The core of any respectable Smart Home setup is having voice control, for me, my journey started with the Amazon Echo and it was a very bumpy start. The house initially seemed to have a mind of its own and the whole thing just didn’t seem to play nice but after working out the finer details which were impacting the final product, we had a working model. Sadly, the word working is used in a very loose way purely because of the fact that The Amazon Echo Dot was in charge of every aspect of voice control, this caused problems.
unfortunately, the Echo Dot has one inherent flaw, the Alexa AI API just isn’t very good at working out what you’re saying and because of its very robotic voice recognition requires you to use pretty un natural and hard to remember phrases to get things done. The Echo also seems to find it hard to hear you if the sound levels are anything but quiet which in our house is, unlikely at best!
overall, the concept is there and solid – there are 100’s of apps or ‘Skills’ as Amazon call them which make the whole offering look very attractive but in actual usage within our home, those skills are mainly redundant or entirely useless due to the fact the echo cannot understand or cannot hear you.
When Google Announces its voice assistant, Google Home, my knee jerk reaction was “How original Google” followed by a lot of suspicion about the quality and potential shortcomings, I later realized that I have Google Assistant on my Google Pixel & use it frequently & enjoy doing so! It was at this point that I started to integrate my voice assistant on my phone into SmartThings & IFTTT to begin playing and found the results to be far superior in all tests!
Eventually, I decided I would stump up the funds and give Google Home a go, this is probably the best thing I have done within my Smart home! Now, not only can I actually just say “Okay Google, turn on the living room” and the lights come on straight away (instead of having an awkward delay while the echo thinks about what I’ve said) but I can also, using the magic of IFTTT ask Google to post to all of my social media, text Stevie or even integrate into Telegram & send a message to my friends!
All of these things are just the basics of why in my book, the Google home is clearly the better investment, though I am an active user of Amazon and its various services, from Prime to photo storage, I am an avid fan of shopping at Amazon but somehow, the Google Home just does it better!
In reality, there is a lot in common here, it’s down to you, you’re going to make a choice and for some, Amazon Echo is going to be a huge first step!