Google home AND Alexa?

Anyone using both? Which do you prefer? I have two dots right now and was considering getting a Google device. The only plus I see is it uses Google over Bing. Yes that’s a big upgrade on a search, but I could get two more dots for that price and the dot is doing everything i currently need it to do. I need 3 devices total to have my house covered

If it matters. I don’t use calendar stuff. Have a handful of songs on Google music but rarely use it. No movies, Kodi for that.

I’m following this because I’m thinking about getting a GH as well to compliment what I have now. I do not see changing completely over… I have 3 echos and 6 dots…

I def want one because it’s Google, just not sure if I want it now when I could get 2 dots instead. I don’t really use the Google account features, but I do want it for the search and conversational upgrades eventually

I just don’t think I would use it for anything different than I do my Echo’s… especially with my new app… my Echo does everything i want.

I’m just looking for a legitimate reason.

What app? Ten characters

No way! You haven’t seen it??? lol… j/k
here you go…

Noo I haven’t. I just recently got the dots and haven’t had much time free to mess with them. Had family in town one weekend and now out of town this weekend. All I really did was get ask Alexa working. I’ll check that out when I get home though

sounds good… It’s a communication app… I use it for free form text to speech in my house… can’t beat it…

Do you have documentation somewhere of what I can actually do with it ?

Just ordered a GH and place it right near the Echo for a side by side.


Please give some good feedback on the differences


It’s worth getting one if you have Chromecasts. GH works well to voice cast to different devices.

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My thoughts on the two are here…
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The wife and I had a long discussion about this over dinner and decided that the benefits of it just aren’t going to be used by our family…

gonna just stick with my Alexa… It does exactly what we want…


You’re not missing out much, really. I use GH once for every 10 times I use Alexa. The two most used features are voice casting (GH does a lot better job at finding the songs we want to listen) and shopping list. GH synchronizes with Keep so we both share one list that’s actually displayed on our phones via Keep widget. Amazon really needs to catch up on voice casting to Fire devices and multiple Alexa enabled devices.


I have both. Alexa works better and sound nicer too.
Apart from the first day of testing, Gh is now switched off.

Cons of gh:
Ok google/hey google is a mouthful

Alexa voice is more amenable.

Mic performance doesn’t compare to echo. My nephews and family were all over, with everyone shouting the echo picked up my voice commands much better than gh.

Shopping list doesn’t sync well in the keep app.

Home automation support its limited, but we know this will improve. So minor point i guess.

I actually don’t like the audio quality, I was constantly turning it up and down vs echo.

Video support is a gimic in my opinion.


Multiroom audio, but i have denon heos so not a pro for me.
Contextual search: though i did find alexa could dio some of this. Also it was only really obscure questions that Alexa couldn’t answer.
Skill support - there’s probably 3 or 4 skills i actually use that gh doesn’t support eg National rail, bedtime story.

So overall i was like “meh”. Google may become or is technically better, but wife and i prefer alexa. I suspect this is gonna be betamax vs vhs al lover again.


You said “i suspect this is gonna be Betamax vs VHS all over again”

You’re correct. In which case, it pays to remember that ultimately, neither technology won… and nor did their successors such as laserdisc or hd-DVD or blu-ray.
Point being that these are merely the first two of many to follow. And each will have to not only do the same stuff, but somehow leapfrog the existing devices in order to have market relevance.

I will say that IMO the Echo Dot gets the form factor right, or is at least far closer than either the Echo log or the Google-Airwick thing. The limitations right now are the inability to have them respond autonomously to stimuli aside from the voice, and of course the ancient Bluetooth paradigm. All in due time.

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you are wise.

Ok, I connected my android control tablet to Echo Dot via Bluetooth. And I’m already using it thusly via Tasker. Conditions met, its Friday 6:30 am and not a holiday:
A) say "Alexa volume ten"
B) say "Put garbage and rubbish out for collection"
C) say “Alexa volume five”

I realize it’s a kludgy way to push commands to Alexa, but it works well enough. It allows me to program any important alerts to auto-adjust volume.

You cannot use longer commands because Alexa, of course, mutes the speaker when she’s listening to your command. The “Alexa volume five” command just makes it before the mute occurs lol. But in any event, it is now pushing my calendar alerts out thru Alexa’s speaker.

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We’ve had echo since it was in the first pilot phase and use it all the time. But we never ask it to do complex searches because we do those on our phones or tablets so we get the links. We have two different music libraries on it, multiple calendars, and lots of home automation stuff.

We bought the Google home and tried it for five days, then returned it. We had the following issues with it.

One) 360° hearing versus about 140°. The echo has nine microphones placed all the way around the unit. The Google has two on basically the same plane, so it looks like it was designed to be sitting against the wall. Our house is an open plan house and with the echo placed centrally it can hear us in about five different rooms. Google home had a lot more problems in this location, and basically failed to hear us from one side pretty consistently.

This was a big problem in our house, but likely not a problem for a lot of other people.

this is not my house, but it’s a similar floor plan. The kitchen is behind the half wall.

Two) Google home chokes on any **special characters,**even an apostrophe. With three housemates we have a lot of “Michael’s lamp” type names. Echo doesn’t like most special characters, but seems to handle an apostrophe easily.

Three). Grouping. With echo, you can put any device you want to go into any echo group and a device can go into more than one group. So since I say “study,” one of my housemates says “office” and one of my aides says “den,” it’s very easy to allow for all of these.

But probably more importantly is that we can create exactly the groups we want in a very intuitive way. As an example, I have a “turn all lights off” group that does not include One counter light in the kitchen or any of the lights on my housemates’ side of the house. it’s just very natural for me to say after getting into bed “turn off all lights” even though I don’t really mean all the lights in the house. :sunglasses:

Google home doesn’t have groups per se. They have rooms, but a device can only be in one room at a time and then it picks up all the devices in that room. And Google will try to guess what group you mean based on common words in the names for the device.

Lots of reports on the issues for these but we have three different ceiling lights. They all have “ceiling light” in their individual device name, but they are in different echo groups, so that didn’t matter. Google Home, however, decided that Michael’s ceiling light and JD’s ceiling light must belong to a group called “ceiling” and would turn them on and off together. It was possible for me to imagine a naming convention that would keep them separate but not one that I could rely on other people using consistently. This one was really the dealbreaker for us.

  1. We found the music search much better on echo. When you’re asking for things like “what’s the song with the lyrics that go…”. I’ve seen that mentioned by some reviewers and not others, so I’m not sure what makes the experience different for different people.

  2. we can easily play either of our music libraries from any of our echoes. At the present time Google home limits us to one. This was another dealbreaker for my housemate although I’m willing to believe that Google will add this feature later.

Similarly, echo can handle multiple google calendars while Google cannot yet.

  1. Google home’s command phrases for using IFTTT are definitely smoother since they don’t require you to say “trigger.” But it this point, we’re used to “trigger,” so that didn’t bother us.

Seven) we prefer having a name as an awake word. Again there are other households that may not care.

  1. **Multiple devices.**My housemate found that saying “OK Google” to the Google home would trigger his girlfriend’s phone when it was in the same room. The “will only trigger one device” pretty clearly means “only one device on the same account.” The same thing would happen with another Alexa device if it was also always listening, it’s just that there aren’t very many of those devices that someone would be taking to another person’s house.

I’m sure that the Google home’s management of music playback on multiple devices is much better than echo’s since echo doesn’t do that at all, but we actually don’t do that anyway. Small house, three housemates, if you turn the music all the way up in any one room you’ll hear it everywhere anyway. Which can be good or bad. :wink:

  1. Google home is clearly a far superior homework helper for a kid who wanted to ask multiple lookup questions in a row. However, we just don’t use it that way. So while that’s an advantage for Google home, it wasn’t an advantage for our household.

You can see that many of these issues have to do with having multiple people using the device in the same home. And some of them are things that Google is likely to improve on in the future. So I’m sure there are many households where google home would be The better fit.

But for our household, it really didn’t work. Choice is good. :sunglasses: