Artificial Intelligence is the future of technology, and every tech company out there is completely aware of it. This year we saw some spectacular voice AI being launched. One of them was Amazon Echo/Alexa, which is a smart speaker that responds to your voice commands. It plays music, control different functions and activities in your home. Now, its competitor Google Home is also present there. With two highly updated voice AIs available in the market, a comparison was inevitable.
Google Home comes with a complete back-up for the company’s search engine. And this is what makes Google Home a fierce competitor for Amazon Echo. Let us have a look at the major details of both Amazon Echo and Google Home and see which on emerges as victorious.
Google Home Vs. Amazon Echo
|Google Home||Amazon Echo|
|Wake word||OK, Google||Alexa, Echo, or Amazon|
|Responds to voice commands||Yes||Yes|
|Smart home partnerships||Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, IFTTT||Nest, Ecobee, SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Big Ass Fans, IFTTT, other devices via “skills”|
|Music streaming options||Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn||Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, others|
|Output to stereo system||Yes, via Chromecast||No (yes with Amazon Dot)|
|Synced audio playback to multiple devices||Yes, to any Google Cast device||No|
|Personal assistant highlights||Search Google, get a personalized daily briefing, check traffic, check your calendar, make a shopping list, check flight status, track a package||Add items to calendar, make a shopping list, make a to do list, check flight status, track a package|
|Others||Cast to your TV with Chromecast, launch and control YouTube via Chromecast||Order a pizza, play a game, arrange an Uber pickup. Echo has an ever-growing list of 900+ skills and counting|
Entertainment category for Google Home and Amazon Echo:
Considering the entertainment aspect, the Amazon Echo and Google home, both have inbuilt sound intake command system. The Echo wakes up on the command of “Echo” or “Alexa.” While the Google home starts functioning when you say “OK Google” or “Hey Google.” Both do an excellent job in hearing you in a large room with moderate background noise. And if you turn up the volume, both the gadgets will have issues in picking up your commands.
A) The speakers of both Alexa and Home are quite good and offer options to connect with your existing system. Amazon offers a mini version, called the Echo Dot, which plugs into your speakers. With Google Home, you can control any Google cast enabled speaker or the speakers connected to ChromeCast Audio streamer.
B) The additional feature with Home is you can control the TV if you can get a ChromeCast Video streamer. And at present, you can control YouTube and play specific videos. While Alexa does have a specific TV feature, but you have to press a button on a particular Fire TV remote. So Alexa cannot help you with the TV right now.
C) Both Google Home and Amazon Echo can tell jokes and respond with witty lines. Alexa is in the market for a bit longer time than Google. That is why some additional fun features are present. It can help you choose your desired game in a simpler way.
Still, we will say Google Home as the winner. Because Alexa might have many fun features, but Google offers an ability to group your speakers and allows you to control your TV easily. It makes a better home entertainer.
Google Home learns more about you through the variety of devices. You will have Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Maps. Google Home can tell you about the appointments and the traffic on your way to the office. Google Home also uses the assistant to respond to the voice commands. It can learn from your questions. You can ask any informative question; the Google Assistant will answer it. But the Google home does not let you change anything on the calendar. And it also does not integrate with Gmail or the Google docs. You can make a shopping list that appears in Google Keep, but you ca n’t do any other type of records or set reminders. And Home only understands limited conversations.
Alexa lets you keep reminders, makes a to-do list for you. Alexa has got a lot of third party support and more than 3K skills. These are the apps for Echo. With many apps support, Alexa keeps up much better than Google Home in contextual awareness. It is why in the personal assistant category, Amazon Echo/Alexa is the winner. But if Google Home gets few updates, then it will be difficult to decide the winner here.
The Smart Home Controller
In this important category, Google Home faced it difficult to keep up. The reason is. Amazon Echo had two years head start to build catalog compatible smart devices. But Google Home came with only four things. They are SmartThings, Philips Hue, IFTT, and Nest. But Google Home responds more flexibly than Alexa. Both Home and Alexa can pull device names from their respective first party apps. With Alexa, you will be able to create named groups of your devices. But with Home you can give nicknames and then group them into rooms.
For a certain bulb called the desk lamp, Alexa will only respond if you tell it to on turn the desk lamp. You can create a group for all the lights or the office lights and then you can command Alexa for turning off the room lights. It will work smoothly. But without the groups, Alexa will not respond to any other names. But with Google Home, if you nickname the desk lamp as “Lampy” you can control it by commanding Google to turn on “Desk Lamp, desk light, lampy or the office light.” So this is an advantage with Google Home.
Google’s integration with IFTTT and Philips Hue are also better than Alexa. With Google, you can control the color of Philips bulbs. But you cannot do that with Alexa right now. The Google home allows you to make customizable commands that offer multiple options. But with Alexa, you have to use the word “trigger” for activating the customizable controls.
With Google, you can create rules for your different commands like “I am leaving; I am out or Switch the Ecobee to away mode.” And Home will respond to each of these commands for the Ecobee 3 thermostat. You can create the same rules with Alexa, but you have to use the word “trigger” to activate a customizable command. The Home’s flexible phrase mode makes it better as a smart home than Alexa. But you just cannot ignore Amazon Echo’s sheer number of skills and 3000 apps support. It is what makes Amazon Echo above Google Home.
The Google Home comes at the cost of $130, but the Amazon Echo comes at the price of $180. The additional $50 is ok with the number of third party apps you get for Amazon Echo. We think it is a reasonable deal with Amazon Echo.
At present, Amazon Echo beats Google Home considering the features and third-party app support. Still, it is clear that Google Home is not very far away from Alexa or Amazon Echo. And we don’t expect that Alexa will remain idle when Google gets the new updates and modifications.
You can also opt for other Amazon Echo alternatives like IVEE, Cubic, Athom Homey, Amazon Tap, Castle Hub, Mycroft, Google Home, Hal, Apple Home Kit and Sonos play.