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What is Google Apps?

written by: cjohnson•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 10/9/2008

Do you want an easy way to enhance your organization's ability to collaborate and communicate? Find out what makes Google Apps one of the most powerful tools on the web.

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    Google Apps allows users to utilize several Google services on their own domain. The standard and education editions are free, while the premium version charges an annual fee per user. By allowing workgroups to outsource infrastructure and hosting maintenance costs to Google, Apps becomes a handy solution for small businesses, families, schools, sports teams, or any other organization with limited resources.

    If you don’t have a domain, Google has also teamed up with GoDaddy and eNom to offer domain name registrations for $10 per year, and the domains are preconfigured to work with the Google Apps service.

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    What is Included in Google Apps?

    All editions of Google Apps offer the following Google-hosted services:

    • Start Page (like iGoogle)
    • Google Talk
    • Google Calendar
    • GMail
    • Google Docs and Spreadsheets
    • Google Sites

    Like all of Google’s products, the services are easily accessible from anywhere on any internet-enabled device, and offers IMAP, POP, and mobile support. The user interfaces can be customized and branded through colors and fonts, and can even integrate a business logo.

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    How Google Apps for Your Domain Works

    Google Apps allows these services to work specifically for your domain. For example, if your domain name is, you can configure e-mails to be sent from, so that it looks like it’s coming from your website, but is actually hosted on GMail. You could also customize your web addresses so that you can access your Google calendar at, or your start page at All of these services continue to remain hosted on Google. Domain administrators can also easily create and manage other user accounts from the central Google control panel.

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    Standard and Premium Editions

    The free ad-supported standard edition includes 7.17 GB of e-mail storage and 10 GB of Google Sites storage, and is more than enough for most small organizations. The education edition for educational institutions is also free, and offers add-on security and compliance software that can be purchased at a 66% discount. A non-profit edition is also available.

    Google Apps Premier Edition offers all of the services of the Standard Edition and also includes:

    • 25 GB GMail storage
    • Disabled GMail ads
    • Postini powered e-mail security and archiving
    • Google Calendar resource scheduling
    • Private video sharing through Google Video
    • E-mail and phone support
    • HTTPS access through SSL enforcement
    • API integration

    Upgrading to the premier edition costs $50 per user, per year.

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    The advantages of Google Apps are clear. It allows you to harness the functionality, power, ease, and technology of Google services in one central location on your own domain. Without any additional hardware, software, hosting space, or costs, you can have a whole suite of tools to enable your organization to communicate and collaborate more effectively and productively.