The multiple account sign-in feature Google began testing in mid-July is now here, but it might not be what users are looking for.
If the feature has hit your account, you'll be able to go to your Google Accounts page and select the "Sign in to multiple accounts" option:
Google multiple account sign-in
Previously, in order to check mail from different Gmail accounts, users would have to switch back and forth between them, or sign in using different browsers. This made switching to Gmail as a primary platform mildly problematic for businesses, as many employees use Gmail for their personal e-mail as well.
The new option, which is being rolled out in typical Google fashion (over the next few days), allows users to sign into multiple Gmail accounts under the same browser. Unfortunately, the adjustment (which isn't available on mobile devices, so don't reach for your phone just yet) is now without drawbacks. The Google Help Center puts it like this:
If you use multiple sign-in, the first account you use to sign in during that browser session will be your default account for the rest of that session. If you visit other Google products that don't support multiple accounts after you've signed in, you will automatically sign in to your default account for that product. If you sign out of any Google product while signed in to any account, you will be signed out of all your Google Accounts at once.
Further, enabling multiple sign-in disables services like Gmail and Google Calendar while offline, and breaks any bookmarks linked to your accounts.
"If you would like to continue using Offline Gmail, Offline Calendar, and browser bookmarks linked to your accounts, do not enable the multiple sign-in option," says the company. "If you have already enabled multiple sign-in, you may disable it."
The Silver Lining
Okay, if you're not interested in using applications offline, then the new feature isn't really that complicated. In fact, multiple account sign in makes life a bit easier, especially for those who have a zillion and one accounts connected to their primary e-mail. And, aside from easing a bit of inbox overload, users will also be able to have a different signature per account, rather than using a generic one for the whole gang.
If you don't see the feature in your account settings yet, just be patient. It's on the way.