12 years ago, in 2010, I created a free Google Apps account using a dynamic DNS hostname because I thought it was so cool to have my own personal Google account with a custom domain. Being a broke high school student at the time, it was the coolest thing ever. I still think it’s cool! The dynamic DNS hostname still exists today, and I can still receive emails destined to it. Eventually, I added injabie3.tk, and then tacked on injabie3.moe before finally getting rid of injabie3.tk when it got wiped off the face of the earth.
At the end of 2012, Google deprecated this offering of Google Apps, no longer offering it for new signups. As time passed, additional features, such as the ability to add additional domains with automatically aliased email addresses and email routing, were removed from the free Google Apps offering. Instead, they went the paywall of the paid offering. At some point, the branding of Google Apps also changed to G Suite, and finally to Google Workspace as we know it today.
Although it’s old news at this point, Google is finally getting rid of this legacy software as a service (SaaS) offering for good at the end of June 2022. As the saying goes, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”, so honestly, I am thankful for them to have supported it for this long.
There have been some great things I liked about Google Apps. First, Google offered up to 50 free users per account. I had one account for scripts, and another for catch all, so I didn’t have to mix the two. Second, Google Groups with custom mailing list addresses on your own domain were great. It allowed for better permission management for documents (I didn’t use organizational units)
I’m probably going to pay for a single user license because I do have scripts and a bunch of home infra that uses Gmail for logs and notifications, like my NAS, and I like my domain name. I thought about self-hosting my email, but I don’t want to really set up that infrastructure at the moment. For me, email needs to “just work”, so I want to reduce the amount of downtime there. The license costs ~$8 CAD per month, so this will replace a “coffee” or bubble tea (they’re getting expensive these days!) that I might get when I go out on a weekend. But yeah, I still have time to sort out my scripts that use email before I get myself tied up there.
Anyways, that’s enough from me and my reminiscing. Until next time!