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Google Home vs Amazon Alexa: Which One Should You Take Home

By Edge Ison , Nov 10, 2016 03:27 AM EST
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Google recently released the Google Home, their version of the Amazon Echo with the digital assistant named Alexa. The two devices go head-to-head in a battle of "Who'd better?"

CNet created a table to easily distinguish the differences and similarities of Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Price

The price of a Google home is $130 while the Echo is $50 more expensive at $180.

Wake Word

Both devices respond to voice commands and are always listening. Google Home answers to "Ok Google" while the Echo answers to "Alexa", "Echo" or "Amazon".

Music

Both smart devices play music on demand. They can choose a song even if the user mentions vague commands like "play a sad song", play the "top hits of today", or "play something by (artist)". When the user is not sure of the song title, he or she can simply mention some lyrics and both devices will come up with the title and then play the song.

They both stream music. Google gets music from Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, and TuneIn. Alexa streams from Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and others.

Smart Home

The Google Home and Amazon Alexa both have smart home partnerships though the latter has more particularly with Nest, Ecobee, SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Big Ass Fans, IFTTT, and other devices using "skills". Google Home support Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue and IFTTT.

Digital Assistant

As a personal assistant, both devices are useful. Google Home's capabilities include searching Google, checking traffic and flight status, creating a shopping list, tracking a package, and checking the user's calendar. It also provides a personalized briefing every day.

The Amazon Echo, meanwhile, can make a shopping list and a to-do list. It can check flight status, track packages, and add items to the calendar.

Other features and skills

Google Home's appearance can be customized while Amazon Alexa cannot. The former also has output to a stereo system and can be synced to multiple devices. The latter needs the Amazon Dot to output to stereo systems while it cannot be synced to different devices.

The Home can be cast to a TV with Chromecast and then launch and control YouTube through the Chromecast. Alexa's other features include the ability to order pizza, arrange an Uber pickup, read Twitter feed, play a game and more than 900 other 'skills'.

The Verdict

The older Amazon Echo wins this one on account of the many skills that it can already do. A digital assistant is meant to make life easier for its owner and its numerous abilities make it slightly better than Google Home. For Now. Google has some advantages over Amazon and will undoubtedly release updates and new features that will undoubtedly give the Home a better chance in its duel with Alexa.

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