Most Popular Google Apps Questions

What is Google Apps?

Google Apps for Education is a suite of applications, or 'apps', which are being rolled out to replace the email and calendar functionality currently being provided by GroupWise.

Included within the core Google Apps suite is Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Chat, and Groups (used for distribution lists and more).

When will I begin using my Google Apps account?

All members of University staff will begin to use Google Apps from Monday, 17th December 2012 (also known as 'G-Day').

How do I log in to Google Apps?

From 17th December, you will be able to login to your Google Apps account by visiting mail.port.ac.uk or calendar.port.ac.uk.

Simply enter the first part of your email address (firstname.lastname), your standard University network password, and then click 'Sign in'.

What will happen to existing emails and calendar appointments?

Your existing emails, folder structure and sent emails will automatically be migrated into Google Apps, along with all past, current and future appointments.

See the Migration Information document for a full list of what will and will not be migrated to Google Apps.

Can archives be migrated to Google Apps?

Yes, but there are a few actions that you will need to take if you would like your email archive to be migrated to Google Apps. See our detailed GroupWise Archive Migration Guide.

What do I need to do now?

Most of your data will automatically be migrated to Google Apps. To ensure everything else - including your email archive - is migrated correctly, every member of staff must complete the Pre-migration Checklist before 17th December.

Can I try Google Apps now?

In the run-up to G-Day we've organised briefing sessions, which includes a demonstration of key features within Google Apps, and drop-in centres, which will provide a chance to try out the Google Apps service. See our Events page for dates and times.

What will happen on G-Day?

On 07:00 on Monday 17th December, all members of staff will be able to access their Google Apps accounts. During this day, around 80 members of Information Services staff will be available around the campus to offer support to users.

For a detailed breakdown of what will happen before, on, and after G-Day, view the Project Timeline

Will I still be able to access GroupWise?

GroupWise will still be available on a 'read-only' basis until 18th January 2013. It will not be possible to send or receive emails during this time.

Will my email address change?

All members of staff will retain their current University of Portsmouth email address.

Will generic accounts be migrated to Google Apps?

All generic email accounts will automatically be migrated, and will be assigned to the members of staff who should be able to access them on G-Day. 

Calendars that are linked to generic accounts cannot be migrated automatically - view the Generic Calendar guide for more information.

Will proxy access (delegated access) still be available?

Proxy access - known as delegated access in Google Apps - to other user's accounts will not be setup automatically, but the process is very simple and instructions will be provided in the Post-migration Checklist.

Any generic accounts you are authorised to access will be available on G-Day; just click on your username in the top-right corner of the screen and select the desired account.

Can I access Google Apps on my mobile device?

It is easy to synchronise your mobile device to receive your Google Apps email, calendar and contacts. Full instructions can be found in the Mobile Users section of this website.

Will I have access to Google Drive, and Google Sites?

Google Drive (previously Docs) and Google Sites will be available to all members of staff to allow them to work collaboratively on documents and projects. Note that training is not currently provided for these applications, and Information Services staff are unable to support these services.

Requirements, Language Support & Accessibility

Which web browsers can I use with Google Apps?

Staff are strongly recommended to use Mozilla Firefox to access Google Apps. On standard University PCs, Firefox can be accessed from the Start Menu by clicking on All Programs > General Applications > Internet > Firefox.

Google Apps can however be accessed from any web browser, provided that you have an internet connection.

What languages does Google Apps support?

The interface for both Google Apps Mail and Calendar are available in over 50 languages. For a list of the available languages and instructions on how to set a different language, refer to the Google Help Center.

Does Google Apps support screen readers?

Most Google Applications support the following screen readers:

  • Firefox / Internet Explorer: JAWS
  • Safari: VoiceOver
  • Chrome: ChromeVox
For full information on Google Apps and Accessibility, view the Google Accessibility Website.

Project Information

Why are we moving away from GroupWise?

GroupWise is not a cost-effective email and calendar solution, and requires a huge amount of time and effort just to keep it running day-to-day.

In spite of all this effort, certain components of the service - for example Webmail, which allows people to connect via the internet - are becoming increasingly unreliable. GroupWise also has no satisfactory solution for working via mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets.

Why are we moving to Google Apps for Education?

Because Google Apps for Education is hosted by Google, it requires very little maintenance and provides an extremely cost-effective email and calendar solution.

In addition, because all University students are using Google Apps, it allows us to consolidate our email services and will allow staff to work much more closely with students. Finally, Google Apps has a much better level of mobile support than GroupWise and is very easy to access off campus.

Click here for full information on why the University is moving to Google Apps for Education.

Other Google Apps Information

What are the main differences between Google Apps and GroupWise?

Although there are number of differences between how the two services work, Google Apps does provide almost all of the same features as GroupWise.

Full details on the differences between GroupWise and Google Apps will shortly be available on this web site.

Are there folders within Google Apps?

Yes, but they are called Labels, which sometimes confuses people! Labels can be used in the exact same way as folders in GroupWise, but they have many more options.

Is there anything that could be done in GroupWise that cannot be done in Google Apps?

The following features will no longer be possible within Google Apps:

  • Email status and retraction: It will not be possible to view the status of sent mail (such as read, deleted) and it will only be possible to retract mail within a window of around 20-30 seconds. It should be noted that currently, status tracking and retraction are only available for internal emails within the desktop and web-based versions of GroupWise.
  • 'Sender-side' mail prioritisation: It is not possible to mark emails with markers such as 'Important' or 'Reply requested' (but these can be included within the subject or body of the message).
  • Delegated access permission levels: It will not be possible to grant read only access to your mailbox. Note that if you allow another user to access your mailbox, any emails sent by them on your behalf will be marked as such.
  • Shared folders: It is not possible to share an individual folder (or 'label') within Google Apps. Information can either be saved to shared location such as the K: drive or EDM, or you can grant delegated access to your account to allow other people to view the information.

Will there be adverts in Google Apps?

There will be no adverts at all shown within Google Apps core services, which includes Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Groups, Drive and Sites.

Will Google harvest information from my emails?

All data within the port.ac.uk domain (including emails, appointments, contact details, documents and websites) are solely owned by the University of Portsmouth. Google will not perform any kind of data mining on this information, and Google employees will only access the domain when given express permission to do so by the University for purposes such as troubleshooting.

Service Desk:

On campus:
ext. 7777
Off campus:
02392 84 7777