Is Alexa is better than Google Assistant?
While Siri gets credit for being the first voice assistant (it launched in 2010), Amazon’s Alexa is still older than Google Home Assistant. Both have made massive leaps and bounds in their features and functionality, and continue to improve and add new stuff as time for the future. But which one is the best?
Which is the best A.I voice assistant?
The two voice assistants we’ll be looking at in this guide are Alexa (found in smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Sonos. And Google Assistant, found in googles range of home speakers.
We’ll be comparing these giants in the world of voice control and finding out which smart speaker comes out on top. If you’re stuck stuck choosing between them in 2021, hopefully this will help. You can also check out some of the awesome accessories for Alexa here. So let’s get started and pit these two mighty voice assistants against each other.
Alexa compared to Google: What have they got in common?
Before we get into pitching Google’s and Amazon’s babies against each other, lets establish some common ground here for a second. Let us take a look at these speakers have in common. While they’re definitely not carbon copies of each other, there are at least a handful of features they share.
- Smart home automation – Both the Echo and Google Home can both be used to control smart home appliances, devices and gadgets.
- Play music from streaming services – While both have different numbers of services supported, you can ask both speakers to play tunes and listen to radio.
- Thinking DELAYS – We’ll look back on this and laugh one day. “Remember how voice assistants used to pause before they answer?” How our future selves will laugh. Right now, sadly, we’re stuck waiting around while our smart speakers figure out what the human just asked it.
- They’re always listening – Both Google and Amazon’s speakers are designed to be left on. This means they’re there when you need them. After all, it’s a bit of a pain having to switch them on each time you need to ask something. What they do with all this data they listen to is a subject for discussion. There’s more on privacy later in this guide.
- You can download extra functionality to both Alexa and Google Assistant – Both systems have extra software you can download, mostly for free. With google, it’s good old apps. Where Alexa relies on it’s own version called Skills.
Talking to robots: Does Alexa or Google have the most natural voice?
Let’s face it – both Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s home assistant are freaking awesome! How cool is it that we can actually talk to a machine?! Quieting my inner nerd for a moment, let’s try and be objective here.
These voice assistants are basically super-smart versions of text to speech software. And while they do a good job of sounding human, you can tell you’re not talking to a real person. But which sounds most natural?
Having listened to both devices a lot. I’d have to give this one to Google. Despite being the first voice assistant out of the gate, Alexa does sound ever-so-slightly more robotic at times. And Google’s assistant definitely has a more organic, normal sound to the voice.
Most natural-sounding voice: Google Assistant
Fun and games – Alexa & Google Home Comparison
Undoubtedly one of the best uses of either Google Home or Amazon Alexa is the different games that can be played (usually for free!). You’ll need to download the Alexa app and browse for games, or the Google Assistant app and do the same there.
There’s a whopping selection of games for Alexa and Google, with games you can play solo, or in a group. Both platforms have games in multiple genres, from action and adventure, to trivia (my favourite) and slower paced investigation games.
So who wins here? This is actually a draw. Whether you buy Alexa or Google, you’ll definitely not have any problems finding some fun games to install. The installation process is similar to both, and the way the games work is equal too.
Best choice for playing games: It’s a Draw!
Google Home vs Amazon Echo – streaming music services
One of the best uses for a smart speaker, aside from home automation, is playing your favourite tunes. The number of streaming music services has grown a lot. Picking a track to suit your mood and getting your assistant to play it for you never gets old.
Google Assistant is a good way behind Alexa in terms of the amount of supported streaming services. Thanks to it’s downloadable skills, you can pretty much install any music service your heart desires with Alexa.
But Google’s Assistant is not down for the count in this round. One major plus with Google Assistant that’s worth mentioning is that it allows you to upload your own music to the cloud. You can then play that back using your voice. This is a really cool idea.
Best choice for streaming music: Alexa
Sound quality: Is Google better than Alexa?
This is a hard one to call because we’ve now got a number of different devices. We’ll need to break this category in our comparison down into similar-sized products from Amazon and Google.
- Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini
- Amazon Echo vs Google Home
Which speaker sounds the best: Echo Dot or Google Home Mini?
Let’s start with the mini speakers first. Both googles and Amazon’s speakers have good sound, for their size, although they’re not going to have that rich, sound their bigger siblings have just because of scale.
And For reference, we’ll be referring to the sound quality of the amazon echo Dot 3rd generation. Amazon have improved the sound quality a fair bit on the newer version of their smart speaker.
A simple way to decide which assistant has the best sound
Best. A subjective term and if you read any reviews or comparisons, people will often have different opinions as to which smart speaker sounds has the better sound. One of the more interesting comparisons that was done took 3 people and got them to do a blind sound test on the main smart speakers. The winner by a clear distance was the Amazon Echo.
Best choice for sound quality: Alexa
Your Privacy: Who respects it most? Alexa or Google
We’ve all got one of those friends. You know the kind. “I’d never have one of those Google Alexa things in my home. Always listening in, you know…” Next time you go around their house and they’ve got on in each room. Regardless, there have been several stories in the media of how much listening in these devices do.
Whether you’re concerned about if Google or Amazon is listening in to see if you’re snoring at night, lets compare their privacy features.
Do Google and Alexa both listen all the time?
Both Google and Alexa are meant to work in a similar way when it comes to privacy. Both companies have said they’re not spying on you with their AI assistants. Although they listen all the time, they do not record any of that and it’s not sent to a server somewhere.
They will both record anything you say after the activation word (‘OK, Google’ or ‘Alexa…’) and this is stored in your Amazon account, or google account, but not used by either company. The system is nor perfect however, with well-documented cases in the media of security mishaps and privacy problems.
Privacy Winner – Google or Alexa? An uneasy tie
Who is the smarter: Alexa / Amazon or Google Home
How smart are our digital assistants these days? A recent study found that Google’s voice assistant might have been pulling ahead. It was able to answer more questions than poor Alexa and was able to respond to multiple questions at once.
Is Google or Alexa better at retrieving info?
Both Alexa and Google’s assistant have access to pretty much every fact known to man, thanks to being able to quickly look stuff up on the web, but Google has the advantage here that it actually IS the world’s biggest search engine. It’s going to be better at pulling relevant info from the search engine than Alexa.
There’s a superb video comparison between Alexa and Google here, which goes into asking and answering questions. They start simple, but get much harder. It’s interesting seeing the two voice assistants doing battle side by side!
Verdict: Who’s the smartest, Google or Alexa? Google
Alexa vs Google in the future… Who will win?
To say that these digital assistants have big budgets behind them would be the understatement of the century. It’s incredibly unlikely that either company will drop their product and move on to something else. Both Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa will likely be around for decades to come. But which one is the best for the near future?
Which smart assistant has the ‘best’ AI?
Search giant’s google are making huge strides in the world of Artificial Intelligence, for use in their search engine above all else. But there’s an obvious crossover in the world of virtual voice assistants too. It’s hard to imagine any company competing with them and as time goes by, Google Assistant could become the more natural-speaking, ‘intelligent’ assistant.
Both companies are churning out exciting updates – it’s hard not to get excited about what’s around the corner.
Voice assistant of the future – Google or Alexa? Google
Conclusion: Which is better – Alexa or the Google Assistant?
Hopefully this guide will have helped you decide which voice assistant is right for you. There’s some further links and videos on google vs Alexa below too. Both virtual assistants are being updated with lightening speed right now.
Both do a very good job at home automation, entertainment and answering your queries. There’s some minor differences in terms of services and data retrieval but whichever one you buy, you’ll have a blast!
Sources & Further Reading
More videos and links to help you choose between Alexa or Google Home
- The Slate have an excellent article on privacy features of Alexa compared to Google
- There’s a full list of the Music service Skills up on the Amazon Website
- CNET have some great ideas for games to play on your Alexa and Google Home
- Immerse yourself in the world of Google’s AI on their official site devoted to it.
- There’s a fascinating article on Forbes about how does Alexa actually work?
There’s a really in-depth video from Matt Ferrell here, on which virtual assistant is right for you, Google vs. Alexa?
Another video that will help you figure out whether Google or Alexa is the top virtual assistant:
If you’re interested in your privacy on your smart speaker, you’ll definitely want to check this video out: