Amazon blew the industry wide open with its release of the Echo back in 2014, and has since become the company’s most popular hardware product. However, Google has since gotten in on the fun with the Google Home, a direct Echo competitor that aims to reign supreme. But which one should you buy if you’re in the market for a virtual home assistant? Here are some key points to know about both devices to see which one might be best suited for you.
This should come as no surprise, but when it comes to asking random questions about all sorts of facts, Google Home comes out on top.
That’s not to say the Amazon Echo is completely stupid, but in our testing, there were a handful of questions that the Google Home was able to provide an answer, while Alexa simply just replied with “Sorry, I don’t know the answer to your question.”
For example, Alexa wasn’t able to answer questions like “What’s the average age of a human being?” (71 years, by the way), but Google Home was able to give me the answer right away.
However, Alexa was able to do a better job in some areas, like when I asked both devices “How many movies has Tom Hanks been in?” Alexa was able to come up with the answer (83 films), while Google Home simply just named off a few movies that Hanks directed.
Google Home is also able to remember the previous question, which is useful. So if you asked “Who played Woody in Toy Story?”, Google Home would say Tom Hanks, and then you could follow up with “How old is he?” and Google Home would say his age, even though you didn’t directly say “Tom Hanks”. Alexa isn’t able to do this.
Overall, Alexa knows some stuff, but Google knows more.
The Amazon Echo has been around for long enough that it has built up quite the arsenal of supported smarthome devices, including products from Nest, Philips, SmartThings, Belkin, Wink, Insteon, and many more. Google Home supports most of the big players as well, but its full list isn’t quite as extensive.
However, both devices integrate with IFTTT, which then allows them to connect to a ton of different products and services that wouldn’t be supported otherwise. It’s not quite as seamless as native integration would be, but it makes Google Home feel less crippled in the smarthome arena.
So if you’ll be using your virtual home assistant to control all of your smarthome gear (which some argue is what makes these things so great), then the Amazon Echo is probably the one you’ll want to get—at least until Google Home obtains more support for more devices. In any case, you can view Google Home’s full support list of smarthome devices, as well as the Echo’s list.Read More...
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