Echo or Google


(Ahmed) #1

OK so i’ve had a few Echo Dots for over 6 months now and my main use for them is really controlling certain devices on the ST. I also use it to control my logitech harmony hub. I find the it’s not really living up to it’s name of being virtual assistant. Calendar events for example are so basic. You cannot ask it things like when is my next flight. Whereas google you can do all that on. Also, anyone can just say Alexa and she listens. Whereas, google home can match voices. Googles discussion is also contextual so makes more sense. I am at the stage now where I am considering selling my echo dot’s and moving over the google.

Anyone have any experience with both who can share some advice?


#2

Both companies are adding new features all the time, so it just comes down to which works best for you.

Just as an example, Amazon now has voice profiles which do allow for tailored responses depending on which specific person is speaking:

And Amazon can actually work with more calendars, and more different kinds of calendars than Google. But if you’re already all in on using Google and you only have one person’s calendar to keep track of, then Google may indeed work better for you.

Alexa also added context recognition a few months ago, so most of the articles discussing that as a Google-only feature are now out of date. In fact Amazon recently went one step further and now allows you to give multiple commands without having to give the wake word each time. But I’m sure Google at this soon, as I said, both companies are updating features all the time.

Overall, if you want to get Wikipedia type answers, google remains better and probably will continue to do so. It’s definitely a better homework helper.

The Amazon hardware is better mechanically at farField voice recognition and they have a bunch of patents on it so that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. It also has more partners for both skills and devices, although Google continues to add more of each.

So there’s no one best option here, different things work for different people. :sunglasses:

I always tell people just buy one of each of the inexpensive models from someplace with a good returns policy, try them in your own home, and see what you like. Most households will have a definite preference for one or the other, but the answer will be different depending on how you use it.


(Ahmed) #3

Thanks, I didn’t realise Alexa now supports voice recognition. In regards to the calendar, yes there is the ability to add different calendars on alexa but it seems all you can do with these calendars are very basic tasks like ask when your next appointment is, create new event etc. You can’t seem to ask it when is my next appointment with the GP for example or when is my next flight


#4

Yes, I think that’s an area where google will continue to have the advantage because their artificial intelligence is just much smarter as a result of their work in search.

Speaking just for myself, though, I don’t use my smart speaker for that – – I use my phone. So I don’t need The smart speaker device to have that capability. But I understand if there are other people who do really want that, so again, different things work for different people. :sunglasses:


(Carson Dallum) #5

We’ve had both for a while now, and my family (including kids), clearly are more comfortable interacting with the Echo. A key reason is it seems more familiar to them to use a name (Alexa) rather than a thing. Seems trivial but it made a difference in our house. Otherwise we haven’t noticed significant functional differences for our purposes.


(Ahmed) #6

I just read an article that apparently amazon did introduce the contextual conversation since the launch of the Google home as this was one thing google had that amazon didn’t. But just trying it out doesn’t seem to work very well at all. For example I asked Alexa:

When did Steve Jobs die. it replied with correct answer
then I asked how did he die, it doesnt know.
I asked Where did he die, then for some reason it knows that.

Tried the exact same with Google and answered all questions correctly.

Then moved back to Alexa and asked when did Donald trump become President , Alexa replied correctly
Then asked, how old was he. It replied telling me the age of William Shakespeare LOL.

I asked google same question, it replied with his current age LOL


(Mark) #7

My kids are only 3, although they like to interact with Alexa quite a bit. We find that we have to periodically remind/explain to them that even though she has a name and a voice, she’s not actually a person. Like if she can’t understand them, or does something other than what they intended.


(Carson Dallum) #8

Yeah my kids get a little confused by that too.


#9

@JDRoberts,

I Now have my wife added to mg Google Home and it can now look at her calendar and her Youtube Music profile and Her Contacts for making calls via Google Home device.

My daughter is 4 and has fun with Google Home controlling the lights, TV, Music and calling Santa(Easter Egg).