Back in May of 2010, I signed up for the free version of Google Apps (which I will refer to as GApps from here on out) for my personal, non-business domain onyxmueller.net. There were many reasons to do this. Kevin Purdy (of Lifehacker), pointed out some of his own good reasons not long ago. For me, I saw the potential in having Google host my communication data & sharing tools (e.g., emails, address book contacts, documents, calendar, etc.) for my domain. Some of the motivating factors were:
1) It’s free! This speaks for itself.
2) Cloud-based storage and accessibility of my data.
3) Utilizing the previous factor, my data could be synchronized with my mobile devices (e.g., Android, iOS, Mac OS X). I could literally have my data anywhere, as I wish.
4) Management & service tools that were intuitive and easy to manage (e.g., Gmail!).
5) The best email spam filter I’ve ever used.
So, I signed up and configured GApps core services for my needs. This worked pretty well. But I never thought my GApps hosted domain provided enough benefits to stop using my long-time, personal Google Account (and repective @gmail.com email address). That wasn’t until I found out that Google was going to merge GApps accounts with personal Google Accounts. When this became available and I had gone through with the merger process, a whole slew of services that previously required a personal Google Account were now available for my GApps personal domain. Things like Google Reader, Picasa Web Albums, & Google Voice were all open to my GApps onyxmueller.net domain.
With this now possible, I recently I took the plunge to retire the use of my personal Google Account (including my @gmail.com email address). I still own and access the account/email address, but it mainly only remains to forward emails still being sent to my old address and for other odds & ends. My Google experience (if you will) & email from hereforth, is now being done with my GApps hosted onyxmueller.net personal domain. So far, I’m enjoying the ride.