “Gone Google.” Google Apps powers the organization’s email and shared calendars. Everyone stores files on Google Drive, although fewer people switch entirely to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Often, organizations switch to Google Apps without switching to Google’s apps. People access Google Apps with Internet Explorer (on Windows) or Safari (on Mac), instead of Chrome. As a result, people forgo functionality — such as the ability to work with Google Apps offline — and miss features, such as the ability to sync browser information across devices.
More often, organizations use Google Apps without deploying Google’s mobile apps. People access Gmail with Apple’s Mail app on iOS, or browse the web with Samsung’s browser on Android. The user experiences differ from those of Google’s mobile apps for the same tasks.
Four essential apps: install; log in
If you use Google Apps, I recommend you install four apps to use with Google Apps.
On Windows and Mac systems:
1. Install the Chrome browser (http://google.com/chrome)
On Android, iPhone and iPad devices, install Google’s ...
2. Gmail app (Android / iOS)
3. Chrome browser app (iOS), and
4. Google Drive app (Android / iOS).
Next, log in to each of these four apps using your Google Account username and password.
Consistent data on any device
The major benefit of using these apps is consistency: you’re always looking at the same set of information, regardless of the device. Browse to a site on your laptop, then find that site later on your phone by accessing your browsing history. Start an email on your phone, then access the draft in your browser later. View and edit a document on any device. Google Apps makes it possible, but you need Google’s apps to make it work.
Andy Wolber helps people understand and leverage technology for social impact. He resides in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife, Liz, and daughter, Katie.