From asking for weather updates to controlling your home’s security, virtual assistants gave transformed the way we live our lives. Despite this, knowing which platform is the right one for you can be a tricky task from the unique batteries to the individual qualities. In order to make an informed decision, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of each, as well as which is compatible with the widest range of gadgets. In addition to this compatibility, you must also consider the speakers, capabilities, specs, and prices of each solution. With this being said, what exactly is a virtual assistant?
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are essentially home helpers that respond to your instructions, present you with information, and even control your home appliances. You speak to them via a special smart speaker, allowing for hands-free control. These assistants are more popular than they ever have been, especially as they’re making technology more accessible for the elderly. In fact, more than half of internet households now own a virtual assistant, with the two main smart speakers being Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
What’s the Difference Between the Two?
On the surface, Alexa and Google aren’t too different from one another; however, there are a few aspects that separate the two. For instance, Alexa can do some things that Google can’t, including whispering when you need it to be quiet, detecting irritation in your voice, and tracking your Amazon orders. On the other hand, Google is much better at dealing with various instructions in one sentence (e.g., you can turn on a plug and set an alarm without separating the two commands). Generally speaking, Google is more knowledgeable, as it has the entire search engine at it’s disposable. In contrast, Alexa is better at integrating with other devices.
You might solve the dilemma by having both assistants; however, this is quite unnecessary. In fact, it would make much more sense to choose the platform you prefer to keep everything seamlessly integrated.
Alexa – Pros and Cons
As previously mentioned, Alexa is renowned for its extensive integrations. Additionally, the product range is huge, allowing you to choose between standard solutions, quality speakers, and models with screens.
Blink and Ring doorbells and Fire TV sticks are also Amazon owned, making them seamlessly compatible with Alexa. Despite this, Alexa can also connect with third-party devices, including Philips Hue lights, robot vacuums, iRobot, mesh Wi-Fi systems, and TP-Link Plugs. Similarly, Alexa is connected to your Amazon account, allowing you to shop and track packages.
One drawback of Alexa is that the voice isn’t very customizable – you can change the language and choose between masculine and feminine voices, but that’s it. Furthermore, Alexa can only handle one instruction at a time.
Google – Pros and Cons
The main pro of Google Home is that it pretty much understands you like a normal human, as it can process multiple requests at one time. While Google isn’t compatible with as many devices as Alexa, it can still be used in conjunction with an array of other products, including mesh Wi-Fi kits, Chromecast devices, Nest surveillance cameras, Tado thermostats, Arlo Wi-Fi security cameras, and Philips Hue lights. As with Alexa, the range is very varied, offering small and large models alike.
As previously mentioned, Google falls behind regarding third-party device compatibility; however, it’s slowly working towards closing this gap. On top of this, there is only one option for the wake phrase, which is “Hey Google”. With Alexa, you have the option of changing it to “Computer”, “Amazon”, or “Echo.”
Whichever platform you choose depends on your personal preferences.