Multiple Google Account Sigin Just Got Easier

My Google Account Chooser

My Google Account Chooser

I use Google Apps at work and Google for my personal account as well, this means that sometimes I have to take a few steps to log in to both accounts at once. Google has tried to make it easier with the new Account Chooser.

It works by linking one Google account to the others, so when you’re signed into account #1 it knows you should have access to accounts #2, #3, and so on. Some users will see a preview link on the sign-in page when they visit it, but if you want to enable the new feature now you can just visit Google’s account chooser help doc for complete instructions.

Found via Lifehacker.

Google to buy Frommer’s?

My travel bookshelf is heavy on the Frommer's

My travel bookshelf is heavy on the Frommer’s

This from The Next Web:

Word on the street via The Wall Street Journal is that Google is acquiring the Frommer’s brand of travel guides for an undisclosed amount in order to beef up its travel-planning searches.

What remains to be see is whether Frommer’s will continue to have paper guides published, or whether the entire product will go digital.

I am a huge huge fan of Frommer’s books and actually don’t use the web resources much even though I keep saying I will. I buy a new Frommer’s book for every big trip and carry it around with me. While I love my Android and my Google Now feature (which this article poses will be improved with this data) I still want my Frommer’s books and hope that they don’t go away.

Hacking and a rant on texting

Drawing of a key by John LeMasney via 365sketches.org

I just finished reading an article by Mat Honan on how his digital life was hacked and totally destroyed due to one hacker who just wanted to get his hands on Mat’s 3 letter Twitter handle. This is a must read! More and more of our lives are in the cloud and more and more of our content accessible via other accounts (Google linked to Twitter linked to Amazon linked to iCloud …) making it easy to get in to all of them with info for just one.

Drawing of a key by John LeMasney via 365sketches.org

One of the things that Mat recommends is to turn on two factor security in Google (and so do others). So I went right to that because I am an Android phone user and have an Android tablet and Google is my life. Here’s where it gets tricky though! In order to do this I have give them my cell phone number so they can text me, well I don’t pay for a texting plan because why bother when I have data and Google Voice. Why waste my money each month on a texting plan that I don’t need to send texts? So, now where am I? Forced to pay per text so I can set up this two factor security? Of course I’m going to do it, but I’m just annoyed at the number of services out there that assume that you have a texting plan and don’t accept VOIP texting services (like Google’s own). I also get automated messages sometimes from new sites I sign up with or new services (like my new salon) I make appointments with – what is up with that? There was a time that no one would send a text without first asking if it was going to cost you to receive it?

Anyway, the real point of this post was to point you to this very important article on how hackers can get in to your accounts so you can protect yourself … the rant was just to make me feel better :)

If you’re using the extra authentication in Google I’d love to hear if you think it’s worth it and if it’s easy enough to use and if it sends more than one text message so I can budget for using it ;)

Google Reader Pet Peeve

Screen Shot 2012-07-23 at Mon, Jul 23 - 11.05 AM

So, in getting started again with reading blogs and writing here I decided to go through my Google Reader account and clean things up. I’m actually very surprised that three years after my last Google Reader rant the same problems still exist.

Hopefully I’m wrong and one of you can help me. I want to be able to share a list of blogs that I subscribe to. I find lists like this very useful in finding blogs that I might not know about and I want to share with you all, but I do not see any way I can do this in Google Reader. It seems that you can share individual posts, but not a list of your subscriptions.

Being an Android phone and Android tablet user I want to use Google Reader, but I need some tips on making it do some of the things I want it to do.

Any tips??

Logging in to Multiple Google Accounts

I use Google for everything! I have my personal Google account and all the apps associated with that and I also use Google Apps at work. Up until now that wasn’t a big deal, I just opened up two Firefox tabs and logged in to one account in each. This week however, Google forced those using Google Apps to transition their accounts. What this means is that you can only be logged in to one account at a time … or so I thought. I posted on Twitter and Facebook that I was not happy with this new transition and many librarians came to my aid pointing out that I could in fact log in to both at the same time still … it’s just a slightly different process. For those of you in my situation who are still using multiple browsers to access you multiple accounts, here are some tips for you:

  1. Log in to one of your Google accounts
  2. Visit your Account Settings
    • If you’re on Google+ your settings page will look like this:
    • If you’re in Google Apps or not on Google+ yet your settings might look like this
  3. Click ‘Edit’ next to Multiple sign-on
  4. Turn on the ability to sign on to multiple accounts
  5. Save your changes
  6. Click on your name or email address in the top right of the screen
  7. Click ‘Switch Account’ (here is where I go annoyed cause I thought I’d have to switch between accounts and couldn’t have them both open at once – but fear not)
  8. Click ‘Sign in to another account…’ and sign in
  9. Once you’re signed in to both you can visit your mailboxes in two different tabs just by entering the right URL for each (I for example go to gmail.com for my personal and then go to a ByWater specific URL for my Google Apps)

    • If you’re logging in to two Google personal accounts just open Gmail in two tabs and in one of them choose to switch to the other account you’re logged in as (it should work this way)

Hopefully that helps some of you who messaged me and said that you were still having problems getting in to two accounts at once. Of course if you have one personal Google account and one business one you should know that the Google Apps for Business service doesn’t have all the apps that the Google personal does, so there are some services that you just can’t access this way while logged in to your business account.

If you have other tips to share, please put them in the comments so others can learn from your experiences.

Google and Data

Two new(ish) tools from Google make it easier to examine and organize your data. Back in November they announced Google Refine (which looks totally awesome if I do say so myself):

Google Refine is a power tool for working with messy data sets, including cleaning up inconsistencies, transforming them from one format into another, and extending them with new data from external web services or other databases. Version 2.0 introduces a new extensions architecture, a reconciliation framework for linking records to other databases (like Freebase), and a ton of new transformation commands and expressions.

And this week was the announcement for opening up the Public Data Explorer to be used against your own data:

Today, we’re opening the Public Data Explorer to your data. We’re making a new data format, the Dataset Publishing Language (DSPL), openly available, and providing an interface for anyone to upload their datasets. DSPL is an XML-based format designed from the ground up to support rich, interactive visualizations like those in the Public Data Explorer. The DSPL language and upload interface are available in Google Labs.

If I had more time to play with organizing and analyzing data I would be playing with these tools! Instead I’m sharing the info with you all so you can tell me your experiences!!

Google Maps Labs

Okay this is just sad. Apparently Google Maps has had a link to Labs since at least February, but I just noticed it today. I have used Labs before in my email and like the idea of adding new features to Google Maps – i just wish I was more observant and had seen this sooner.

My favorite new feature is the ability to draw a box on the map and have the map zoom to your selection!

Gmail Priority Inbox

I read a few tweets yesterday about people using the new Gmail Priority Inbox and was very jealous. Today I see that it has been activated on my Google Apps account (but not my Gmail account yet).

This new feature is about organizing your inbox more efficiently. Google tries to determine what types of messages are important to you and which are less so. Having this enabled on my work account isn’t really that helpful because everything that comes through there is important – but I can’t wait to see it on my personal email box where I get all kinds of messages from mailing lists and unsolicited sources.

I’d love to hear what others are experiencing with this new feature – and if you’re still not a Gmail user, I highly recommend you jump in and give it a whirl!

New Gmail

I just logged into Gmail to find that things are changed – not much, but changed just the same.


Things look a bit cleaner and I love that my contacts are now at the top of the screen (before they were below my ton of labels). I’m also checking out the changes to contacts which were much needed for someone like me who uses my Google contacts for everything.