Google Assistant – Have I backed the right horse?


A few months ago I purchased two Google Home Assistants at the same time as two Google Wi-Fi APs when we moved into a larger house. I chose the Google Assistants over Amazon Alexa because at the time my thinking was that Google (with all of their AI clout) would be the better long term solution and would connect to more ‘stuff’ in a more intelligent way.

The problem is that I’m also a heavy Amazon user, I buy from them, I listen to Audible, I’m a Amazon Prime member so use their TV and music services. All of which would work ‘better’ if I was also using Amazon Alexa, rather than Google Home.

I’ve no real interest in home automation, beyond maybe buying a Ring Doorbell (Now Amazon), and its the Entertainment side of Assistants that I’m more interested in.

Unless something changes, I think I did back the wrong horse.

Comments (9)

9 responses to “Google Assistant – Have I backed the right horse?”

  1. arunphilip

    Is there a right horse?

    This assistant and home automation space is still at quite a nascent stage as far as integration is concerned (not just home automation, but online services as well). To me, it seems like any choice brings its advantages and its compromises.

    Right now, every player is more keen on selling themselves as the best option in their own ecosystem, rather than focusing on integration.

    I wait for the day when this integration becomes as straightforward as building a PC which allows you to mix and match based on individual needs.

    And that's not even bringing in the whole Google vs. Amazon spat where the customer (or should I refer to us as the product?) is the biggest loser.

    I have to say that Amazon's value offering is quite good, with a Prime subscription giving shipping benefits, as well as Video and Music.

    I've personally held off on any hardware purchases, and won't do until a better picture emerges. Until then, I'll probably stick to their app-based assistants on my mobile phone (yes, I also use Cortana for mobile to PC integration!).

  2. Tony Barrett

    In the long run, Google have a lot more power than Amazon, and their assistant will be 'everywhere'. Amazon are only the early leaders, and I can see Google reclaiming that crown in the next year or two. Amazon won't go anywhere, but I think you've made the right choice.

  3. Paul Thurrott

    You did the right thing.

  4. Nicholas Kathrein

    Google will win this fight. The only thing of value alexa can do that google can't is do voice purchases from Amazon. I have an Nvidia Shield TV which is Android TV box with Amazon Prime Video. So I get Google Assistant with the ability to play my prime video content in 4k. It's great. Amazon really has a bunch of great shows. I have Google chrome cast audio setup in the living room, kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom, and den. I have google home mini in all the rooms minus the kitchen and bathroom. I have a regular Google Home in the kitchen. A nest thermostat and the new nest door bell which ships soon. That doorbell has a 4k camera and with a simple voice command will shows you who is at the door on the tv through my android tv box. I don't feel i'm missing out by not being able to say to reorder an item. I'm very confident that Google will win this race as Google assistant is designed to understand what your saying / trying to say vs Amazon Alexa which needs exact phrasing to do a task. It's a totally different road which leads to a dead end. It becomes apparent later when Google Home just will do things you ask while Alexa will still run into problems if you haven't learned what to say to do the task.

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

      I think saying Google will win this fight is like saying Coke will one day vanquish Pepsi.

      • Nicholas Kathrein

        In reply to maethorechannen:

        Wining just means to me that it will have the biggest share and be recognized as the Superior platform. For all purposes Coke beat Pepsi. You won't kill the other product and never said Apple's siri wouldn't be around reguardless how bad it is.

        "The cola war waged on for decades with the edge moving back and forth between the two competing firms. But truth be told, Coca-Cola has won the colawar. Coke controls 42% of the total carbonated soft drink market, compared with Pepsi's 30%, according to Beverage Digest.Mar 24, 2014"

  5. Chris_Kez

    It's not like you sold your kidneys; you bought two Google Home Assistant devices that could just as easily be replaced or supplemented by two Amazon Echo devices (which will work fine with the Google WiFi). I don't think this is a matter of backing the wrong horse, per se, but it sounds like maybe you were thinking more about the possible future than you were about your actual present needs. If that is the case, then by all means pick up some Amazon equipment and see if it is a better fit for what you're doing. Who knows, in three years you might find that you're deep in the Apple ecosystem and decide that a HomePod is a better fit. If so, then change it up. Don't feel like you're locked in here, or that you need to commit to one of these companies NOW and then shape your life around it.

  6. Tony Barrett

    I think Alexa is primarily designed as a conduit to Amazon shopping and Prime. Yes, it's got hooks into other things, and IFTT, but Google Home has all that as well, and Home will end up with hooks into... pretty much everything. Amazon are very strong in this market, and had a heck of a headstart, but Google will come through and dominate the market eventually. Their 'Assistant' will be everywhere - literally. I have Home and Google Wifi and Philips Hue and a Play Music sub and Chromecasts, Nest v3 and they all integrate perfectly. Google just needs to get it's TV services up to scratch and have a subscription option there as well.

  7. Bats

    Have you backed the right horse? Well, yeah. You can't go wrong backing either The Assistant or Alexa. As a matter of fact, you can do both. The Home Mini and the Echo dot are just as good as their bigger versions and a lot less expensive. 

    If you feel that you need Alexa, then buy the Echo dot and put in the location of the house where you think you would use it the most. 

    To be honest, I have both. I use more the Google Home/Assistant because it's smarter. Not just that, but it works really great with Chromecast/Nvidia Shield. The Echo works great for the Fire Stick. They're functions are basically the same, though I believe the Google Assistant is much smarter and also built into most phones. For the Assistant, I love the new "Routines" feature.'s cool. Despite the fact that the Google Assistant is better than Alexa, the truth is...they are all the same. If Google is +1 in features over Alexa, Amazon will eventually copy and add it to Alexa. At the end, they'll all do the same thing.

    If you are having regrets, then just buy the Echo dot and be happy with it.