Google Apps

Google Apps and Mobile Phones

I’ve been using Google Apps for my personal email and calendar solution for a little under a year. With a little DNS magic in my WordPress configuration I get to use gmail with my davefancher.com domain and host my blog here at WordPress. I’ve been really happy with this configuration since I started using it.  Recently the Google Apps service got even better since they expanded it to include most of their other services like reader and youtube. One of the things that this change brought though was an account migration. Today I encountered my first problem and it was a result of the service enhancement.

This evening I went to look at my inbox on my phone (Samsung Focus) and was presented with a not so nice message about using a Google Apps account that isn’t configured to work with mobile devices. The error code was 85010020. The instructions included in the message weren’t particularly helpful but after a bit of searching I ran across a post that gave a bit more info that wasn’t particularly clear but at least provided some direction.  In case anyone else runs into this I wanted to provide a bit more detail and hopefully reduce the pain of trying to find the settings.

As the post I mentioned says there are two things that need to be done to allow syncing mobile devices:

  1. The Google Sync service must be selected for the domain
  2. Google Sync must be enabled for the domain
Both of these settings are found in the Google Apps control panel.  If you’re experiencing this problem follow these steps to resolve it:
  1. Log in to your Google Apps control panel.  This should be http://www.google.com/a/
  2. Click to the “Organization & users” tab
  3. Click the “Services” link
    Services Tab
  4. Locate Google Sync in the services List
  5. Ensure that Google Sync is “On”
    Google Sync Service
  6. If Google Sync was off click the “Save changes” button that appeared at the bottom of the page.
  7. Click to the “Settings” tab
  8. Select the “Mobile” option from the list on the left
  9. Check the “Enable Google Sync” box
    Enable Google Sync
  10. Click the “Save changes” button that appeared at the bottom of the page.
You should now be able to sync your mobile device.
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DaveFancher.com Reloaded

I’ve owned DaveFancher.com for as long as I can remember but I’ve been neglecting it for the past few years.  I’ve neglected it so much that I’ve actually been paying a Web host for e-mail.  That came to an abrupt end tonight.

When I started the site I rolled my own blog and for the most part, it met my needs.  I had a rudimentary rich text editor, I had attachments, I had commenting, I think I even had an RSS feed.  I ultimately got to a point where I wanted to allow drafts, versioning, trackbacks (not that they’d ever be used!), and even ping sites like Technorati but I didn’t have the desire to build any of it.  I just wanted to write.  By the time I reached this point blogging software was coming of age so I started seeking other solutions.

For a while I used Blogger (Blogspot at the time) but I never really liked it although I couldn’t really explain why.  After a long but unproductive run with Blogger/Blogspot I went hunting again.  I checked a few of my friends’ blogs and many of them were using WordPress so I decided to check it out and was hooked almost immediately.

One of the first things I looked into with WordPress was how to self-host.  After all, I was paying for it, right?  Unfortunately it required MySQL which my host didn’t support.  I was kind of disappointed but looked at the hosted option anyway.  WordPress made migrating from Blogger really easy and was so feature-rich I knew it was what I was looking for.  DaveFancher.com would continue to appear abandoned but I wasn’t about to give up my e-mail address.

Fast forward to this evening.  I took the plunge.  I purchased the domain add-on for my WordPress blog, updated the name servers with my registrar, and waited… Amazingly it only took about an hour for the changes to take effect.  But what about e-mail?

As I mentioned, the only reason I’ve really been hanging on to the host was e-mail but the increase in spam over the past few months was becoming an annoyance and was a huge influence on my decision.  Luckily Google offers a free version of Google Apps that makes GMail available to custom domains.  WordPress’s recent addition of DNS editing made it simple to allow Google Apps to manage e-mail.  All I had to do was enter the verification code from Google Apps to let WordPress generate some entries and manually add a few extra CNAME entries to simplify some access.

In the few months since I switched to WordPress I’ve been posting with more frequency than ever before.  Tonight’s changes should give me even more motivation to keep it up.  Now, just a few hours after starting the process DaveFancher.com has a new lease on life thanks to WordPress and Google.