In today’s day and age, technology is everywhere. We use our phones constantly, headphones, Bluetooth watches, and even home bots. This brings us to the question, out of the main three which is the best assistant: Alexa, Siri, or Google?
In order for you to decide, here’s a breakdown of each one, along with the best and worst reviews.
Amazon’s Alexa, more affectionately called “Alexa” is a virtual assistant that is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports and other “real-time” information, like the news. Alexa is used mostly as a home automated system. Most people own the classic Amazon Echo device, which is a smart speaker you can set up anywhere within your home. Alexa comes in the form of the Amazon Echo, the Echo Dot, a Smart Display, and Echo Input, and more. The Amazon Echo, with Alexa, is one of their more popular products. The Echo functions has a speaker, with 360 audio and premium sound, making it a perfect Bluetooth speaker on its own. It also has control over your music, smart-home, and more. However, there have been multiple privacy concerns when it comes to Alexa, with people complaining the Echo was listening to conversations even when it was supposedly “off” … creepy.
Promising review: “I like this better than my Sonos system with Alexa. You can pair Echos to play throughout your home, and it’s easier than trying to set up my Sonos to do the same. You can control the Echo via voice, Alexa app, or through the Amazon Music app. All of these are leaps better than the buggy Sonos app. The sound quality is fantastic and the value for your money is higher than any competitor. I do believe I will be purchasing Amazon Echos from here on out.”
Cautionary review: “Worked well for the first 4 months then would just stop working 3-4 times per day. No longer understands us consistently and constantly loses connection while none of our other “smart” devices do this. Our echo dots have worked flawlessly for well over a year but this “premium” echo is now an ugly paperweight because it is out of warranty.”
Siri is also a virtual assistant but was created by Apple and is an integral part of their systems. Siri can be used on any iPhone or Apple product by simply clicking the Siri button or saying “Hey, Siri” and voicing your command. You can also ask Siri questions, make recommendations, and have Siri perform a limited amount of actions, such as basic phone actions, scheduling events or reminders, handling settings, searching the internet, navigation, and more. Siri originally came out in 2011 to mixed reviews. Many people agreed that Siri had good voice recognition but was unable to perform many tasks due to its rigid structure. They have also come under scrutiny for Siri’s transcription when you are trying to send a message through audio, especially for people with accents. Siri can also connect to the Apple Home app, which can control the lighting, heating, air, and more within your home.
Promising review: “If you have an iPhone and an Apple Music subscription, Apple’s Siri is probably the most suitable voice assistant for you. You’ll get all the top-end audio features, and everything should work smoothly with your Apple device, too. This is a voice assistant for those who are already deeply integrated into Apple’s range of products, and it can be difficult to make the most out of it if you don’t have anything else made by Apple already. If you do though, the Apple HomePod and Siri itself are sure to offer you one of the best premium smart speaker experiences on the planet.”
Cautionary review: “There are other speakers that can do more – basically anything that has Alexa inside, as there are more smart home-enabled devices that are compatible with Amazon’s standard – and there are cheaper speakers that still sound pretty good. There’s also still a real lag on some connections with items of HomeKit, with things like lamps showing as ‘updating’ on the iPhone app and uncommunicative for the HomePod. But then again, such limitations have been a hallmark of Apple’s walled-garden approach, and it has – time and again – proved people will buy such things, further embedding themselves into its ecosystem.”
Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant. One cool thing about the Google Assistant is that it can engage in two-way conversations! You can talk to google in your natural voice and the Google Assistant is able to search the internet, schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings, and even is able to identify objects and gather visual information through its camera, and more. Google is also compatible with over 500 brands, making it fit seamlessly into the devices you already have in your home. It also has super cute family activities like “Read-Along” and “Guess the Song”. You can also get holders for them, like the mini mouse one below!
Promising review: “The Google Home is a great product, well designed, with a decent range of available functions. I use mine to control the house lights via Philips Hue, my heating and cooling via the Nest thermostat. I also play and control my music using Spotify. The speaker has, for its size, a pretty impressive sound range. You can also control and play TuneIn Radio through it. Though the Amazone Echo might have a few more available options at this point in time, I’m pretty certain that Google will be adding that and more on in the near future. For now, additional functionality can be added using IFTTT. I find Google Home’s interaction and replies when talking to it to be more personable and a little bit more “human-like” than the Echo. I have two in my house and would without question recommend it. Really enjoying the Google Home and looking forward to what it will be capable of doing next. Great product!”
Cautionary review: “I got rid of my Amazon Alexa, and then I bought Google Home. That was a big mistake, Google says it’s not playing music when it is when I tell it to turn it off, stop, quit playing, every phrase you can think of, it says no music is playing. I have to constantly unplug it let it reset and then get it to do what it needs to do. All kinds of other small problems that are just ridiculous for something from Google. And, I noticed in Best Buy they have them just sitting there, they’re not hooked up or anything else. But when you go over to Amazon, they have two or three different versions ready rolling and ready to answer questions, etc. That’s why Best Buy and Google have both dropped the ball on this one. I’m not sure if Google needs to give updates on these Google Home Units or what the deal is, but it sucks.”
So hopefully, if you’re considering getting a new assistant for your home, this list has helped you decide which one is the best fit for you. Just beware of the robots.
As always, leave any questions or comments below!
I’m from Long Beach, CA and I’m currently a student at Villanova University, pursuing a major in Communications with a double minor in Psychology and Spanish. I started writing articles in the fall of 2019 and fell in love with writing, hopefully, you’ll enjoy my articles just as much as I do!