Alexa vs. Google Assistant: Which Voice Streaming is good for you?

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are the market leaders in the field of voice streaming systems. You can connect different devices with them and control those devices with your voice. It’s a tricky job to decide between Alexa and Google Assistant as both offer many interesting features. Therefore we will explore some of their key features that will give an edge to one against other. From now onwards you will be able to decide which one you should prefer.

Introduction to Basics:

Both of them act as an AI-powered virtual assistant.

Alexa was announced by Amazon in 2014, it starts with the first Amazon Echo speaker. Alexa expanded its reach to cover different types of gadgets like tablets, microwaves and wall clocks, etc.

Google Assistant made its debut in 2016 as a short-lived messaging app (Allo). With time it becomes an integral part of many Google gadgets along with Android phones and some laptops.

Now, let’s dive a little deeper.

Voice Recognition:

Both Google and Alexa can function very well in service of voice recognition. Both Google and Amazon Echo offer multiple voice profiles, just train the device to recognize your specific voice. They both will remain active for a few seconds to take other commands after answering your first query.

Google Voice Match can offer services like calendars, photos, flights, payments and you can set your default media services. While Alexa is only offering shopping, calling, messaging, and limited media options.

But Amazon Alexa takes the lead in the Guest Connect feature that can allow you to connect to another Echo device; give you access to your own data while staying at your friend's home.

Because of more personal services, Google Assistant wins from Alexa in the voice recognition battle. Google performs very well in contextual back and forth conversation.

General Knowledge:

Amazon Alexa narrowly leads Google Assistant in the general knowledge domain. It provides a more useful and correct answer and ensures response to many general knowledge questions. While Google's assistant sometimes responds with too much technical information, not helpful to many users, it needs to be a smarter assistant. But it has the benefit as associated with a big knowledge giant: Google.

In the end, it is the Amazon Alexa that performs well in response to general knowledge questions.

Phone calls, video calls, and text messages:

You can call and send messages (text, audio) to any other Alexa user and can call any phone numbers in your contact. For text messages, you need the Alexa app on your android phone.

Amazon Alexa has the intercom feature in which you can send a message to all other Echo devices in your home. Alexa also has support for Skype so you can make audio/video via the Echo Show.

With Google Assistant you can’t send messages without using IFTTT (Web-based service for connecting different devices). The assistant is helpful in making international calls when linked to Google Voice accounts having credits.

The popular Skype service integration and intercom feature make Alexa stands taller.

Online Shopping:

Having strong integration with Amazon (largest e-commerce marketplace), no one can beat Alexa in online shopping. Whenever you voice over a purchase request, the Amazon catalog will be searched and you can add items to your amazon cart. Unlike on Google Assistant, you don’t need to provide extra information and choose between different stores.

Music and Podcasts:

 In the area of music and podcasts, Alexa again leads through the integrations with Apple Music and Apple Podcast (largest podcast directory). While both assistants allow creating groups of speakers via smartphone.

Entertainment:

With Alexa, you can control your Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Google Assistant can control Chromecast-connected devices like TVs.

Google Assistant can only handle requests for showing times at theaters but does not provide options for buying tickets on Google Nest Hub directly, but with Alexa you can buy tickets.

Directions:

With the support of Google Maps, Google Assistant is at the top as it offers solid time estimates and an overview of traffic conditions.

Alexa provides good results in directions but isn’t able to handle public transit properly and traffic conditions.

Wake Words:

Alexa has easy to spell wake keywords. “Alexa” is simply easier to say than “OK, Google”.  Unlike Google's Assistant, Alexa shows flexibility. You can select one of the 4 choices “Alexa”, “Amazon”, “Echo”, or “Computer” to active Amazon Alexa. For this, you will use device settings.

Smart Home:

With Alexa, you can enjoy more control over connected devices at your home. For example, smart lights can turn on if Alexa hears a window breaking or a fire alarm.

Google Assistant allows you to control smart home devices by creating a schedule.

Privacy:

Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant allows you to log into your account, you can hear all recorded clips and can delete them. For enhanced privacy, Google's assistant goes a step further, you can disable the recording of your voice commands in privacy settings.

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Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Alexa Smart speaker

With this smart speaker, you can ask for music, news, weather, alarms, and much more. You can stream songs from Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, JioSaavn, Gaana, and Apple Music. Using a smart plug you can control different home accessories with 4 microphones installed. Help is available in both English and Hindi.