Alexa vs Google Assistant: Which smart assistant wins?

Alexa vs Google Assistant is Ali / Frazier for voice assistants. Both are backed by two of the most advanced technologies and both offer, on paper, many of the same features and functions.

So what is the best virtual assistant? We put Alexa and the Google Assistant through an 11-round round of asking them tons of questions, comparing their ability to provide instructions and recipes, smart home capabilities, entertainment options, and more.

  • Best Alexa Compatible Devices
  • The best devices compatible with Google Home

While these assistants offer many of the same features, each of them has advantages and disadvantages. And, of course, both are developing at an accelerated rate. But that's how they are today.

ALEXA VS GOOGLE ASSISTANT

Alexa vs Google Assistant: voice recognition

Reliability is important to any kind of assistant, default, or not. I kept track of how many times I needed to repeat myself or paraphrase a question for an attendee to have it. Google and Alexa performed very well, requiring a redundant or rephrased query at times, but generally responded to requests quickly and with the best hardware capabilities.

Of course, it can be very confusing if you have multiple people at home and each helper tries to tackle this issue in their own way. Google and Amazon Echo now offer multiple voice profiles, so you can train the device to recognize your specific voice and provide a certain degree of personalized response based on that.

Google Voice Match is one of the most advanced techniques, offering personalized calendars, flights, payments, photos, and more; you can even set your own default multimedia services. However, I often had no problem recognizing my voice and denying me access to my information until I restarted my Voice Match training.

Meanwhile, Alexa currently only offers personalized shopping, calling and messaging options, and limited media options, though it has a nifty guest calling feature that lets you connect to a friend's Echo device, for example, if you stick with them. , have access to the data. your own.

Alexa and the Google Assistant also have two audio-related features: first, they both have an optional "follow" mode, in which they stay active for a few seconds after your query is answered, so you can issue another command without saying the command activation word again. This is disabled by default in both cases as it can lead to some false positives. Second, they can both understand "and" in both commands and elements, so I could say "turn off office lights and turn on living room lights" or "add milk and bananas to my list shopping "without, for example, getting an item titled" Milk and Banana. "

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While Amazon is likely to continue to improve its support for many profiles, Google's more comprehensive personal results definitely make it the best assistant in the field.

Winner: Google

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ALEXA VS GOOGLE ASSISTANT

Alexa vs Google Assistant: General Knowledge

We assigned each digital assistant a set of 20 general knowledge questions.

Although both assistants are more efficient than ever, Alexa continues to narrowly outperform the Google Assistant in the field of general knowledge, with the highest honors for providing better answers to many questions. For example, you can tell me when the Westworld season premiere aired, while Google Assistant wanted to read me a summary of the episode.

Interestingly, while Alexa was finally able to answer questions about the stolen base leader the entire time after the paraphrase, the Google Assistant couldn't understand that question, even though she answered correctly in the earlier shooting.

He wasn't that great when I asked him about the first UN Secretary-General, although Google Nest Hub was at least able to present the answer on a screen if he hadn't read it aloud. However, the responses and understanding from both Alexa and the Google Assistant were bang on overall, required a bit of paraphrasing, and rarely forced me to ask more than once.

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The results of the Google Assistant were very close to those of Alexa. In general, he gave strong and quick answers with context, although sometimes it contained too much or too much technical information. For example, when I asked why the sky was blue, the Google Assistant gave an extensive explanation about the diffuse radiation from the sky that would make any five-year-old's eyes shine years.

Winner: Alexa

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ALEXA VS GOOGLE ASSISTANT

Alexa vs Google Assistant: music and podcasts

Music should fit perfectly with any smart assistant. Both wizards seamlessly integrate with your business's music services, and in some cases also provide the ability to link to third-party offerings.

Alexa brilliantly handled a request to play "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones (because I linked it to my Apple Music account). Although I am not subscribed to any of the paid music services that Google Assistant supports., "Paint it Black" and a playlist of other Rolling Stones songs are still playing on YouTube Music.

  • How to play Apple Music with Alexa

Music Service

Alexa

Google Assistant

Amazon Music

Yes

No

Apple Music

Yes

Only on iOS

Deezer

Yes

Yes

Gimme

Yes

No

Google Play Music

No

Yes

iHeartRadio

Yes

Yes

Pandora

Yes

Yes

SiriusXM

Yes

Yes

Spotify

Yes

Yes

TuneIn

Yes

Yes

Tidal

Yes

No

Vevo

Yes

No

YouTube Music

No

Yes

Totals

11

9

Both attendees responded to my request to play flashy 80's and West Coast jazz by offering stations that matched those descriptions.

In terms of the ability to search and play podcasts, both assistants have improved even more since the last comparison. Alexa now allows you to link your Apple Podcasts account as a music service, providing tighter integration for those using iOS and Mac devices, while Google Podcasts appear to have improved on the assistant. Not only did both attendees play the last episodes of "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" And the podcast "The Incomparable", but they were about Australia's most mysterious show, "Dragon Friends."

Both wizards offer some form of multi-room audio functionality, including creating speaker groups via your smartphone. Alexa and the Google Assistant also support playing audio from some music services on speakers, while the Google Assistant can communicate with any speaker connected to Chrome. Some of the best smart speakers are also bundled with Google Assistant and Alexa.

Ultimately, Alexa got the precedence here, thanks to having a few more integrations, including a great service like Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, which is still the largest podcast directory out there.

Winner: Alexa

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Alexa vs Google Assistant: Entertainment

One of the great features of virtual assistants is integration with home entertainment equipment. With Alexa, you can now control your Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Edition, including opening apps, time skipping, playing, and pausing. The Google Assistant can also control playback on Chrome-connected devices, including Chrome, enabled TVs. However, it only offers a few services, and you need to connect some applications through your smartphone first. Alexa and the Google Assistant can control devices through a third-party intermediary device, such as the Logitech Harmony Elite universal remote.

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Continuing down the entertainment path, I tried using assistants to order movie tickets for Pixar's Onward, which ended up being much more than just voice work rather than just using a good old-fashioned web browser. Alexa had no trouble giving me times at nearby theaters, but when I tried to buy a ticket, it sent me to the Atom Tickets skill, which was slow, stuck, and sometimes stuck on recurring episodes; It took me a while to understand that I wasn't trying. Order tickets for the current day. However, the skill allows you to pick up where you left off, as well as being able to tackle theaters with reserved seats.

The Google Assistant can also handle my requests for showtimes at nearby cinemas, but it didn't provide an option to buy tickets directly from my Google Nest Hub by voice.

Winner: Alexa

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Alexa vs Google Assistant: Order food, make reservations, and get recipes

With both attendees, I tried some queries on ordering food, making reservations, and getting recipes. Both attendees made recommendations for a good Indian restaurant in my neighborhood, including various details such as an address, rating, and prices.

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None of the attendees can order Chinese food. At best, they provided a list of nearby restaurants. In the worst case, Alexa tried to order packages of food from Amazon. Google at least recognized the general idea and provided me with a list of nearby Chinese restaurants.

Restaurant reservations work through Alexa, though it requires a slow multi-step process. The Google Assistant has also sent reservation requests to Open Table. The process was definitely a little easier, but it ultimately failed, and she couldn't give me a reason for that.

Google passed the "Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe" test with flying colours, and even showed me the recipe step by step. Alexa was almost as good as she provided multiple recipes, provided an ingredient list, posted the recipe, and gave me the option to have the recipe in the Alexa app.

Winner: a tie

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Alexa vs Google Assistant: Shopping online

It seems that buying things with your voice should be a nice feature, but in practice, it is still difficult. Alexa should have the upper hand here, thanks to its tight integration with Amazon. By default, it seems to handle most purchase orders by searching the Amazon catalog for something that matches the query and then adding it to the Amazon shopping cart, which can sometimes have unwanted results.

Alexa brilliantly handled "ordering more paper towels," although when I ordered a copy of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the assistant first added a bundle with the game and the Xbox console, which was a bit more than I was looking for. Although there is a Buy It Now option through Echo, you have the option of checking your shopping cart on your phone (or Amazon website) before ordering, which is a bonus. You can also use Alexa to add items to your shopping list and wish list, although in the latter case, if it's not a specific item, ie. "Ethernet cable", it just shows up as a generic "idea" on your list of wishes.

The Google Assistant did almost as much as Alexa in my test, despite the Home Hub wanting to use the screen for much of the experience. I was able to add paper towels and a copy of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to my cart, but the items I ordered were not available, so I was unable to complete the order.

Ultimately, Amazon is the world's largest online store, and Alexa's tight integration with the ability to buy things, without having to enter additional account information or choose between stores, gives you an edge.

Winner: Alexa

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ALEXA VS GOOGLE ASSISTANT

Alexa vs Google Assistant: Phone calls, video calls, and text messages

Sometimes you get tired of interacting with the robot and want to talk to a real person. Fortunately, both virtual assistants can connect you with your contacts.

With Alexa, you can call and send voice or text messages to any other Alexa user in your contacts (including those who only have the smartphone app). You can also call any phone number or any contact that has a phone number in their contacts. However, standard texting only works if you have the Alexa app on an Android phone. Once set up, the call will appear to come from your actual phone number.

If you have the Echo Show software, you can also make video calls to other Echo Show owners or to people using the Alexa smartphone app. And Alexa offers an intercom feature that lets you send a message to all the other Echo devices in your home. Amazon also recently added support for Skype, including voice calls, calls to phone numbers, and even video calls through the Echo Show program.

The Google Assistant also allows you to make calls to people in your phone's contacts, though you must set it up so that the calls appear to be coming from your Google Voice number, one of your other phone numbers, or an unlisted number. However, you cannot send text messages with the Google Assistant without a workaround with IFTTT. Unlike Alexa, the Google Assistant can make international calls, if it is linked to a Google Fi account or a Google Voice account that contains credits. Google Nest Hub Max supports video calling through Google Duo.

Although Google has performed well in this area, the integration of the popular Skype service and the intercom feature has thrown Alexa a bit out of the way.

Winner: Alexa

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Alexa vs Google Assistant: Directions

The Google Assistant was at the top of the heap here. Not only did he provide solid time estimates in most cases, but he was also the only one who was able to handle public transportation (and his suggestions were reasonable). He also did his best to give me an overview of the traffic conditions in the area and can send directions to the Google Assistant app on my phone, making it easy to start navigation from Google Maps or Apple Maps

Alexa has improved but is still lagging behind. Their directions to local locations were reasonable, but they weren't fully capable of handling public transportation. When I asked him about the traffic conditions on the local highway, his estimate was more optimistic than Google's, and I know which ones to trust. A new feature should allow you to send traffic conditions to your phone, but it never worked - Alexa was telling me that it couldn't find this device.

It should be noted that both attendees were still breathing when I asked them when the next bus would arrive on the closest street in the neighborhood.

Winner: Google

Shop Now: https://amzn.to/3887ziK

ALEXA VS GOOGLE ASSISTANT

Alexa vs Google Assistant: The smart home

Smart home devices are becoming a great place to integrate with virtual assistants. Both platforms have focused some time and attention on this. Both Alexa and Google work with a wide range of connected products, and many, if not most, third-party products work with both.

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However, you can do a lot more with these devices when you are connected to Alexa than when you are connected to the Google Assistant. For example, with Alexa, you can turn on smart lights if Alexa hears a window cracking or a fire alarm or you can activate smart home devices based on your location. With few exceptions, the Google Assistant allows you to control individual smart home devices simply by creating a schedule or saying a command.

Winner: Alexa

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Alexa vs Google Assistant: Availability

A voice assistant isn't worth much if it doesn't work where you want it to. In addition to its extensive offerings, from the $ 35 Echo Dot to the $ 229 Echo Show, Amazon also has the most third-party partners for Alexa, where you can buy a speaker that is cheaper than Anker. Or, if you need better sound quality, you can buy the SonosOne, which has both Alexa and the Google Assistant built-in. Both plugins are available through an app that you can download on iOS and Android devices.

Google has released smaller versions of the Home, including a cheaper unit (Mini) and one with better sound quality (Max). Google also works with third parties, and the Google Assistant is available on both Android and iPhone, although features are somewhat limited on the latter.

Like Amazon, Google also offers two smart displays, Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. This latest model has a larger screen and includes a camera to support video calls. The Google Assistant also works with some third-party smart displays, such as the Lenovo Smart Display.

Regarding international availability, both the Google Assistant and Alexa are only available in some regions of the world. Google language availability depends on the region you are in, not all languages are available in all regions or on all devices, but there are at least 19 languages available in the United States, and you can also add a second language on the same device, and you will understand the queries on any of them, although you cannot toggle within the same query. The Google Assistant also has a very smart translator mode where you can ask them to translate phrases from another language, a spoken form of Google Translate.

Alexa's language support is more complex - it can speak English (US and UK) and German, and Japanese support is available in limited trials. In some countries, it also offers a multilingual mode, allowing you to use language pairs, such as Spanish and English in the United States, English and Hindi in India, and English and French in Canada. Alexa is available in 41 countries, although not all Echo devices are available in all. Although Alexa doesn't handle cross-language translations locally, there is an external skill that can do this, although it is more cumbersome than Google's built-in offerings.

Winner: Google

Shop Now: https://amzn.to/3887ziK

Alexa vs. Google Assistant: Skills and actions

Built-in features are all well and good, but sometimes you really want to add a feature that just isn't part of the package. In that case, you may need to turn to a third party.

Alexa has more than 100,000 third-party skills. Not all of these are the best Alexa skills, but chances are you can find something to meet your needs. And if you can't, you can always create some basic integration using the IFTTT web service or create your own simple routines via the Alexa app. The company also offers templates for some simple apps, such as game shows and information for houseguests, via its Alexa blueprints feature.

Google has taken a different tack with what it has dubbed actions. The Google Assistant claims it features more than a million actions, but they basically include all possible queries from both first- and third-party offerings, so it's hard to make a straight comparison between the best Google Assistant commands and Alexa's library. Google also offers the best integration with IFTTT, letting you create custom actions without any real knowledge of programming.

Winner: Tie

Alexa vs. Google Assistant: Overall winner

Alexa

Google Assistant

Voice Recognition

X

General Knowledge

X

Music & Podcasts

X

Entertainment

X

Ordering Food

X

X

Online Shopping

X

Communications

X

Directions

X

Smart Home

X

Availability

X

Extendability

X

X

Totals:

8

5

Ultimately, the race was close, with Alexa beating the Google Assistant, thanks to strong performance in the smart home and communication areas. But Google certainly wasn't slow, and the fact is, both are still solid options, depending on which capabilities you prioritize. While both work well in a state of general awareness and scalability, for example, if you want the widest possible support for music and podcast services, Alexa is probably the one to choose. On the other hand, if you have a house with multiple people and they all want your personal information through a smart speaker, then the Google Assistant might be the best option.

Amazon and Google are pushing their virtual assistants at a rapid pace, adding new features and capabilities on a monthly (if not weekly) basis, so there's always something new to discover. I hope they can finally tell me when that bus will show up.

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