G-Suite and Google Home

Google Home is the new digital assistant offered by Google; it competes with the Amazon Echo lines of products

Google Home has a lot of desirable features and - in terms of a comparison between it and the Amazon Echo - this reviewer thought Home was a superior value. I'd tend to agree.

However, one of the most disappointing aspects of this product is that it doesn't work entirely with G-Suite accounts.

Yes, you read that right. It's a terrible bleeding-edge situation with the product right now.

With the right Domain settings, your G-Suite account can be paired to the device for its activation, but Google Home can't interact with your email or calendar. Yet. I get the impression that Google will be resolving that over time.

Okay. If you're not dissuaded, and if you believe that Google will (eventually) remedy that situation with its own backend solution, and, if you have a G-Suite account that you want to pair against the device, there's two settings that you have to enable under your Google Admin Console.

Enable Google Now

  1. Login to your Google Admin Console.

  2. Access Device Management, under Mobile, Advanced Settings, Other Google Services.

  3. Make sure Google Now for iOS and Android is checked.

  4. Save your settings.

Enable Web Access to Your Organization

  1. Login to your Google Admin Console.

  2. Access Apps, Additional Google Services.

  3. Look for Web and Web Activity. Make sure it's on for Everyone or the Orgs you select.

  4. Save your settings.

These settings will take some time to propagate through Google's servers; allow yourself up to 24 hours for propagation time.

Once this is done, run through pairing (setting up) the Google Home device using the Google Home app on your iOS or Android device. Sign in with your G-Suite account.

If it fails, it'll outright tell you that Google Home can't be paired against the account and to select a standard GMail account.

If it works, it'll tell you that you can continue with the G-Suite account but some of its features will be unavailable. 

Generally, I've staged two Home devices thus far and I'm content to wait Google out for G-Suite connectivity. I understand this is new technology and it'll take them some time to address the product throughout the entire ecosystem. Still, if you're impatient and looking for a work-around, I think this would work if you're not security-conscious:

  1. Set yourself up a generic free Gmail account.

  2. Setup forwarding from your G-Suite account to the Gmail account.

  3. Setup a Send-As alias from the Gmail account that aliases your G-Suite account.

  4. Share your G-Suite Calendar to the Gmail account with full control.

  5. Pair the Google Home device against the Gmail account, and select the default calendars to use with the device.

Aside from the obvious security implications of routing your crap through a non-commercial account, I understand this will actually work. Myself, I'm not willing to do this - I'll wait under Google resolves the G-Suite connectivity issue on their own.