There are two emerging smart speaker ecosystems leading the pack these days: Amazon’s and Google’s. Which one should you go with? And more importantly, does it even matter?
At present, there are only two ecosystems worth building a smart home around. If you want a speaker to play music, then the HomePod is fine, but Siri is woefully behind on almost everything else. That just leaves the Amazon Echo and Google Home ecosystems. So, the question becomes, which one should you choose?
The answer, for the most part, is that it doesn’t matter. There are a few differences, though, so let’s go over those first.
Alexa is Easier to Say, and the Echo’s Intercom System Is Pretty Neat
The biggest advantage the Amazon Echo system has over Google Home’s might be the simplest, yet most critical: it’s so much easier to say “Alexa” than it is to say “Ok, Google.” Even “Hey Google,” despite having the same number of syllables as “Alexa” feels just a smidge more unnatural to say. It’s not a deal breaker, but if you have both in your house (as I do, largely for testing purposes), you might find yourself preferring to speak to Alexa more often.
Alexa also has a few features that Google Home doesn’t. You can use your Amazon Echos as a makeshift intercom system, communicating from one room to another. Google Home currently has something like this, but you can only broadcast to every device in your house. That’s not quite the same, so Amazon gets a point here.
While Amazon and Google both let you make calls with your smart speaker, only Amazon can send messages with your voice. Well, officially anyway. You can use IFTTT to set up a command to send text messages from Google Home, but it’s still probably a little easier on Amazon. Plus, if the person you’re messaging uses Echos, they can get messages inside the Alexa app instead. It’s not really better, so much as different.
Perhaps most important to Amazon users is the ability to order things through Amazon. The company even occasionally offers discounts on items if you order through Alexa. While Google lets you buy things through Google Express, we all know it’s not quite the same. Of course, ordering items with your voice isn’t always the easiest way to buy online, In fact you might not want to enable purchasing with your voice at all, lest the TV start buying dollhouses for you. Still, if you like buying things with your…
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