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My Google Problem (now become my Android Problem)

As many of you know, in addition to my iPad, I also have a Samsung Galaxy Tab. It feels very 1.0 compared to the iPad, but I do find the form factor more accessible for whipping out in certain scenarios like commuting on the train and I also find it useful for several tasks… or at least I did.

You see, I have a Google Problem. I’m a long time early adopter. I was one of the first people with a Gmail Account (back in the days when you could only get in with an invite). I was also one of the first people to start using Google Apps with my domain. I was also one of the first people to start using Google Reader. Unfortunately, at the time, Google Reader was not part of the Google Apps suite and Google did not allow you to be logged into more than one account at the same time. I found myself constantly logging out of my Google Apps Gmail in order to log in to my Google Reader account, and vice versa. OR, I thought I’d magically be logged into one over the other in my various tabs, but eventually it failed and I had to log back in again to one account or another.

But I discovered a workaround. I went to iGoogle and I signed up for a Google account using my Google Apps email address as my login and the same password that I use for that account for this new iGoogle account. This effectively tricked both Google Reader and my Google Apps email address into thinking that everything was logged in correctly.

This workaround worked great until Google decided to add Google Reader to the Google Apps suite and allow multiple accounts to be logged in simultaneously. Ever since then, every so often, when I try to log in to my iGoogle created Google Reader account with all it’s feeds, starred, and shared items, I find myself redirected to my Google Apps Google Reader account, which is entirely empty, doesn’t exist, and it says something like “You should start using Google Reader!” with some marketing speak.

Now the real problem comes into play with Google Sync. Google Sync only ever wants to see my Google Apps account. It doesn’t seem to understand the iGoogle account that isn’t associated with any Gmail account, but which nevertheless has a login identical to an existing Google Apps Gmail account.

Google Sync powers all the magic syncing goodness of Android. So, ever since that awesome new Google Reader app for Android arrived, I haven’t been able to use it. No worries, Newsrob still worked via login and not via Google Sync, so I was able to still read my feeds on the go on the train on my Android device. That was until about 2 days ago. Now suddenly, for whatever reason, Newsrob is no longer able to see my Google Reader iGoogle account. So I am no longer able to read feeds on my Galaxy Tab, except by using the stupid cellphone mobile version of Google Reader in the browser, which is to say, I am effectively no longer able to read feeds on my Galaxy Tab. It has made the device virtually useless to me.

Why not simply move all your feeds to your actual Google Apps Google Reader account, C.K.? I hear you asking. Well, because of this. There is no way to migrate my data from that account to another account.

That is my big Google Problem. It’s also my Android Problem now. Which means it’s also Samsung’s Problem, because it interferes with the usefulness of their device. I have no clear way to fix it myself. That makes this Google’s Problem. And considering I’m most likely not alone in this sort of problem, it’s only one that is going to grow and continue for them.

UPDATE: Good news, everyone! While Google continues to not solve this problem, there is at least a workaround in NewsRob itself, thanks to developer Mariano Kamp. Thanks, @newsrob for the tweet explaining how to enable Classic login! +1 for customer support. If you’re on Android, I highly recommend NewsRob Pro for all your feed reading.