Given the wonderful succes of the Amazon Echo — a throb speaker that rejoins to your determination mandates, dos music, and governs your throb home — opposition was inescapable. With Google Home entrance the field, total with the relief of the firm’s ubiquitous exploration engine, the Echo’s assignment on top is no longer come.
Now, Google Home has been out for a put of months and we have full rated ponders of both it and the Echo. Like the Echo, the Home performss as an origin of amusement, a honorariumordinary confederate, and a throb home employer. You can buy the Home now for $130. The Echo losses $180. You can also get Amazon’s confederate Alexa in a secondary parcel that you can plug into your own veritable ring — called the Amazon Echo Dot for $50.
Before we tested the Home, I presupposed it to win for amusement and as a honorariumordinary confederate, and I presupposed Alexa to win as a throb home employer. Let’s see if that maintains true.
The Amazon Echo and the Google Home are both always listening due to their built-in microrings that can hear determination input from a run break. The Echo wakens up to the mandate “Alexa” or you can alteration the wake word to “Echo,” “Amazon” or “Computer.” The Home listens for either “Okay Google” or “Hey Google.” Both do a fine job of hearing you even acros an upper room and over run erudition veritable. If you turn the mass all the way up on your music, both will understandably have agitate singling your determination out of the din.
As speakers, both performs well ample for listening to music. Though neither lived up to the constants of CNET’s audiophiles. Check out Ty Pendlebury’s complicated division of how the Home does vs the Echo as far as veritable flavour. In brusque, he suggests that if you’re bodyguardful perfectly for a Bluetooth speaker — keep bodyguardful.
On the plus side, both advance ways of coupling to your existent veritable ring. The mini Technical of the Echo — the Amazon Echo Dot — Brits into your speakers. With the Home, you can govern any Google Cast enabled speaker or any speaker combined to a Chromecast Audio banderole.
Bonus focuses for the Home: you can also govern your TV if you have a Chromecast video banderole. Say the word, and you can bodyguard your favorite show on Netflix or pull up a video on YouTube. I institution’t secure the YouTube merger that valuable — you have to cast a definitive video by name and you can’t use Google Home to browse videos.
The Netflix merger emanates more indubitably to me. I can just say “Hey Google, play Parks and Rec on the in room TV” and it’ll initiate engagement. Just like with music, you can balk, rewind, and fast brazen sodden video with your determination.
Better yet, if your TV stops CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), you can turn on your TV with Google Home by asking it to play something. With sure Sony and Vizio TVs, you don’t even need to buy a dissect banderole, as they have Chromecast built-in. That said, you can’t yet quite govern any TV with Google Home. You won’t be able to turn your TV off with a determination mandate, for sample.
Alexa does have some TV merger as well if you have a Fire TV, but you need to pres a dial on a definitive Fire TV isolated, so the always-listening Echo can’t help you with your TV yet by foremost body stop. Alexa can go former and greater what Home can do seemly now if you have a Logitech Harmony setup, but a Chromecast banderole is $35, and a Logitech setup can cost thousands of dollars.
Plus, with the Home, you can meeting multiple speakers and play one song simultaneously in multiple apartments of your home.
Both the Home and Alexa play tournaments, tell larks, and rejoin wittily to picture ropes such as, “I am your secureer.” Alexa’s been close for longer, so she has more fun honoraria than Google Home. Alexa can lead you on a pick-your-own-effort-appearance Batman game. Alexa’s Jeopardy game is also much promote than Home’s real and over-the-top trivia.
Still, I’m sympathetic this batch to the Home because honoraria aside, the Home’s capcapability to meeting your speakers and for govern your TV moulds it wonderquite valuable as an intact home zany.
Verdict: Google Home wins amusement
Google Home detects more approximately you by a miscellany of Google observances — Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Maps, so I presupposed it to reasonably beat Alexa in this batch. Not only can the Home tell you approximately the institutions on your almanac, it can tell you approximately commerce on your way to work in the morning.
Plus, the Home uses Google Assistant to rejoin to determination mandates vivaly. Debuted on the firm’s new Pixel rings, Google made a big show of the confederate’s capcapability to detect from your interrogatess when the firm foremost showed off Google Home back in May.
In new advices, you can ask Google Home “Who dos Luke Skywalker?” Thanks to the Google Assistant, the Home will give you a recognition. Then, you can submit that interrogates with “What new pictures is he in?” The Home will judge the “he” you’re referring to is the actor Mark Hamill and tranquil furnish a recognition.
The Home doesn’t let you alteration anything on your almanac yet. It also doesn’t merge with Gmail or Google docs. It won’t tell you conductss or send conductss to your ring. And you can make a shopping list that’ll show up in Google Keep, but you can’t make any new type of list yet or even set signals. The Home’s merger with Google observances didn’t truly turn all that hospitable in my experiment, at sangle not yet.
As for the viva knowledge, it’s a neat cozen, but the Home only becomes specific make for now, and wonderquite, Alexa kept up with the Home on this pose. We asked Alexa to tell us the take. Then, we asked, “How approximately Friday?” and Alexa unspoken and rejoined sans needing to hear the word “take” again.
The Home becomes a fleeting more make, but not much more. Alexa also lets you set signals and make to do enlists. And the clincher — Alexa has gigantic third body stop and more than 3,000 clevernesses, yet are at apps for your Echo. Thanks to those clevernesses, and the fact that Alexa binds up handsome well with Google Home in makeual knowledge, it wins the trouble victory in this batch. Though, once the Home gets a few refurbishes and a few more mergers with new Google observances, this batch could reasonably modulation to the Home in the unrealized.
Verdict: Amazon Echo wins as a honorariumordinary confederate
Smart home employer
Speaking of those 3,000 clevernesses, with Alexa’s two year head initiate in erection a catalog of in throb home manoeuvres, and tending that Google Home launched with just four — SmartThingss, Nest, Philips Hue, and IFTTT — I didn’t presuppose the Home would be able to keep up with the Amazon Echo in this cardinal batch.
Everything that will work with Google Home
An always-listening manoeuvre moulds it much easier for a blood to govern the throb home. We secure that out foremost hand in the CNET Smart Home, and it’s a big part of why Alexa is a focal part of our in lab for experiment combined mechanisms.
We did that to the Home existed, yet, and the Home puts up a magnificent remonstrate for throb home hegemony. For one, Home rejoins more flexibly to mandates than Alexa. Both the Home and Alexa pull manoeuvre personalities from their individual foremost body apps — so the Philips Hue app for Philips corms. With Alexa, you can establish named meetings for your manoeuvres. With the Home, you can give them nickpersonalities and meeting them into apartments.
For a bulb called “desk lamp” in the Philips app, Alexa will only rejoin if you tell it to turn on the “desk lamp.” You can establish a meeting for all angles or place angles, then mandate Alexa to turn off the place angles and it’ll work. Without those meetings yet, Alexa won’t rejoin to any new personalities for the lamp, including “desk angle.”
With Google Home, I nicknamed the desk lamp “Lampy,” and assigned it to the place. I could then govern it by mandateing Google to turn on the “desk lamp,” “lampy,” “desk angle,” “place angle,” or “angles.” Google doesn’t get any honorarium charge for the “place angle” mandate as assigning the lamp to the room is close to adding it to a meeting for Alexa, but I appreciated the Home mechanically meetinging it with the rest of my angles and supportive me out with the opposition between “angle” and “lamp.”
Google’s mergers with IFTTT and Philips Hue are also promote than Alexa’s. With the Home, you can govern the colors of your Philips corms. You can’t do that with a honourable mandate to Alexa seemly now. With IFTTT — the online rule prime that routines for “If This Then That” — the Home lets you craftiness quite customizable mandates including multiple selectionss for how you power want to say the mandate. You have to use the word “set” to activate a customizable mandate with Alexa.
For occurrence, with the Home, I was able to establish a rule that permitted me to say “I’m going,” “I’m out,” or “Switch Ecobee to away mode.” Home would rejoin to each of these and variety touches for my Ecobee3 thermostat. You can establish the same rule with Alexa, but you’d have to say something like “Alexa, set Ecobee to away mode.”
The Home’s pliant rhetoric could in make it promote for the throb home than Alexa, as the new members of your blood don’t have to impress as many insist mandates to govern your manoeuvres. For now, Alexa’s unalloyed quantity of clevernesses binds it on top of this rivalry, but Google Home moulds the engagement much closer than I yett it would be.
I was hoping Home power gain some arena in styles of those quantitys at CES this year. It had a clean presentation, with more mergers than I yett for such a new stand, but Alexa auxiliary opulence of allies as well in this batch. Here’s our scoreboard from the occurrence. Amazon’s confederate ridden.