Friday, September 24, 2010

Multiple Google accounts on Android

Not long after I bought an Android phone (the HTC Legend if you're interested), I decided to sign up for a Google Apps account. Fundamentally, I did this for email. I own a domain ( which I wanted to use for email, and my primary account at the time was my University account, soon to expire after I graduate! So I thought this would cure all my ills.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get this Google Apps account to sync with my Android phone, despite the promise that it should from all official places. The problem: the sync setup wizard doesn't work after the first run when you first switch on the phone. In some cases, it doesn't even work after a factory reset, but that's a different story!

So Googling about this problem today, I came across a ticket for the problem on Google Code. I voiced my frustration, and then a kind user pointed me to his solution: the YouTube app!

So how, I hear you ask, can the YouTube app help?

  1. Open the YouTube app, press menu and select 'My account'
  2. If you've used the app before, it's likely you'll be signed in with your default Google account automatically. No problem: press menu>Log out, then go back to step one.
  3. You'll see an option to sign in with a different account, or jump straight to a log on screen. Do your business with the Google Account you want to add to your phone.
  4. Here's the interesting bit: if it's a Google Apps account, it may appear not to work. For me, it claimed my username or password were incorrect (they weren't). But wait…
  5. Press home, then menu and select 'Settings'>'Accounts & sync'. Notice anything new?
  6. Select your account in the list, then check all the service you'd like to sync. As if by magic, they'll start to work with all the apps on your phone!

So there you have it. I hope you find this tip as useful as I did! And with any luck, Google might actually fix this in the future…

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