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/ May 2, 2011
Everything You Need To Know About NYU’s Google Migration

Remember that NYU Gmail pilot that everyone freaked out about? You know, the one that gave anyone access to James Franco’s email for a hot second? Well, NYU is officially transitioning on May 20. Here’s what you need to know about the migration:

It probably won’t affect you—If you’re smart, your NYU email account is already forwarded to your primary email address. And if you’re even smarter, your primary account is on Gmail. ITS plans to move some settings over to the new Gmail, so you shouldn’t have to reconfigure your forwarding preferences. If you forward your NYU email to more than one email address, only one address will move to the new system, so you’ll still want to login on May 20 to make sure all the settings are correct. You’ll find that all of your emails (and attachments under 25 MB) and contacts have automatically transfered.

Your address still lasts forever—After you graduate, you’ll have access to your NYU email account indefinitely. (Free Amazon Prime for life!) So if you want to use NYU’s email as your primary address, you’ll always have access to it.

Put all your eggs in one basket—One of Gmail’s features allows users to import messages from other email accounts, so you can use NYU email as your primary—and only—inbox.

It’s not just about email—The transition will also bring users access to Google Calendar, an instant messaging client called Google Talk, as well as Google Docs and Sites. At some point, you’ll be able to subscribe to a University-wide public calendar or class-specific calendar, giving you instant access to events, assignments, etc. And because everyone will have a Google account, you can easily collaborate with Google Docs or create and invite users to Calendar events.

It will be safer—Not only will the University save $400,000 from the switch, but the transition will also bring better spam filtering, virus scanning, and stability.

A better user experience—Unlike a free Gmail account, your NYU Gmail account will be ad-free. Your new account will also harness the power of Google search, letting you quickly and easily search your email. All of your folders from NYU’s old email service will become “labels”, and you’ll be able to automatically apply labels based on any element of an email. For example, you can set Gmail to add a star and a “Class Communication” label to any email containing a specific course code in the subject line.

More powerful mobile access—Google Mail supports IMAP, POP, and offers a ton of solutions for accessing mail on the go. If you’re a Blackberry user, you can use the native Gmail app to access NYU email on your phone without crowding the main mail app. And of course, you can access your email from any web browser through NYUHome or the standard Gmail login screen.

A lot more storage—Current NYU mail accounts offer a measly 250 MB of storage, forcing most users to delete mail in order to avoid filling their inboxes. Your new NYU Gmail account will boast 7.2 GB of storage, or nearly 30 times more space. That means that you can ‘archive’ messages instead of permanently deleting them. The 50 MB attachment restriction will shrink to 25 MB, but who uploads 50 MB in an email anyway?

It might be shaky at first—If you’ve created an alternate, personal account in addition to your netID-based email, you might receive a notification requesting that you change or confirm your alias to ensure that no data is lost in transition. Upon confirmation, you will be able to select your alias or netID address in the ‘from’ frield when composing an email. Also, if you currently use your NYU email to login to your personal Google Account, you’ll be notified that your NYU email is no longer linked to that account. (If you don’t follow this, it probably doesn’t affect you.)

You should mark everything as ‘read’—If you use POP access or forward your NYU emails, mark all of your messages on NYU’s old email as ‘read’ to prevent re-forwarding or duplicates from showing in your new Gmail inbox. Also, if you use POP, you’re like 30 years behind.

Your email address is now public—As we explained, your email address will now be disclosed to anyone with an NYU account via an autocomplete directory. While typing in the ‘to’ box, Gmail will suggest addresses matches, but your address book will not contain all of these emails. Student who wish to opt-out may learn more from NYU’s FERPA compliance page.

For more information, visit the NYU Google Migration page.