Google’s recently declared Google Home will contend specifically with Amazon Echo as a continually listening virtual assistant. Much the same as with Echo, you can utilize your voice to advise Home to add an occasion to your calendar, set the temperature of your thermostat, or stream your favorite song. Google Home appears as though it will be a valuable, adaptable item, however Amazon Echo has been around since 2014, and I can say as a matter of fact that it aces its parts as an individual associate, music center point, and brilliant home control point.
Amazon constantly rolls out new features to Echo (dubbed “skills”), so the list of things it can do keeps growing and growing (and keeps Echo in the headlines). That list includes a formidable lineup of compatible smart-home devices Echo can control.
Google Home vs. Amazon Echo
|Google Home||Amazon Echo|
|Responds to voice commands||Yes||Yes|
|Wake word||“Okay, Google,” maybe more later||Alexa,” “Amazon,” or “Echo|
|Music streaming options||Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, others||Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, others|
|Smart home partnerships||Nest, unknown third party products||Nest, Ecobee, SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Big Ass Fans, IFTTT, other devices via “Skills”|
|Output to stereo system||Yes, via Chromecast||No (yes w/ Amazon Dot)|
|Synced audio playback to multiple devices||Yes, to any Google Cast device||No|
|Personal assistant highlights||Add items to calendar, make a shopping list, make a to do 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|
|Other features||Unknown||Order a pizza, play a game, arrange an Uber pickup. Echo has an ever-growing list of 900+ skills and counting|
In any case, Echo isn’t great. As of not long ago, there simply wasn’t whatever else like it. Google Home, complete with Google’s new Google Assistant for conversational give and take, can possibly exceed Amazon Echo. Here’s the way:
1. Multi-room sound
The different Amazon Echo gadgets don’t synchronize with each other. You can’t utilize two Echos to make stereo sound, and you can’t request that a tune play on numerous Echos all through your home at the same time.
With Google Home, you’ll have the capacity to order any Google Cast-empowered speaker, any speaker with a Chromecast Audio streamer connected to and even your TV in the event that you have a Chromecast video streamer. Home will have the capacity to play a melody on any of those gadgets independently, or you can make gatherings and fill your home with music for a gathering.
We’ll have to do some direct testing to check whether the local speaker in the Home is superior to the one in the Echo. Given Home’s capacity to order and adjust various gadgets, it’s at any rate in position to exceed Amazon Echo as a stimulation center.
2. Conversational voice commands
“How many stars are in the galaxy?”
“Which one is closest?”
“Show me what it looks like on the TV.”
Amid a video exhibit of Google Home at today’s Google I/O engineer gathering, a child asked Home each of these questions in succession.Home picked up on the context of the first question to answer the second, and for the third, Home pulled up an image of the closest star system on the TV using a Chromecast streamer. The conversational qualities of the new Google Assistant could give Home a big advantage over the Amazon Echo.
Alexa, the personal assistant built into Amazon’s Echo devices,will ask you for clarity after you give a command – in the event that I request that Echo turn down the temperature, Echo will ask, “which indoor regulator?” Echo can likewise play games, for example, Jeopardy with questions and answers that feel conversational, yet Alexa won’t perceive anything past pre-programmed reactions once you begin down a specific way.
So also, Alexa frequently won’t perceive or react to questions outside of built up summons. Reverberation will essentially say it didn’t comprehend the inquiry, or now and again it won’t react by any means. Apparently, Google Home has the full force of the Google internet searcher worked in, so it could be significantly more adaptable as far as the charges you can give that will evoke a reaction.
In the event that Google Home ends up being as responsive and conversational as the organization appeared in the demo today – an aggressive objective to make certain – it’ll be a stage above Alexa at adjusting to voice summons, and conceivably a stage above Alexa as an individual collaborator on account of a more regular way to deal with translating and reacting to your talked info.
Why Google Home won’t be better than Amazon Echo
1. The Echo has a big head start in the smart home
When we use Echo in the CNET Smart Home — our living lab for smart-home testing in Louisville, KY — we don’t have to deal with multiple apps and passwords to hand off voice control of our lights, our thermostat, and our garage among different users. Anyone in the house that knows the right phrase can control smart-home devices that work with the Echo. That and the breadth of device support both underscore the appeal of Echo as a smart-home control point.
Google promised smart-home control would be a part of Home’s offerings, including the popular Nest Learning Thermostat and other smart-home products from Nest Labs (owned by Google parent Alphabet). Google also made general reference to working with smart-home devices from unspecified third parties — promising compatibility with lights, thermostats and switches. Amazon has already solidified an expansive list of device partners that work with Echo, and it adds new devices often (including those from Nest). Google will need to add devices rapidly, and at a regular pace to stay competitive.
Ideally, Google will also have a free software development kit for the Home, like the Echo, which would encourage third-party developers to add new services and device compatibility to Home. That approach has spurred rapid adoption of Echo by various smart-home product makers. At the moment, Google isn’t offering many specifics about how it will expand Home’s usefulness. Google did promise to work with developers and integrate with “all major platforms.” Given the pedigree of the company, it’s possible Home launches with smart-home prowess to match the Echo, but I’ll need more details to be convinced.
2. The personality of Alexa
What’s in a name? I’ve been an Android guy for a while and I love the responsiveness and accuracy of Android’s existing voice search, triggered by the words “OK Google,” to say nothing of the potential of the new Google Assistant. But I like Echo’s wake word, Alexa, much more than Google’s more utilitarian phrase.
Calling Echo “Alexa” and seeing a blue ring at the top light up in response imbues it with personality. “OK Google” doesn’t have the same charm. I’m hoping for alternative wake word options on Google Home. Google has said it might introduce a “hey Google” option. Regardless, Home will need to match Alexa’s charm.
3. The breadth of skills
Adding to that personality, Amazon’s compiled quite the list of quirky, fun, and useful applications for Echo. Again, Alexa seems to add a new skill almost every week. It’s grown as a smart home tool, but also as the life of the party. Alexa can lead you in a game of Bingo or Tic Tac Toe. Alexa can lead a group in a Batman-themed choose your own adventure game. It’ll even hail an Uber when it’s time for your guests to go home.
Google Home will need to work hard to catch up in terms of extras.
The battle to come
Based on what we know right now, Google Home looks well positioned to compete with Amazon Echo as an entertainment hub and personal assistant. If Google Home isn’t close to the Echo in the smart home, I’ll still prefer the Echo overall. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing what the full capabilities of the Google Home will be at launch, and how Echo has grown by the time Home gets there.