Since we are bombarded almost on a daily basis with articles and news pieces which talk about new voice-control platforms having been released or going to be released, we also started to be more interested in them. Amazon Echo and Google Home are two of the best devices out there on the market. However, making a choice can be somewhat tricky which is why today we will talk about all of the features of both platforms and comparing them. You will be the one who will decide which device better fits your needs.
First of all, we are going to start by addressing the price difference between the two devices. Amazon Echo is priced on the market at 99 dollars whereas Google Home is slightly more expensive, coming up to 129 dollars. The price difference between the two platforms is not incredibly high.
The latest version for Amazon Echo comes in a stunning and aesthetically pleasing design. The form of the device is a squat cylinder, and it is almost 6 inches tall. It has many removable fabric and wood covers, making it fit right into a vast series of different home designs. At the top of the device, we can find a volume ring that lights up when the user activates Alexa. This device also has two buttons. One of them turns the microphone off, and the other one is a multipurpose Action button.
Google Home is just 5.6 inches tall. Its diameter is 3.8 inches. The device comes in white, with seven different fabric and metal bases that can be swapped. At first glance, this device looks like it was inspired by wine glasses or candles. The top half of it is made up of a hard plastic material with a smooth surface that lights up whenever the device is listening to the speaker. The LED lights under this plastic part come in four different colors. Besides all of these design features, Google Home also comes with a touch interface that the user can use to play music and also activate Google Assistant. On the back side of the platform, we can find a Mute button.
If you ask us, both devices look just as good, but they seem to be tailored to different tastes. If you prefer minimalism and like neutral colors then you might gravitate towards Amazon Echo. However, if you would like a bold accent in your home, you might go to Google Home. So far the design does not discredit either one of the brands, but that changes when we start to talk about the features of these devices.
If you want a speaker home assistant device with compelling sound, then we are going to recommend Google Home. Home has way better sound quality than the Echo or other home-assistant platforms, for that matter. Echo makes up for the lack of powerful speakers with a 3.5mm headphone jack to which you can connect your own set of speakers. However, who wants to buy a voice-assistant platform and then buy a pair of speakers just to have better sound?
Yes, both devices support Spotify, TuneIn, Pandora, and iHeartRadio. Echo also supports Amazon Music whereas Home allows users to interact with YouTube Red or Google Play Music.
Google Assistant is easier to use since the interaction with this machine is more fluid and more natural. Alexa works just as well, but you have to stick to its specific syntax to spark up a conversation and find out the information that you need to know.
Another distinguishing feature between the two is the fact that with Google you are now able to upload your music to the cloud (if you have a collection of songs that cannot be as easily found online) whereas Echo does not have that feature. Amazon used to let users upload their music to the cloud as well but users cannot sign up for that anymore, and those that are still using it will be cut off by 2019.
Alexa recording scandal
When people started seeing these voice assistant platforms begin to pop up on the market, they wondered if these programs could record them without them knowing. This is indeed everyone’s nightmare, mainly if the recording falls into the wrong hands and you are revealing some piece of personal information that you wanted to keep private.
Well, Amazon Echo’s Alexa looks like it suffers from a glitch which makes it start recording without notifying the user. This happened to a family in Portland. They began to complain that Echo started to kick in and record what was going on around when it heard the trigger word “Alexa” even if it was not followed by a command.
If you do not want to fall into this trap and you want to keep your conversations as private as they can be, then we recommend that you do not say “Alexa” during your conversation. If you have to do it, then speak some distance away from your home voice assistant device so that you can avoid letting the device record you without you knowing. In a best-case scenario the information is not going to be used for anything but on a worst case scenario hackers may take advantage of this glitch and use it to extract as much personal data as they can.
This glitch is undoubtedly going to be fixed shortly but until that happens, we recommend that you use your Amazon Echo device with caution. If you want to be extra safe, just disable the feature that lets Alexa record calls.