Google added the Apps flexibility we've been waiting for!
This is a huge step for apps users. Although I can't see many businesses enabling a lot of these applications, having them there to enable is extremely satisfying.
It's great to know that I can use Picasa, Youtube, Analytics, and much more from my Apps account rather than "creating an apps google account" or using a google account in general.
There are two big issues for me though,
Buzz is still missing from apps; After all that work enabling all of these apps for us Apps users, how is it possible we're still waiting on Buzz to be offered? 9 months in.. and there's not a sniff of it around. Sure, the little birdies are saying it'll arrive after Apps merge to Google accounts (which is basically what has happened now with the introduction of all these apps) but as per usual, there's no time set and Apps users are left in the dark. Ofcourse, with Buzz heavily integrated into profiles, we're without those also.. initially completely locked out, I've noticed recently Google are letting me view other profiles again.. but naturally that could again change at any time, without warning.
Where are nested domains in Standard edition?; A good few months ago, I had a suggestion. It was the one and only big, game-changing suggestion I had for the Standard version of Apps for users like me; nesting other domains inside a main apps domain. Now, I'm not talking about "domain aliases", I wanted to be able to manage multiple domains as their own entities with their own accounts inside my Apps domain account. Basically it's exactly what the Business (Premier) version currently allows.. but it didn't when I was asking for this.
I talked with random faces of Google (hiding behind an email address with no names) for a long time working out this suggestion, fine tuning it to a point where they understood exactly what I wanted and how it would help me as a consumer. It was the feature I wanted even more than Buzz in Apps - so yeah, pretty important. They let me know the suggestion had been "forwarded to the Apps team".
It then went quiet for a while.
Suddenly, Google Apps for Business (Premier) and Education editions had a brand new feature. Nested domains! Nothing for the Standard version though, no chance.. obviously this suggestion was too good to give away for free.. despite my saying how beneficial it would be for me with my Standard domain.
I was assured though, it'd be rolled out to Standard edition soon! I believe that was 4-5 months ago now.. and, incidentally, that was the last suggestion I was to bring up to the Google Apps Team. To take what I put so much thought and effort into explaining and exactly how I thought it could work, and to then have it dangled just out of my reach was a pretty big pill to swallow. I'm still quite sour over the issue.
I'm hoping Google get it together soon. I've been a happy Apps user for a really long time, and I was comfortable with the fact that there were a lot of things you couldn't do in Apps as it was for business. However, with their announcement that Buzz was coming to apps, and since having to maintain a Buzz account through Gmail for such a long time (my buzz account currently being used was literally just a test account I created for buzz) amongst other things (one of which stated above) I've become increasingly impatient waiting for things to happen.
But who knows, it's Google after all! All of this could change over night (but I doubt it will, because I want it too badly.. and that's the way of the world, right?)
Apologies for the negativity, but I've been sitting on these thoughts for a while. I think Google are awesome just as much as the next guy, but I'm not one to hold back and front a smile when I'm not happy with something.