Google Apps and Google Accounts can access several of the same Google products, they’re separate accounts.

Google Account

A Google Account is a unified sign-in system which gives you access to a variety of free Google consumer products, like Google Groups, Google Shopping List, Picasa, Web History, iGoogle, and more. If you want then you can also sign in to AdWords, AdSense, and Google Checkout. If you’ve used any of these products before that means, you already have a Google Account.

If you use Google’s email service, Gmail, then you already have a Google Account. However, it’s not necessary for you to create a Gmail email address to have a Google Account. If you signed up for any Google service in the past with your own email address (example: your_name@rediffmail.com) this account is also a Google Account. In short, if you sign in to any Google product or service, you already have a Google Account.

Google Apps

Now, Google Apps is a suite of Google applications which brings together for essential services to help your business. This is basically a hosted service, that lets businesses, schools, and institutions use a variety of Google products – like, Email, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Talk – on a unique domain.

For example, if you own the domain name example.com and after that, you sign up for Google Apps services, then everyone at your organization will get:

  • a custom email address (user@example.com)
  • tools for word processing
  • spreadsheets and presentations
  • a shared calendaring system
  • tools for creating web pages and sites for your business
  • access to a flexible intranet system

Difference between Google Account and an Apps account

A Google Account basically provides access to products administered by Google; and Google Apps provides access to products powered by Google but administered by an organization. If you get a product which is available through both Google Accounts and Google Apps , and you’re using the same email address for both accounts, then you’ll be automatically signed in to your Apps account (the account with your business, school, or other organization). If you want to resolve this issue, then just change the email address associated with your Google Account.

If any product which is available through Google Accounts but not currently available in Google Apps (e.g., Google Analytics), then you can use your Apps address without any issues. But in the future, if we add more products to Google Apps and you may want to change the email address of your Google Account to ensure full functionality.

Google Accounts Help page which is explains part of how Google will allow Google Apps users to access Google services such as Voice, Reader, Buzz and Analytics with their Google Apps accounts. But the present users must maintain a separate Google account to access services that aren’t part of Google Apps. That’s why, Google has previously announced this coming functionality, but this is the first indication of how it will work in practice. Based on the help page, it appears rather than allowing Google Apps users to import their regular Google Accounts into their Google Apps accounts, and the company will simply allow the use of Google Apps e-mail addresses as logins for other Google services.