One toy on my Christmas list this year was to pick up a “Google Home”, Google’s competitor to Amazon’s Echo. If you’re not familiar with Google Home, here is a promo video that Google produced a few months ago:
At the end of the day, Google Home is very similar to the Echo. The big differences you’ll find are that Echo is better for home automation (if you have smart lightbulbs, etc) and buying products from Amazon, while Google Home is much better at understanding your life (calendar, traffic, etc) and complex questions.
The guys at This Week in Tech did a nice head-to-head comparison of the two of them:
As the guys in that video concluded in the end, if you’re deep in Google’s ecosystem (like I am), then Google Home is the way to go. If you’re not too deep in Google and love the idea of home automation and voice shopping with Amazon, then Echo is likely your better bet.
While I already have a few devices near me that can deal with “ok google” commands (phone and watch), Google Home is very fast. The microphones on it are incredibly responsive, so tossing a command across the room (“ok google what’s the weather like?“) results in an almost instant response.
One thing I’ve heard from other reviews, and I’m beginning to experience myself, is that people often buy multiple Google Home devices so they can have them in more than one room. Part of the reason for that is because Google Home doesn’t have a battery; it has to stay plugged in. If you want to move it from one room to another, you’ll need to deal with unplugging/replugging, letting it boot back up, etc.
I’m also thinking a battery would be handy for using it in the backyard as a killer bluetooth speaker. Perhaps version two will have that.
Do you have one of these devices yet? If not, which of these is the one you’d prefer?