Domestic technology is becoming smarter, with various companies aiming to make your life easier with their smart speaker solutions. But of the two biggest players at the moment, should Google or Amazon earn your investment?
With a straightforward name but plenty of bells and whistles, the Google Home speaker is equipped with the search giant’s comprehensive voice-controlled Assistant service and lets you perform lots of actions simply by asking. From checking the weather and updating your daily schedule to firing up music for audio playback, there is a lot it can achieve.
The downside is that in many ways it is not quite as polished an experience as that offered by its competitors. Thankfully, with huge resources at its disposal, Google is consistently rolling out updates to ensure that this improves over time.
Alexa has become one of the better known voice-controlled assistants on the market and is a great combination with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot speakers, which are both highly functional and easy on the eye.
With impressive voice recognition, very simple commands and impressive integration with third-party applications and services, this really is a class-leading option in terms of the level of control it can offer. You may need the help of a home automation company offering smart home automation including audio and visual functionality to make the most of the Echo.
Where Amazon’s solution stumbles slightly is in its occasionally accidental ability to hear normal conversations as instructions. This has led to some customers finding that they have placed orders for products with the retailer that they did not intend to make.
Furthermore, the fact that the best that Echo and Alexa have to offer is mostly available in conjunction with an annual subscription to Amazon Prime means that the cost of ownership is higher over time. Since almost half of all subscribers make a purchase from the retailer on a weekly basis, it makes sense that it would encourage more people to join.
If you already have some home automation hardware in place within your property, then you may want to base your choice between Google and Amazon upon the interoperability the respective systems offer. If you are starting from scratch, this will not be an issue.