Google Apps is no longer free. If you wish to have a branded email address that reads like email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, you will have to subscribe to the Business edition of Google Apps and that will cost you at least $50 per year.
You have options though. You can either configure your web domain with Outlook.com (for personalized email addresses) or, if you prefer to use Gmail over Outlook, you can use the Mail Fetcher option inside Gmail to manage your Outlook emails from within Gmail.
Alternatively, here’s a quick and simple workaround that will still let you sign-up for the free edition of Google Apps even though Google has officially retired the free edition - all you need is a free Gmail or Google account.
- Go to appengine.google.com, sign-in with your Google Account and create a new Application. You may fill in any dummy date and click the “Create Application” button.
- Open the “Dashboard” and on the next screen, click the link that says “Application Settings.”
- Scroll down a little (refer to the video tutorial) and choose “Add Domain” to associate a domain with your App Engine application.
- That’s it. Now you should see a special link to sign-up for the free edition of Google Apps. You may either use your existing domain or buy one through Google Apps. You have to access this link through App Engine as Google Apps checks the HTTP Referrer information before serving up the sign-up page for the free edition of Google Apps.
Related reading: Register Web Domains with Google Apps
Also, the Google App Engine website says that you only get a single-user Google Apps account when you sign-up through App Engine but in my testing, I could create additional users as well inside Google Apps. ↓
Update: Google no longer offers the free edition of Google Apps. You can however sign-up for a 30-day trial of Google Apps for Work and cancel your subscription anytime during that period.