Amazon or Google for home devices ?????????

I would like peoples input to help me please.

I’m starting to think about what to go for. I am a Prime member on Amazon and I have an Android phone. So which way do I turn.

Does one have specifics over the other which makes it the better choice. I just cant decide. Well i am swayed to Amazon but is that the best choice.

I would like to hear from those who have either and there likes, dislikes. The benefits or lack of benefits from there device they use.

I would like an all round device, one that connects to all smart devices and services. And the one that will connect better to the other if there is something, a particular thing you want or need. Say using Google device to play Amazon music.

Thanks in advance.

Conversation 30 comments

  • Bats

    02 December, 2018 - 1:45 pm

    <p>Google. </p><p><br></p><p>Without questions it's better. I have an Echo/Alexa and Google Home. Alexa isn't as "smart" as the Google Assistant. For one thing, the Google Assistant is natively built into your phone. That's a huge advantage. Sure you can probably setup Alexa to work with your phone, but that process can be a bit messy and who the heck wants to go thru that? </p><p><br></p><p>Like I said, I have both and I have had them for the past couple of years. I am gonna phase out Alexa, because I (and my family) are not using so much. People will tell you, that Alexa has more "skills" and I believe that is true. However, Google has all the "skills" any person can need without the utlization of more 3rd party apps. LOL…how many timer skills (or apps) does one need?</p><p><br></p><p>With Google Home, I can tell the assistant to play any music I like. With Google Home, I can tell the Assistant to remind me at a certain time during the day to perform a task. I could be at work or somewhere else, the Google Assistant will reach me via phone or where I can get access to it. I can command the Google Assistant to turn on and off my lights in my U.S. home,……when I am in Australia. With Android TV, I can tell the Google Assistant to show me who is at the front door via my Nest Video doorbell. Heck, when a friend rings my doorbell, my Google Home announces that "Clark" is at the front door. </p><p><br></p><p>With regards to music, If I were you, I would cancel your subscription to Amazon Music and go with Youtube Premium. I believe you'll get the highest quality music streaming in the industry, but most importantly ad-free Youtube.</p><p><br></p><p>Don't get me wrong, Alexa is not bad, but it's not nearly as good as the Google Assistant devices. If you are still unsure, get them both with the intent of returning one. Test them both out. After you do so, I believe you'll choose the Google device.</p><p><br></p>

    • vaticanuk

      21 February, 2019 - 7:43 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#376270">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>Exactly my experience. </p><p><br></p><p>We had both and found Google to be more useful since it's also on our phones, whereas Alexa could only be used within our house (short of installing the absolutely awful Alexa app).</p><p><br></p><p>We used to use Alexa lots of reading audiobooks and the number of times it'd start reading the wrong book was just annoying, but weirdly if you looked in the Alexa app (where it logs everything any Alexa on your account has heard, and writes out the words that it's interpreted), it had heard and interpreted correctly, but then just randomly decided to play something totally different.</p><p><br></p><p>I also found the contextual awareness in GA to be better – I can just say "turn off the lights" and it understands that I mean "in the room where I currently am", whereas I couldn't get Alexa to do the same thing – she would turn of all lights in the house.</p><p><br></p><p>The final straw that made me go full GA was when we replaced our Ring Pro doorbell (which broke) with a Nest doorbell. The Nest was far better and as mentioned above can announce "someone is at the door", or if it recognises the person "&lt;name&gt; is at the door". That level of integration will never (well, any time soon!) come with Alexa since they have their own ecosystem and Ring.</p><p><br></p><p>After buying a few audio chromecasts and a video chromecast to go with the Nvidia shield I already have, audio and video across the house works really nicely in a way that I would never have been able to achieve with Alexa.</p>

  • NoFlames

    14 February, 2019 - 6:39 pm

    <p>I prefer Amazon, and they are building a smart home dynasty with all their acquisitions. With Echo plus and Alexa I control Blink cameras, Ring doorbell, Insteon Lights and plugs, and Philips hue lights. You just have to load the skill into Alexa for the different hubs and then it can control them often without even mentioning how to do it. For example my porch light is controlled from Insteon, but I only have to say "Alexa porch on/off". My living room lamp is a philips Hue light, and I say "Alexa lamp on/off". So it controls all the hubs from one device.</p><p><br></p><p>The Amazon echo plus has a built in zigbee controller so I didn't even have to purchase the philips hub, although if I did then it would still work ok and probably even better. The blink camera includes cloud storage at no extra cost up to a certain number of recorded minutes which is good enough for me.</p><p><br></p><p>I have 2 echo dots and one echo plus. Even though the smart home hub is in the echo plus, I can give the commands to any of the echo dot's and it coordinates with the echo plus to get the job done.</p><p><br></p><p>One of my favorite features of echo is that you can put multiple echo's into a group, and then just say "Shuffle my songs on spotify" for one of the echo's, or add "on all" and you will get sound piped throught your house.</p><p><br></p>

  • cadrethree

    14 February, 2019 - 7:26 pm

    <p>I have both the Amazon dot and Google Home installed. I personally find the Amazon dot easier to set up and use and have less problems with it. I don't use it for much. Just to turn on my bedroom lights, turn on tv, and my daily alarm. I have used it some for local Seattle radio and Amazon music, it's okay. I also find it annoying to say "ok, Google" instead of Alexa for some reason. </p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2019 - 3:38 am

    <p>I think Amazon is scummy so go Google.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      15 February, 2019 - 8:05 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#404992">In reply to jimchamplin:</a></em></blockquote><p>They're both scummy. That said, these are the only two logical choices in this market.</p>

      • jimchamplin

        Premium Member
        15 February, 2019 - 3:15 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#405014">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>I can’t argue, honestly. And usually I trust a salesman more than someone who acts like they’re not selling something, but Amazon just makes my skin crawl a bit more than El Goog!</p>

      • lvthunder

        Premium Member
        18 February, 2019 - 5:08 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#405014">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>No there are three choices. You can choose not to get either one and not have a voice assistant. That's the choice I made.</p>

      • waethorn

        20 February, 2019 - 1:40 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#405014">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>No. The logical choice is to not be a masochist and not let either company abuse you.</p>

  • Greg Green

    15 February, 2019 - 10:05 am

    <p>LOL! So that’s two votes for Amazon, two votes for google, and negative votes for both from Paul.</p><p><br></p><p>i hope that cleared things up!</p>

  • evox81

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2019 - 10:46 am

    <p>It's really a matter of what services you use (and if you're comfortable with and plan to continue using them). For example, music. I have an Android phone and I've bought in to the ecosystem (Google Play Music) as one example. I'm already spending money on it, and all of my playlists are there, so I'm likely to continue using it.</p><p><br></p><p>But I have an Amazon device that only gets used to turn the lights on an off because it's of almost no other use. When I feel like spending the money, I'll probably ditch Alexa and go with a Google device. That's not necessarily a vote for Google, it's just what will fit best with where I am. </p>

  • Patrick3D

    15 February, 2019 - 11:00 am

    <p>Ask yourself if you want to say "Hey Google" or "Alexa" everytime you speak a command. In my opinion "Alexa" is much easier and faster to say. It also feels right saying a female name and hearing a female voice respond, rather than saying the name of a company. Amazon's solution is more personal in that way.</p><p>At present, I have 2 Echo Dots, 2 TP-Link Kasa smart plugs, 2 TP-Link Kasa smart bulbs, and a Nest thermostat. My next purchase will likely be an Echo Show to get weather at a glance.</p><p>I have both an Amazon Prime and Amazon Music subscription which has a decent variety of genres, I have yet to try listening to an audiobook though. I augment the limits of Amazon's music library by using a Plex skill for Alexa that streams FLAC music from my file server through the Echo devices (I assume it gets converted to MP3, all I know is it works.)</p>

    • Tony Barrett

      15 February, 2019 - 2:41 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#405082">In reply to Patrick3D:</a></em></blockquote><p>'Hey Google' and 'Alexa'. Both 3 syllables, so nothing in it. Feels totally natural saying 'hey google' now – it depends what systems you're used to.</p>

  • yoshi

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2019 - 11:04 am

    <p>I went with Amazon but mostly for the hardware. I found the newest Echo Dots to sound much better than the Google Home Mini. I haven't set up any smart home stuff yet, so I can't say much on that. But I have been happy with Alexa. I'm sure Google can answer more random questions, but Alexa is no slouch. And all the skills you can add are pretty nice.</p>

  • skborders

    15 February, 2019 - 12:59 pm

    <p>I chose Amazon because I am a prime member, it came free with my Ring doorbell and well, because I really do not want google listening in my house.</p>

  • Tony Barrett

    15 February, 2019 - 2:39 pm

    <p>I'm a Prime Video subscriber(not Prime though!) and Netflix, but went with Google. I have a Shield, which can do Netflix, iPlayer, Prime Video, Google Movies etc. I've had both the FireTV stick and FireTV2, but the Shield is just so much better in every way AndroidTV v8 is just great. I have the Google wifi mesh (totally brilliant), Chromecast Audio's. It just works really, really well. I do subscribe to Play Music family plan though, and not Amazon music.</p>

  • cadrethree

    15 February, 2019 - 3:06 pm

    <p>Does anyone know of a coffee maker that works well with Alexa?</p>

  • james_b

    15 February, 2019 - 8:42 pm

    <p>Agree that they're both scummy but that said, I would not go with anything Google… period. As for our Echo, I generally turn it "off" when I'm not using it. I don't want it recording and trust me, it has. We've found a number of interesting (and scary) bits of conversation at our site on Amazon. Not amused. We're seriously thinking of ditching ours soon. It's just not something we need or want anymore.</p>

    • nicholas_kathrein

      Premium Member
      18 February, 2019 - 2:25 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#405242">In reply to James_B:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'm all in on Google. I'm happy to give my data as a trade for their best in class assistant as well as best in class services. On the Google Home products you go into the settings and turn on the option to chime when it's listening. Then you'll know every time it's recording. I'd say once or so a week it trips off when it shouldn't. That is why on any of these devices there are weird recordings. It's not that they are trying to listen to you when unintended it's just imperfect tech that gets it wrong sometimes. </p>

    • Tony Barrett

      19 February, 2019 - 11:03 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#405242">In reply to James_B:</a></em></blockquote><p>If you want privacy these days – disconnect yourself from the Internet totally. It's the only way. Google provide many services for zero monetary cost to you – but yes, like ALL the others, it's your data they want and use, but it's in their interest to protect that data, and thus keep you as a customer.</p><p><br></p><p>In order of 'trust', I rate the big providers as follows (least trusted first)</p><p><br></p><p>Facebook (undeniable, the lowest of the low – pondscum)</p><p>Microsoft (they've been devious, underhand and downright aggressive ever since Win8, forcibly collecting huge amounts of telemetry data but not telling anyone what they're doing with it)</p><p>Amazon/Google (tie!)</p><p>Apple (for now – but if they're turning into a services company, that could change)</p>

      • james_b

        19 February, 2019 - 11:27 am

        <blockquote>Even removing oneself for the internet these days does not guarantee privacy. However, you can take steps to reduce that loss and one is to not bother using scummy devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo. We have the Echo and the Dot and seldom use them anymore and they are always in the OFF position until we actually need them (i.e. as an alarm). In my view, the lowest of the low is Google but that's just my opinion. I don't like the way they have mapped the world… I don't like the way they have played favorites in monetizing or demonetizing vloggers on YT, I don't trust their email service and I do not trust their search engine's results. I'm forced to use some of their services but on a very limited basis. Fact is: I just don't like or trust the company – period.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • Tim

    Premium Member
    18 February, 2019 - 12:16 pm

    <p>I'm so tied into Google (Phone, email, calendar, etc) that I use my google home devices way more than the amazon capable ones. It's a battle of ecosystems to me, and google has won the war on me. </p>

    • jchampeau

      Premium Member
      18 February, 2019 - 12:26 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#405664">In reply to Tim:</a></em></blockquote><p>This. The better device for each person will depend on all the ways they want to use it. If you're all-in on Google (phone, calendar, gmail, etc.) then Google Home will probably work better for you. But if you're an Office 365 commercial subscriber, Echo/Alexa may be a better choice because Alexa will tell you what's on your calendar whereas Google Home won't. I use this function every morning, so Alexa is the better device for me.</p>

      • bharris

        18 February, 2019 - 3:21 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#405666"><em>In reply to jchampeau:</em></a></blockquote><blockquote><em>I had to install a sync utility called Calendar Sync Pro to sync my calendar in Outlook to Google for that specific reason. I have it set so every 4 hours, it just mirrors my Outlook calendar to Google. Works but it just seems like you shouldn't have to do things like that. The Home should be able to interface with Office natively. Otherwise, the Home seems very good.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        21 February, 2019 - 8:52 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#405666">In reply to jchampeau:</a></em></blockquote><p>Exactly. If you are already heavily into one ecosystem, stick with it, at least for now.</p><p>For me, it is the one without a microphone and without an internet connection.</p>

  • navarac

    21 February, 2019 - 7:57 am

    <p>Personally not interested in these things. Info is already available on phone handsets, and I have got a bit wary of "the next new thing" which invariably costs a lot and eventually doesn't get used.</p>

  • jeffrye

    21 February, 2019 - 11:41 am

    <p>I went with the Echo and have used it for a couple of years. It has pros and cons.</p><p><br></p><p>Pros:</p><ul><li>Integrates smart home devices. I have Philips Hue, Insteon, and Amazon smart home devices and control them all from my Echo. I've told the Echo (in the Alexa app) which devices are in which rooms so when I'm in the living room, I can say "Alexa, turn on the lights" and the living room lights turn on.</li><li>Integrates (sort of) with my Sonos speakers. I set the Sonos as a default speaker so if I say, "Alexa, play XYZ" it will play it on the Sonos speaker and not the Echo speaker. I can also pause and resume all my Sonos speakers as well as skipping tracks and getting information on what track is playing.</li><li>Timers are awesome if you have the Amazon clock. I give my kids time limits on screen time (video games, etc.) so they use the timer function of the Echo all the time. Being able to see multiple timers on the clock is WAY more useful than I originally thought.</li><li>General questions work OK but it's not uncommon to have to rephrase questions before you get an appropriate answer. However, when you need the number of fluid ounces in a cup or the number of teaspoons in a tablespoon, it's awesome.</li><li>Announcements work great especially if you have a big house and multiple Echos. I don't have to run around yelling at the kids to come to dinner all the time any more.</li><li>Reminders are pretty cool and have been useful a few times.</li></ul><p><br></p><p>Cons:</p><ul><li>General questions are hard for it and it's not uncommon to hear "Sorry, I don't know that one".</li><li>Sonos integration is missing some important things. Right now, the Echo can only cast music to the Sonos. It doesn't support any music services that Alexa doesn't support (Google Play Music, Plex, local music, etc.). I'm not interested in paying a subscription when I already own the music I want to listen to but Alexa can't play music that doesn't come from a service and Amazon doesn't let you upload your own music to Amazon Music any more. So now, if I want to play my own music, I have to start it with the Sonos app or with a custom Alexa Sonos controller that's not nearly as versatile. </li></ul><p><br></p><p>Does the Google Home work better? I would assume it works better for general questions but for everything else, I suspect it's a wash – with the exception of Sonos control since Google Home has none.</p><p><br></p><p>My usage is 50% to control music, 30% to control lights, 15% for timers, and 5% for everything else.</p><p><br></p><p>My number one wish is that it would let me play MY music on my Sonos speakers.</p>

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