- If you want to quickly get started with a smart home, buying an Echo product is your best bet.
- Amazon’s Echo products are easy to set up and plug in anywhere that you need to summon Alexa.
- At $50, Echo Dot, the smaller speaker, is one of the cheapest smart home controllers in the market.
- Alexa has more than 10,000 Skills, or third-party capabilities, making it the most broadly supported smart home hub.
- The smartphone apps for setting up Echo products work with Apple and Android devices.
- Amazon’s Alexa app for iPhones and Android phones, required for setting up some smart home products, can be clunky.
- Alexa sometimes has difficulty responding to what you are asking it to do.
- The speakers on Echo products are generally mediocre.
- You can’t trigger Alexa by speaking to a smartphone; you have to talk to the speaker itself.
- In its , Amazon says it takes no responsibility for third-party products that work with Alexa. In other words, the onus is on you to find out what third-party home accessory companies can do with the data they collect from you.
- Google’s Home speaker and smartphones running newer versions of Android include Assistant.
- At $130, Google Home costs $50 less than Amazon’s standard Echo speaker.
- In terms of artificial intelligence, Assistant is generally smarter than Alexa and Siri because it is powered by the brains of Google search, meaning you can ask a broader array of questions and are more likely get a correct response.
- You summon Assistant by saying “O.K., Google,” which gets annoying.
- There are far more smart home products supporting Alexa than Google’s Assistant.
- Google Home’s audio quality is just mediocre.
- While Assistant is slightly smarter than other virtual assistants, it is still flawed and has trouble responding to some requests appropriately.
- Google’s on the data it collects with Google Home is vague. It says: “Google collects data that’s meant to make our services faster, smarter, more relevant and more useful to you.”
- With privacy in mind, Apple worked directly with home accessory makers to ensure that the data transferred between accessories and Apple devices is secure and encrypted.
- The integration of Apple’s HomeKit into its mobile devices makes it much easier to set up Siri with home accessories.
- Partly because of Apple’s stringent privacy requirements, it has taken longer for smart home accessories supporting Siri to reach the market, meaning there are fewer available.
- Siri sometimes has trouble understanding what you are asking it to do.
- Siri is exclusive to Apple products.