Google Assistant VS Amazon Alexa

The two most common smart assistants currently are Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Google Assistant VS Amazon Alexa

The two most common smart assistants currently are Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.  Both are very similar in terms of features and performance with some variations in terms of where they perform better.  I split this discussion into 3 main areas:

  1. Who will be using it?
  2. What mobile OS platform do you prefer?
  3. What will it be used for?

Who will be using it?

For those who have households with multiple people, the Google Assistant will generally perform better.  Whilst both devices offer multiple voice profiles Google voice match is more sophisticated and reliable.   Google Assistant is also multi-lingual so it will still understand if more than one language is spoken in the home.

What mobile OS platform do you operate?

The simple answer here is that if you use iOS (Apple), then you will probably prefer Alexa.  Alexa is more tightly integrated with the Apple environment than Google.  If on the other hand, your preference is Android (like me) then you will more than likely prefer Google.

What will it be used for?

This is where the fun begins!

There are a number of uses for a Smart Assistant including hardware, music and podcasts, making bookings and planning your schedule, home automation, general knowledge, shopping and making calls.

From a hardware perspective, it’s difficult to split the two, as they both offer a number of different forms factors and sizes to cater to different use cases.  The Amazon Spot does make a neat bedside clock, which is unique across both platforms currently.

If music is your thing, both solutions provide good quality sound from their hardware and both operate with Sonos and many other speakers so you can achieve the sound quality you desire.  From an integration perspective, Alexa has slightly more integrations to music services such as Apple Music which only works on iOS for Google Assistant.  If you’re a Spotify person like I am then Google works almost flawlessly.

For home automation, both platforms integrate with a vast number of other devices and services that can be used to control heating and cooling, lighting, security cameras, doorbells, door locks and garage doors amongst other things.  IFTTT integrations are also supported on both platforms.  They both have options to create routines, which are a number of tasks grouped together that occur with a specific trigger (e.g. ‘Good morning’ could change the lighting turn on the kettle, adjust the temperature, and tell you the weather and schedule for the day).  Amazon has more partner devices they integrate with and Google works better than Alexa with integration into Chromecast for starting shows via voice commands.

There is not much difference in the general knowledge arena either.  Google can get long-winded with some of its responses but both devices work to a similar level when it comes to their ability to answer questions.

As you would expect, the shopping experience is slightly better with Amazon but overall, it’s clunky with both platforms at the moment.  This is probably good as it forces you to check your cart before completing the purchase, allowing you to confirm the assistant has interpreted the request correctly or make changes as required before committing to a purchase.

Although I’m a Google person Alexa probably has the nod right now, but now by much and it again comes back to how you intend to use it. The good news for everyone is that both platforms are consistently adding new features and improving what they can do, so you can’t really go wrong.  Have fun!

References

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/google-home-vs-amazon-echo/

https://www.techradar.com/au/news/amazon-echo-vs-google-home

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I specialise in driving digital transformation in organisations. My success is based on a philosophy that is business-led, where I align best-practice in technology with business strategy and customer requirements in a way that is efficient and cost-effective. I enjoy wearing multiple hats leading a ... more