Amazon Echo vs Google Home

After researching the Amazon Echo and Google Home, I couldn’t decide which device to buy. So what should you do when you can’t decide? Just buy both of course! It’s also helpful when you plan to blog about them.

tl;dr If you plan to just buy one device, I’d go with the Echo unless you really need Chromecast support.

My initial goals were to be able to control my wireless outlets, Harmony Hub (review), ChromeCast and Pandora. I’ve been able to accomplish everything but it’s required both devices.

Amazon Echo

The Echo has more integrations than the Home because of what Amazon calls skills. Currently there are around 4271 skills. You can even create your own. Since the Echo has a Harmony skill, I’m able to control my tv with voice commands. Also the speaker is pretty amazing for such a small device.

There are some negatives. IFTT requires you to say “trigger” before your command. e.g “Alexa trigger turn on the lamps”. Also setting up the Echo wasn’t as smooth as Home.

Overall Amazon has a good headstart on Google. The question is how long can they hold the lead?

Google Home

The two main areas where the Home excels over the Echo is the power of Google search and the ability to cast music, YouTube and Netflix to a Chromecast, which includes the ability to play/pause and skip forward/back. It’s pretty amazing to just say, “Hey Google, play ______ on the Chromecast” and it just works! Also the speaker is good but I feel the Echo is slightly better.

The main downside I’ve noticed is for the Home to communicate with other devices (besides Chromecast) is through IFTT. This is somewhat limited. For example, I can turn on/off my tv but it cannot change the channel/volume. This is quite frustrating.

Here is a guide I’ve written on controlling wireless power outlets using the Home.

Leave a comment below of which device you prefer and why.

Originally published at Tim Leland.

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