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First impresssions: Google Home vs Amazon Alexa


fasttimes

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I have a dot and a home.

 

1) I get free music on Amazon since I have Prime.  Home requires a new subscription.

2) Home is way better at answering questions.  Just like OK Google on your phone.  Alexa is not very good at generic questions at all.

3) Alexa is good for ordering stuff from Amazon.  Home doesn't have any way to buy stuff from it as far as I can tell.

4) I haven't messed with the ISY portal.  I assume both work about the same?  I'll let someone else address that.

5) I have IFTTT working with Alexa.  I haven't tried with Google.

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ISY integration through the portal for Home is about the same as for Alexa - it uses all of the same program/scene/variable settings. I find Home to be superficially more conversational (it's a bit quicker to respond and the responses are richer and more complex), but otherwise I don't see a difference in functionality. They're both nice units, but the much cheaper price of the Dot makes it less expensive to deploy en masse.

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ISY integration through the portal for Home is about the same as for Alexa - it uses all of the same program/scene/variable settings. I find Home to be superficially more conversational (it's a bit quicker to respond and the responses are richer and more complex), but otherwise I don't see a difference in functionality. They're both nice units, but the much cheaper price of the Dot makes it less expensive to deploy en masse.

 

Very much agree with the dot deployment efficiency.  I have 3 dots, and may get more.  I have one Home and am not likely to get more.

 

Also, Home does not do bluetooth.  The hardware is in there, but there is no software to use it.  So, unlike my dot, I can't connect Home to bluetooth speakers.  Perhaps in a future firmware update we'll get to use the bluetooth.

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The home speech recognition is so much better. I hope the ability to define rooms will allow controlling devices in the current room much easier in the future. For me the biggest feature besides home control, has been whole home audio thru Google cast with homes and and receivers combined. The ability to recognize different users is awesome as well.

 

Also, you don't need a Google music subscription, you can play music you own or use many other service that supports Google cast.

 

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

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Google talks too much. I Amazon is direct and to the point.

 

Amazon for the win.

 

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I agree, I don't need any cutesy personality from my device.  I prefer "OK".  Better yet would be a single syllable answer like "done".  The cutesy thing is great for TV ads and tiresome in regular usage.

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Fair enough and I'm sure that it'll get old after a while. My impression overall is that Google Home allows for much more complex queries and responses, and it can be helpful for it to tell you what it's planning to do, especially if it's the wrong thing. I often find myself going to the Alexa app to see what the heck it thought I said, and then getting annoyed with the result.

 

One thing that I notice with Alexa is that too often it listens to the echo off the wall behind the device and not the source of the sound. I think that's a key reason why my Echos/Dots misunderstand me unless I'm speaking directly at them. I know that some have had success with baffles to block the rear microphones and I think I'll try that. I think that the Home is better at filtering out echoes, but I haven't run any formal experiments.

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I also really like that Home tells me what it's going to do. Although it very rarely hears the wrong thing.

 

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Echo tells you what its going to do also.

 

"Amazon, trigger kitchen lights on"  Answer "OK, sending that to IFTTT"

"Amazon, play Smashing Pumpkins", Answer "OK, here is a mix of songs by Smashing Pumpkins"

 

As I mentioned, Google is definitely better at answering random questions about who knows what.  Like, "what year was yellowstone national park created"  I didn't actually ask it, but I am confident Google would get the answer and I doubt Amazon would.

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Echo tells you what its going to do also.

 

"Amazon, trigger kitchen lights on"  Answer "OK, sending that to IFTTT"

"Amazon, play Smashing Pumpkins", Answer "OK, here is a mix of songs by Smashing Pumpkins"

 

As I mentioned, Google is definitely better at answering random questions about who knows what.  Like, "what year was yellowstone national park created"  I didn't actually ask it, but I am confident Google would get the answer and I doubt Amazon would.

 

Right, that shows my point :)  Like with IFTTT you can say what ever phrase you want "turn on kitchen lights" and google responds with whatever you want "Time to make some food".  Or if it's a UDI device say "turn on kitchen cans" with response "turning on kitchen cans", or "turn on kitchen lights" and response "turning on four kitchen lights"  Also, my Alexa knowledge is old, since I haven't used them in a few months, and finally unplugged both of them.  Anyone want to buy 2 of them, PM me :)

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I see you can do variable substitution with google assistant in ifttt.  Trouble is, rest requires 0-255 as the range, not 0-100.  I don't see any way to rescale that.  Maybe instead you have it do a rest command to a state variable in isy which triggers a program that resclaes it then (using 5.x firmware) sets light to that percentage.  But that just seems like a lot of complexity.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have both -

 

Google is much better at information and maps

The Prime music with Alexa is superior although Home works great with Pandora.

Alexa has a 3.5 mm jack that I can use for my whole house audio (very cool!)

I like the "morning information" with home with just one inquiry (news, weather, traffic, etc)

Home will probably be the winner once the Bluetooth gets activated (sounds like soon)

Home I find is a little faster through the ISY

Home sounds better than Echo

I do like all of the skills with Echo (majority are probably useless though)

 

So far - Home is my choice.

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  • 1 month later...

I like that with Google it works on my watch, phone, tablet, well all my Android devices expect for my Shield TVs (still waiting for that update).

 

I also like that the TV doesn't always trigger my Google devices like my Echo.

 

For the most part they both control everything through ISY portal the same except for our mermaid lamp. Alex doesn't understand the word mermaid unless you ask about the little mermaid, but Google does.

 

Once I get the Google assistant update for my Shields my Echo will be gone.

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, I hate that every time I switch accounts on my Amazon shopping app (I have a business account and a standard account) it switches accounts on the Alexa and music app also.

 

Amazon doesn't seem to care about fixing things that are only an issue for some , I also asked them to change they're shipping labels so they'd work on half sheet label paper (so the label prints on top or bottom half instead of center) like everyone else does. This wouldn't hurt those that use full sheet label paper or standard paper while allowing others to use the half sheet label paper.

 

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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The echo dot with the 1/8 stereo jack is a big plus for sending audio to my whole house system.  Amazon prime music is included in your prime membership and is pretty good for those of us who aren't super picky about our background music.  The full size Alexa does not have the jack.

 

Dot is super cheap.  At $35/ea on prime day, echo dots quickly became a "one in every room" device.

 

Home is "smarter".  In other words, it has a lot more answers to questions you ask

 

Home works super easily with other google things like your calendar.  

 

Echo's new "drop in" function is nice.  At $35/ea during prime day, I bought a bunch of them and have them all over the house and have since abandoned my intercom system.  Now I just say "drop in on  . . . " and I'm talking to my kids in their bedroom or whatever.

 

Home works better with IFTTT.  No need to say "Trigger" wth every command and you can have multiple variations on your statement and you can use variable substitution and you can have customized responses.  Not sure any of this matters if you use the ISY portal, which I suppose I should go ahead and subscribe to.

 

"Home" is basically any Android device that you have Google Assistant installed on.  I was able to install it on my Android 5.0.1 phone (took some phenagling) but now the same commands that I use with google home also work directly from my phone (though the phone takes a few seconds to understand me).  

 

"Home" gets confused when I say "ok google" to my phone and it is in audio range.

 

In summary, both have their reasons to be owned and as such I own both.  If Google had a "dot" version that was similarly priced, I would say that Google would be the hands down winner. 

 

Dot is super tiny and thus goes with me when I travel with the greatest of ease.

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