But each platform has its strengths. For a better virtual assistant and smart displays, we think Google's the one to beat, but Alexa dominates in terms of music quality and smart home prowess. Despite these strengths, the one you choose ultimately boils down to personal preference.
For now, the differences between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa boil down to how each system deals with specific tasks like smart home routines, shopping lists, and how they design their mobile apps.
But Alexa has another advantage over Google: it can directly control Zigbee devices using the Echo, Echo Studio, and Echo Show 10. This compatibility makes it easier to automate your home with Alexa. It also has some fun extra and hidden features.
Google's not completely helpless with smart home integration: Google Nest Hub (2nd gen), Google Nest Hub Max, and Nest Wifi all have built-in Thread radios (which work similar to Zigbee) that offer more growth in the future. But Google's not currently using this tech. We expect this to change once the industry-wide Matter smart home standard launches.
It places all of your devices on the app's home screen so you can quickly navigate to the one you want to control. You can also create groups of devices specific to the rooms in your home to make it easier to turn off the lights.
You have the option to name the routine, set a trigger condition (\"When this happens\"), and set an action dictating how Alexa reacts to that action (\"Add action\"). In the second option, \"When this happens,\" you can choose from various triggers, including voice commands, specific dates and times, smart home devices, location, alarms, Echo Buttons, sound detection, and Alexa Guard.
Alexa routines can trigger based on a location. This helps control all kinds of devices and services, like starting a Spotify playlist when you get home from work. You can also get reminders about picking up tomatoes at your preferred grocery store.
Both brands have location-based reminders where you can get a reminder upon arriving home, to work, or custom location. For example, if you ask for a reminder to get eggs at Walmart, the smart assistant will ask which store you want to use and give you a reminder on your smartphone when you get there.
Alexa and Google Home each support up to six user accounts, though Google handles its accounts much better than Alexa. For Google, you can add anyone to your home for free as long as they have a Google account. This includes supervised accounts that you create for children using Google Family Link.
To be fair, neither voice assistant requires more than one user account to start answering questions and controlling smart home devices. But you miss out on things like personalized reminders and access to your meticulously-curated Spotify playlists when you don't link multiple accounts.
Still, Google Assistant's smart displays and access to Google's treasure trove of information make it a better digital assistant. But Amazon Alexa steals the spotlight on speaker quality and smart home integration.
After weeks of silence, Amazon's retail team informed Nest employees on a conference call late last year that it would not list any of the newer Nest products recently announced by the company, according to a person familiar with the call. The products in question include the latest Nest thermostat and the Nest Secure home security system, among others.
Amazon doesn't appear to be blocking sales of smart home products from companies other than Nest. For example, Lighthouse, an AI-powered connected camera made by a startup of the same name, is available on Amazon. Products from August, a connected home company best known for its smart door locks, are also available to buy on Amazon, along with products from several other smart home device manufacturers.
Amazon's move against Nest comes as it works to beef up its smart home ambitions after a successful holiday season for the Alexa assistant and its Echo hardware. Last month's Ring acquisition puts Amazon in a much better position to integrate its products with Alexa, accelerating its ability to compete with Google's own smart home ambitions.
Nest is Google's smart home products division. It makes devices like connected cameras, thermostats, smoke detectors, and security systems. Google bought Nest in 2014 in a $3.2 billion deal. Nest later became its own company after Google reorganized into the Alphabet conglomerate, only to be reabsorbed back into Google in February.
While Amazon's decision to keep Nest products off its site may seem nefarious to some, it likely isn't illegal under US antitrust law, as Chris Sagers, a professor of law at Cleveland State University told Business Insider in an interview. Because Amazon doesn't have a monopoly in the connected home, the move isn't anticompetitive.
Amazon announced the $100 Amazon Echo (4th generation), which is due this fall and will replace both the current Echo and the current Echo Plus. The 4th-gen smart speaker will also act as a smart-home hub thanks to built-in support for some Zigbee wireless devices. We plan to test it soon.
Grant Clauser is the senior editor for the smart-home and audio/video categories. He has been reporting on technology since 1999 and has been an invited speaker at events including CES and CEDIA. He has completed certification classes from THX, ISF, and Control4. He also teaches poetry classes. Really.
You already know Alexa is a great assistant for your smart home, but it can also be useful to take with you in the car. Your Echo will make for a hands-free commute so you're not pressing buttons on your car radio while changing lanes.
If you're going out of town and are worried about leaving your house unattended, you can set up Alexa Guard on your Amazon Echo. Once activated, your smart speaker will listen for sounds like breaking glass and alarms. It can also periodically turn your smart lights on and off to make it look like someone's home.
When you arrive home in the evening, it's nice to have the lights turn on so you can see where you're walking. With Amazon Echo, you can set up location triggers so the lights will automatically turn on when you pull into the driveway. You will, of course, need to have smart bulbs set up outside, and also inside if you don't want to walk into a dark house.
To set up location triggers, you'll need to create an Alexa routine. Just open the Alexa app menu and select Routines. Tap the plus sign in the top right corner. Now you need to add the routine name, tap When This Happens and select Location. Enter your home address, tap Arrives and then Next. Now select Add action > Smart Home > and tap the name of your smart lights, e.g., \"Living room.\"
Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have developed into excellent voice assistants, and now largely function very similarly to one another. Either assistant can answer questions, control smart home devices, and even check your calendar and email (unless you use G Suite for your work schedule and mail; Google Assistant still doesn't work with it).
\"At night, I just say, 'Hey Google, turn off my bedroom lights,' and the room goes dark,\" she wrote. \"When I give Alexa that same command, the virtual assistant responds with, 'A few things share the name 'my bedroom lights,' which one did you want' When I say, 'All of them,' Alexa asks, 'Did you mean my home' After this I reply, 'Yes,' before Alexa says, 'OK,' and does nothing.\"
The smart home brand gap between Alexa and Google Assistant has closed, and almost all major third-party smart home device manufacturers work with both. However, Blink and Ring are owned by Amazon, so their devices only work with Alexa. While Nest is owned by Google, Nest thermostats and cameras still work with Alexa.
The best smart speaker for you ultimately depends on what you plan to use it for. If you want a voice assistant that's easy to talk to, a Nest speaker will be better. If you want the best sound quality, go with an Echo. And, of course, any smart home devices you already use should be factored into your decision.
The first step to a smart home is a network that all your devices can use. There isn't a sub-$100 entry in this category because this is the one area you don't want to skimp. A good, solid and smart wireless router is something you can build on as your smart home grows (both in number of devices and size).
It's hard to get mesh wireless routers that are truly smart and self-adjusting that don't cost hundreds of dollars. It can handle up to 200 connected devices and automatically adjusts to changes in network traffic. The access points are also Google Assistant-enabled, so you can easily access Google smart voice assistant features throughout your home. Plus, if you end up needing additional access points, it's simple to add them via the Google Home app.
Plume provides magical little SuperPods with a subscription service that serves up Wi-Fi that gets faster, safer and more reliable as Plume learns your habits and the needs of your home network. Now with Wi-Fi 6, Plume's SuperPods are exactly the right device for your burgeoning smart home.
They intelligently determine how to best route traffic from every device so they won't interfere with each other. Also, with IoT protection, Plume will monitor and, if necessary, block off traffic to devices that are acting suspiciously and might be infected, allowing you to take action. It costs around $7 per month (with a three-year membership) for a HomePass membership, but it's more than worth it to have Wi-Fi that adapts to your specific home and your specific devices, no matter what changes.
Most importantly, the Atlas Max 6E has enough power and capacity to handle over 190 devices at the same time. It can deal with multiple AR and VR streams, video calls, media streaming, online gaming, and more without a hiccup. And it can do all this even for devices that are all the way across your home. 59ce067264