If you are part of the increasing majority, you have a data enabled phone. A big part of having one of these phones is being able to buy applications that are designed to work with native features of the device. With all of the popularity Google has had with their Android Market, they recently debuted Google Apps Marketplace.
Just like the apps you can buy for a device like an Android, Blackberry or iPhone, you can now get both free and paid applications to extend the usability of your Google Apps account. If you are not quite sure what Google apps are, think of it like this. If you have a business, website or blog, you can use Gmail, Docs, Calendar and others with your own domain name.
There are both free and paid versions of the enterprise version of Google Apps. These additions are easily added in a few clicks and really extend the usability and integration of the standard apps we all know and love.
1. Find An App
Finding an app is pretty straight forward. Go to http://www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace.
In the search bar, enter a search term for the kind of app you’d like to find. You may notice some apps are more integrated into your standard Google options than others. As an example, if you are looking for a bookkeeping add-on that ties in with your calendar and docs, you can refine your search by using the box to the left.
In this case, I typed in free. I decided to add Aviary.
2. Install It
Click on Add it now. What happens from here is a basic installation of the app to your Google apps account. In the text box, enter your domain name and click the Go button.
Keep in mind, you need admin access to be able to add apps.
The next screen you should see is terms of service for that app. Click I Agree to move on.
Next is granting the new application permissions.
Once you have allowed the app access to your Google Apps account, you may need to enable and configure the new addition.
3. Use It
When you log into your Google Apps account, you will see a new option in your navigation bar.
When you click on it, you are whisked away to the integrated version of the site.
I have found several applications that are free or allow a small number of users/clients for free. Most of the paid options have a free trial so you can play around with it for a few days before you invest your money. If you are running a small business and want to save a little money, Google Apps Marketplace is a good spot to shop around.
I like the idea of customizing your cloud computing options just like you would a smartphone. As more companies pick up on selling apps in this way, we will really be able to make out web working and surfing experience one of a kind.
How do you see web based add-on app evolving in the near future?