Why use Google Apps?

We are a Google Apps for Work reseller and have been for several years now. We haveve also used Google Apps in our business for nearly 5 years now. This post is about why you should consider using Google Apps.

Low Ongoing Cost

People are always amazed when I explain to them that we can set up an email solution where the ongoing cost per user can be as low as $5AUD per month. Compared to traditional offerings such as exchange, this is very affordable. We have a varying initial setup cost for Google Apps based on a few different requirements – however it has never exceeded the cost of an exchange server!

You can still use se your own domain

If you’re using an @gmail address or @hotmail address for your business you probably shouldn’t. With domain names currently at such low prices there really is no excuse to not identify your brand in your email.

Sync between Devices

Do you find sometimes if you’ve drafted an email on one devices, or sent/deleted etc on one device the changes don’t sync to your other devices? Using Google apps your changes sync across devices. If you’re using an iPhone, and Android or the website the changes are reflected everywhere so you can be sure that you are seeing up to date information and not be worried about whether you may or may not have already sent something.

Distributed Network

You have the advantage of Google’s own servers hosting your email. In the several years that we’ve sold and supported Google Apps the only outages we’ve ever come across had nothing to do with Google. It was either people had let a domain expire or they had changed settings that should not have been changed. Google have multiple servers all over the world that provide the Google Apps  service.

You aren’t running the risk of that one computer in your office that handles your email suddenly failing when you use Google Apps – it’s all stored in the cloud, so as long as you have the internet – you’ll be able to get your emails.


Google Apps will work on a web browser, iPhone, Android, iPad etc. The major devices as well also now have apps that do specific functions from the Google Apps suite for example the Sheets App for spreadsheets or the Docs app for documents.

File Sharing

If you’re a client of Instant Technology you would be aware that we share all documentation with you after we complete or update any of your equipment. We do this using Google Drive. It is secured by email i.e. if you invite a person to a file or folder they are the only person that can see it. Even though you can restrict access you can also allow some files to be public – you may want to do this if you have a page on a website that uses content from a file to update.

One of the other great things about Google Drive is the ability to work collaboratively.  If you click here you will see a great example of how this can work. Remember as well you’ve got the ability to collaborate with people outside of your business using these tools as well.

Advanced Search & Spam Filtering

One thing I’ve loved demonstrating to people before they jump on board with Google Apps is just how powerful search is. You can search for the contents within an email, you can specify if you want to see things that include attachments or do not, a persons email. If you’re neat and organise things into folders (Google refers to these as “labels”) you can also search within a label very easily. I know some people that have not even bothered to use labels as they find that the search functionality is powerful enough to find them what they need quickly.

Google also monitors your email for any incoming spam messages and appropriately allocates them to a Spam folder. From there you can either mark them as not spam if they were incorrectly tagged – or – you can click delete forever. Google then uses this data to make sure that both yourself and other Google users don’t ever have that email enter your inbox ever again.

Other Common Questions We Get Asked

Can I use aliases?

The short answer is yes. Google have two ways of using aliases, if only one person needs to see that particular email address you can just add that alias to a user.

If you want multiple people to receive that email then you can add a group that has public posting permissions. There is currently no additional charge for alias addresses or group email addresses with Google.

Can I transfer my existing emails to Google?

Yes – however depending on your current service offering this may take some time to transfer the data. Especially in Australia with our poor upload speeds we have had some transfers that have taken several days to fully upload.

I’m currently using hotmail won’t I miss emails being sent there?

No, we ask a lot of questions before we get started with setting up Google Apps, one being who is your current email provider. Nearly all hosts allow you to forward your ongoing emails into your new Google Apps account, so you shouldn’t miss a thing.

Will I Still Have a Calendar?

Yes, and just like sheets and Gmail the changes will sync across your devices as long as you’ve set them up that way. You have the ability to share calendars with your colleagues as well.

Is it secure?

Yes – we recommend that everyone uses two-step authentication with Google Apps (and really with any application that supports two-step you should use it). On top of using two-step authentication Google also have a site called My Account (https://myaccount.google.com/) that can give you data on where someone last signed in, and provide advice on keeping your account more secure.

Remember though security is really in the hands of the user, never share your passwords, never use simple or easy to guess passwords and make sure that you have policies or procedures in place for if someone loses a device or has a device stolen.

How do I get started?

If you are interested in using Google Apps or have any further questions please get in Contact with us so we can discuss your specific requirements. You will need an existing domain name and your login details for it (or we can register one for you if you don’t have one), a list of the email addresses you would like to use if you are brand new to email – or – a list of all of the current email addresses that you currently use.

It is also great if you can let us know what email service you currently use, but if you aren’t sure don’t worry as we can find out easily for you.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Chrome No Longer Downloading PDF Files

I got caught out with this myself a few weeks back and have had a few other people ask me about it since. I am guessing that Google have pushed an update to chrome that has caused this.

Anyway – to turn it OFF goto this site in your chrome browser chrome://plugins/ click the photo below to see what this looks like.

About:plugins Google Chrome
About:plugins Google Chrome

You will see in the above photo there’s a button for Enable under Chrome PDF Viewer, you will most likely find yours will say disable. All you need to do is click disable and it will turn of the Preview feature for PDF files and then download them to your computer instead of showing you the document.


Run Multiple Instagram Accounts – Android

We have been asked this quite a few times only to find out that Instagram does not really support it but there is a couple of options:

1. Download an alternative app for Instagram that will let you sign into your alternative account, the down side of this is there really isn’t any that are as simple and easy to use as Instagram

2. This is our preferred method, in Android 5.0 Lollipop user accounts is now available on smart phones as well as tablets. So we simply added another user, downloaded Instagram in that user account and then signed in to our alternative. It works very easily because if you want to use your second account – just swipe down the main menu and then tap the other account – you’ll then be able to open Instagram as the other user without having to log out/log in – Happy Days!

On the topic of Instagram, in July they released Layout (Android and iPhone) you no longer need to use InstaPic or similar to get those multiple frame shots – we’ve been using the Layout App and it works really well.

Unfortunately Google Play Services has Stopped Working Fix (CM12)

If like me you run CM12 custom roms you have probably seen this error pop up and read all the articles about clearing caches, uninstalling play store and then realised that none of it worked.

The only fix I’ve seen work is this:

Download libjavacore.so to your phone. Then open root browser or another root file explorer and rename the file on your phone /system/lib/libjavacore.so to libjavacore.so.old

Then, copy the new file you downloaded to /system/lib/libjavacore.so

Thats it – the annoying error should disappear.

Thanks to @arter97 and @temasek for investigating and posting this fix.

Chrome Freeze in OSX when trying to attach files

I’ve ran across this problem recently and have seen that it happens to quite a few people using chrome.

You are using Gmail, or another online site and click on a button to add an attachment or upload a file and all of a sudden chrome freezes and you see the coloured spinning wheel of death as people refer to it as.

You then need to Force Quit chrome to continue working.

To fix this, you need to delete two files:

com.apple.finder.plist and com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

Seems simple, but they are in the Library Folder which is hidden is OSX. However, to access it all you need to do is Open Finder, Click on the Go Menu then press Alt on your keyboard. Magically, you should see an option for Library appear that you can click on.

Once you have clicked on Library the files we need to delete are stored in the Preferences folder. So open it up, find the files and drag them to Trash, or if you want to keep the files rename them so you can revert if necessary.

The next step is to log out/restart your computer and log back in. This is because upon logging in OSX will recreate the two files we have deleted.

At this point – check if you can add attachments normally as this should have fixed the issue.


Samsung Galaxy S i9000 – improve speed and GPS

The samsung Galaxy S i9000 was Samsungs flagship phone that was released to be a main competitor to Apple’s iPhone.

Although the Galaxy S was quite comparable specifications wise to the iPhones of the same era the software was no where near as polished as what iOS was and several people experienced issues with lagging response.

I purchased one of the i9000 handsets when they were released as I knew that Googles android operating system that comes with it was an open source platform – not closed like iOS. I wanted to see how far the Android OS and the devices had come since I initially used an HTC Dream running Android 1.1.

There was a significant jump between 1.1 and 2.2 that the Galaxy S shipped with, the interface was much more polished however lacked operational speed. Everyone hates slow technology. Disappointed I began to research whether others had speed issues and what they had done to solve them.

One of the main reasons these phones lagged so badly with the original software was that Samsung used their own filesystem that meant that large cachces of write operations would bank up and then all be passed to the disk at a single point in time.

I continued to search and found a custom firmware called Darkys ROM. This ROM set the stage for many others by using an ext2 filesystem – commonly used in linux distributions. I installed this ROM and needless to say my speed issue was resolved and many other abilities were available using this particular firmware.

Software is only one issue they have had though – GPS locking was another let down. Many of the alternative firmwares offered fixes for this by changing the GPS servers – however the most successful modification to strengthen your GPS signal is to remove the black tape covering the antenna that is right next to where your sim card it. Be very careful removing it though, use a small flatblade and slowly lift the tape and it will reveal the antenna.