Setting Up Your New iPad, Kindle Fire or Android Tablet With Google Apps

Tablets have been a popular gift choice this holiday season. Whether you got the much talked about iPad 2, the light on the wallet and heavy on content Kindle Fire, or a powerful Android Honeycomb-based tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, we'll get you up and running with Google Apps on your new tablet. So finish up that last round of Angry Birds and let's get going!

Apple iPad
iPads can sync your Google Apps Gmail, calendars and contacts via Exchange Activesync (also referred to as Google Sync). Google has detailed instructions but the process is pretty straightforward. Just head to Settings --> Mail, Contacts, Calendars and choose Add Account --> Microsoft Exchange. Type in your Google Apps email address for both the Email and Username fields. Specify your Google password. Leave the domain field blank. Tap Next and put as the Server. Tap Next again and you should be up and running! You can also setup Google Talk with an IM app like IMO. There's no native Google Docs client for iOS yet but logging in to offers basic viewing and editing. Update: Google Drive for iOS is out!

Amazon Kindle Fire
In spite of it's Android OS, the Kindle Fire does not support Google Sync out of the box. The Fire's email app supports Google Apps Gmail accounts via IMAP/POP but if you're looking for push notifications and Calendar/Contacts sync, you'll need something more. Fortunately the Amazon Appstore allows you to install a third-party app like Touchdown for sync. Once installed it's easy enough to setup sync. Just Tap Next to bypass the Try Autodiscover screen, enter your Google Apps email address as the User ID, your password, and then specify as the server. On the next screen choose yes to SSL and leave everything else at the defaults. Now your Gmail, Calendar and Contacts will sync. If you want Google Talk, search the AppStore for IM+ or IMO for two good choices. Like the iPad, there's no native Google Docs client for the Fire but you can login to with the Silk web browser for basic viewing and editing.

Google Android Tablets
With a Honeycomb (Android 3.x) tablet and soon to be released Ice Cream Sandwich tablets (Android 4.0), you're getting the best Google Apps tablet experience possible today. Right out of the box, you'll be prompted to login to your Google account and you can enter your Google Apps credentials immediately. If you specified a personal Gmail account when setting up your tablet, no problem, just tap the time at the bottom right of the screen and choose Settings --> Accounts and sync --> Add account --> Google Accounts. In addition to a native Gmail app, Google Calendar and Contacts, you have Google Talk for IM and voice and video chat. Also be sure to install the Google Drive app so that you can view and edit your files.

So what tablet or mobile device was under your Christmas tree this year? Tell us about it in the comments. Google Apps supports a wide range of tablet and mobile devices. It's great to know that whichever device you prefer, Google Apps is ready to keep you productive on the go!