Two popular virtual assistants are Amazon’s Alexa (found on Amazon Echo and Echo Dot) and the Google Assistant (found on Google Home). You might be considering purchasing the Echo or Google Home and have heard different opinions on which is better, “first Google, Alexa second”, “no first Alexa, Google second.” When choosing which home assistant you want, many factors come into play. What will you be using the assistant for? How many users will be interacting with the device? What are the prices? The most important question to ask are how advanced are the virtual assistants and, ultimately, which one is better? Here’s our rundown of Google vs Alexa.
Google Home and Assistant
Search anything on the internet, and the chances are you’re using a Google powered browser. Google has made leaps and bounds in the world of technology, with their self-driving Google car, Nexus smart phones, and Google Fiber. With the brilliant minds working on new technology at Google, the Google Assistant was developed and integrated into smart phones and the Google Home in 2016. Prior to Google Assistant’s release, smart phone users could download the Allo app that could carry out tasks but not engage in two-way conversations. Once Google Assistant was released in parallel with the Google Home, users could integrate the virtual assistant into their daily lives to fulfill tasks. The tasks include playing music, answering basic questions, and turning off lights in a smart home.
There are many strengths of the Google Assistant. One benefit of the virtual assistant is that it can utilize Google’s other products to better help users. For instance, Google Maps can be accessed to check traffic reports or users can check events on their Google calendar. One unique aspect of the assistant is its ability to play music on multiple speakers through Chromecast, something that is hard to find with other assistants. So, first Google, Alexa second? Maybe, but let’s see what Alexa has in store.
Amazon’s Echo and Alexa
Google is the ruler of the search engine world, but Amazon is the ruler of the shopping world. With a worldwide market and over 300,000 employees, Amazon is the place to go to shop, read (on the Kindle), play music, and, importantly, speak with a virtual assistant. Amazon’s Alexa was released in late 2014 for use on Android phones and on Echo. Like the Google Assistant, the device responds to many requests such as reporting the news, playing music, or answering basic questions. The assistant can currently respond to and speak in two languages (English and German).
Alexa has several unique features. She can create shopping lists for users that can later be fulfilled through Amazon’s website. Past orders can be refilled easily and users can receive discounts on some products when they order through Alexa. The virtual assistant can also learn “skills” that Amazon and third-parties have developed. These skills allow Alexa to respond to even more requests that she comes with naturally. For instance, Dominos allows users to order a pizza through Alexa, and the NASA skill lets users ask a number of space related questions.
Which is Better? Alexa? Google?
Here’s our rundown:
- Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are useful virtual assistants to have around the home.
- If users are interested in only completing tasks, either assistant would be helpful.
- Want to shop? Speak German? Amazon Alexa would probably be the better assistant for you.
- Want to play music all over the house? Have a smart home? Then the Google Assistant is right for you.
Our answer: Alexa is better than Google Assistant
Although Google has many years of technological experience, their release of the Google Assistant only happened rather recently. Amazon Alexa, on the other hand, has been out for almost two years longer. In the world of virtual assistants, it seems that the longer an assistant has been available, the more they learn, which ultimately gives users a better product. Many users report that Alexa can understand them better, and with her thousands of skills, she can perform far more tasks than the Google Assistant can. Although both companies are pushing their virtual assistants to be better everyday, for now we say “First Alexa, Google second.”