Which is better as a home assistant, Alexa or Google?
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I work from home with two little kids, organization is the only way that happens. So when Christmas rolled around I made it known I wanted a home assistant. As luck would have it for Christmas my husband got the Google Assistant and I got an Alexa. At first we only started with Google and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Now after some time with both these are my findings.
Mind you, my basic necessities are lists and reminders, so I use their capabilities sparingly. Oh, and music, because those are the main priorities of any mom if she wants to stay sane.
- Google doesn’t seem to recognize my voice.
- I do speak quietly but if it can hear my husband from the bedroom why can’t it hear me when I’m sitting next to it?
- Background noise definitely plays a factor in this. However, I find that it also asks me to verify my voice often and it’s not like my voice has changed in the few months we’ve had it.
- Google does not send me my reminders to my phone.
- I have two kids, two young kids and that is partially why I need the home assistant. I can’t remember anything! Not only can’t I remember anything but I don’t always have both hands available and sometimes both kids are screaming. All of this means that when Google says that it has a reminder for me, I don’t always get it. If I’m not in the room and didn’t hear it or Google doesn’t hear me say ‘what’s my reminder’ then I probably will forget the reminder altogether.
This is because the reminder maybe is in the app, but I don’t know because I forgot to check.
- Google is just like ‘I have a reminder for Shea’.
- Great, why can’t you just tell me what it is why do we have to cryptic about it?
- This probably will vary person to person but if it’s something I wouldn’t want my husband or kids to hear I wouldn’t say it that way. As in, I’d say ‘remind me to get that awesome gift for Adam’ not ‘remind me to buy Adam a smart watch’. This is mostly because Google would say ‘I have a reminder for Shea’ and I don’t know if I’ll know what that reminder is or not so I don’t accidentally just listen to it with my husband there and not remember that he’s not supposed to hear it. Usually I don’t forget what the awesome gift is but I usually save that elsewhere like in my notes on my phone.
You can’t ‘Google’ everything.
- This is obvious I’m sure but at the same time not. Sometimes I want to know the main actor in a movie but there’s another movie that has a similar movie title and Google keeps giving me the wrong one. This is a mostly inconsequential con but it can be annoying all the same.
- I can’t see the dots.
- When you talk, the dots light up, but they’re on the top of the device and I’m short. So unless I’m leaving it on the floor I can’t see the little dots and know that it heard me.
- You’re supposed to be able to connect Bluetooth devices.
- I have a JBL speaker and my husband and I spent the better part of a day trying to connect the speaker to the Google and for the life of me we couldn’t do it. It said it worked, and in fact it did for a little while, but the next time I went to try it it wouldn’t work. They still say they’re connected but they’re lying to me.
- Lullaby baby!
- Google’s lullaby selection, though limited, is far superior in my opinion. They are also kind of funny but I won’t ruin it for you. Ask me if you’d like to know.
- I love Google.
- In general, I love Google. I’m not the most tech savvy individual and everything about Google is typically pretty user friendly.
- I’m thinking really hard…
- Maybe the shopping list? Alexa’s is still better though, and easier to find in the app.
- I don’t like her music selection
- When I just say play music, I think her selection for me sucks. Alexa always starts with the worst song too and I always have to skip it.
- She doesn’t always understand.
- While she hears me better than Google by a landslide but she doesn’t always understand what I’m trying to say. Which is fine for the most part.
- Sometimes you have to be specific.
- That kind of makes sense though. The English language has too many words and too many that mean similar things. Like what’s my notification as opposed to what’s my reminder.
- She basically always hears me.
- She never asks me to verify my voice, which might be a good thing if you consider that maybe she has less security checks than Google? That I’m not sure about. Sometimes she doesn’t get me but I usually know that ‘lamp chamomile’ really means ‘lavender chamomile’.
- Come to think of it, once I was watching a woman on Youtube while I washed the dishes and she spoke to her Alexa and mine did her command. So that’s I guess concerning if you have her set up as a true assistant. Like if you have it so she can turn on lights and open locks, you might want Google because the voice recognition is more secure.
- Now, maybe because I use Google for this less, but Alexa doesn’t forget my latest music choice. So when I say play Pandora she picks up on the station I left off with. Also, the reason I set up Alexa was to have her closer to the kitchen so I could actually hear my music without blasting it. But now, I use her for everything because like I said, Google doesn’t always hear me even when I’m next to her.
- She’s pretty good at picking up what I’m throwing down. Like I made a list for what to write on social media and she understood and did it right away. For Google if I say ‘grocery list’ instead of ‘shopping list’ she gets confused and wants to create a new list.
- Also, picking things up, Alexa’s app has the shopping list right there for me when I scroll down. Google I have to go into setting and then go down to the list and I’ll be honest I almost always forget this and click something else and get annoyed.
- Alexa has a ring of color around the upper part of it that’s blue when she hears you and when she speaks. When she has a notification for me she’s yellow and will glow in and out so that I notice her.
- Like I mentioned before, when Alexa has a notification for me she’ll also chime in on my phone.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Now, don’t just take my word for it, I’m sure that there are weird things that I could fix if I put in an iota of effort. As in, I’m sure Google can and would send me notifications right to my phone if I just allowed notifications. What I’m getting at in essence though is that Alexa seems to be much more user friendly for the average consumer. If I were a super high tech person, I would probably prefer Google for the added security and most likely for the added capabilities.
This is almost the iPhone, Android debate.
My husband has an Android and does love the way that he is able to really adapt his phone to his liking, where I’m an iPhone user and I love that I don’t have to put much effort into using the thing. I also like that my devices just kind of talk to each other. So if you’re the type that likes technology, and you want your house outfitted with all the bells and whistles, Google might be your thing. I’m talking to the mom that just can’t be bothered to carry anything extra around with her other than her phone.
So for me, Alexa is where it’s at, because she just kind of works when I need her to and how I need her to.
I don’t even carry a purse anymore because I have the kids’ backpacks and if it doesn’t fit in there I don’t need it. When I grocery shop I have my phone and my wallet, I’ve tried lists before and notebooks and I always lose them. Then I just have a collection of notebooks that are only half-written in and forgotten about.
Have any questions or feedback? Let me know in the comments section below!
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