@JDRoberts agreed groups are definitely the way to go with Alexa. I find with google it simply comes down to device naming, you can also create groups but with google I haven’t needed to. I guess I like the fact that google at least tries to be intelligent about it, sort of the beginning of AI in automation. I haven’t even really needed to create groups except for devices in the same room I want to control as a separate group. For example I have 7 lights in the family room, if I say turn on the family rooms lights all of them turn on. In ST they are named Family Room Down light, Family Room TV light, Family Room End Table light, etc. If I only want one light to turn on then it works no problem just saying the device name. No special setup or grouping were required other than naming the devices to the room they are in, which I already have in ST so I didn’t need to do anything in the Google home setup. Of course if I say turn off all lights then all the lights turn off in the house, or if I say turn everything off everything turns off which is to be expected. Alexa doesn’t really understand this without creating a special group for all lights, and then a group called everything which does not seem very intelligent IMHO. Another thing I prefer about google is that in ST all my devices are prefixed with the device type for example Bulb - Family Room TV color light, with google I can say ok turn of the family room TV color light and google gets it right, with Alexa it just says I’m sorry I don’t understand which device you want.
Alexa on the other hand just seems to get confused regardless of how devices are named and is very inflexible in how it deals with anything other than an exact match of a specific device name. Not a huge issue just simply requires additional setup on my part to create groups in the Alexa app, which somewhat bothers me because my devices are already named into groups.
Im not saying that either approach is better I think google just works better for the way my brain works I also appreciate that fact that’s it trying to be intelligent about what you are trying to control. One thing that would be nice is best practices primer for ST on best way to name devices and group them when using G oogle or Alexa. It definitely took me some trial and error to understand they way each needed to be setup to get them to work the way I want.
I will also add that shortcuts on google are huge win for simplicity. I simply can’t stand how a skill is invoke with Alexa it’s too complicated and I just eventually gave up. With google shortcuts I don’t need IFTTT in the middle to create a custom phrase for a device trigger. With google I just create a shortcut for example for either google or alexa if I want to invoke my Neato botvac skill. I have to say Alexa or Or ok google" ask my neato botvac to start cleaning" Unless you invoke the exact phrase it fails with google I can create up to 5 custom phrases (Ok google - turn on Neato, start neato, ask neato to start cleaning, etc) All of those phrases are easier to remember, and having shortcuts to skills or as google calls them services is soooo much easier to use. Of course I can do this through IFTTT with Alexa but at least when I tried you had to say Alexa trigger before the IFTTT phrase which I did not care for, along with the IFTTT delay.
@MichaelS Yes well aware of your awesome smart apps. I use Alexa Helper, Google Helper, and ask Alexa. All of which work magnificently. I was just trying to compare them from an out of the box user experience. With google shortcuts I don’t even need IFTTT for a custom phrase to trigger a virtual switch to execute a google helper scene.
Finally I will add so far with not much time to user either I like the calling experience on google home better than Alexa. Google has no issues with calling a business, for example I can say call johnsons hardware and it does it no problem. Alexa only seems to recognize my phone contacts. The only exception is Alexa integrated my IOS contacts out of the gate, where as google seems to expect contacts from google voice. I have yet to figure out how to get it to work with my phone contacts properly but haven’t dug into why its not working.