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Amazon Echo Takes On Google Home: Tasks That The Echo Can Do Better

17 March 2017, 8:05 am EDT By Anne Baker Tech Times
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Google Home and the Amazon Echo are direct rivals and are currently embroiled in a stiff competition to get an edge in the smart home market. Here’s a look at some features where Amazon's Echo beats Google Home hands down.  ( Google )

Google Home and Amazon Echo, two of the most popular smart speakers around, are engaged in the battle for supremacy.

There are several tasks that Google Home can perform which Amazon Echo can't and vice versa. Despite the number of Google Home updates, Home still falls short of Amazon Echo's Alexa.

Here's a look at how the Amazon Echo outperforms the Google Home.

Reading Out Books

One of the best and greatest features of Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa is its capability to read Kindle books aloud. One simply has to ask, "Alexa, play 'Catcher in the Rye'" or "Alexa, read 'A Walk in the Woods.'"

Despite the built-in Read Aloud feature in Google Play Books, Google Home doesn't support playing of audio books or reading e-books out loud. To make Google Home read e-books out loud, one has to do quite a bit of juggling. First and foremost, you will need to play the audiobook or select the Read Aloud option in Google Play Books app.

Once that is done, you will have to select the Cast icon from the Notification pull-down bar and choose Google Home Speaker. It is only then that you can start streaming audio through the speaker. So, unlike a simple voice command in Alexa, streaming an audio book through Google Home is quite a bit of work.

Amazon Echo Voice Remote

If you want to ask Alexa to do something from a distance, no need to holler. Why strain those vocal chords when you have Alexa Voice Remote? The voice remote, which is currently only available in the United States, is a wireless, battery-powered, voice-enabled device, which allows the owner to easily and quickly control the audio playback on the Echo.

To do the same thing for Google Home, one has to purchase another unit of the speaker in a bid to keep it at all corners of the house for maximum utility. If that is too costly an option, one can always shout.

Third-Party Alexa

Amazon in March 2016 released an API for all devices i.e. Echo, Dot and Tap that are powered by Alexa Voice Services. The API permitted external developers not associated with Amazon to put Alexa on custom-made hardware like Raspberry Pi. The API also allowed third-party manufacturers to build their own Alexa-powered computers or Alexa speakers.

So, now if someone is gunning for Alexa alone, they have the option between Amazon Echo, Dot or Tap and other third-party products like Matrix Creator or a Raspberry Pi.

Track Your Packages

One of Alexa's primary job is to order things from Amazon. Apart from facilitating orders with Amazon, Alexa can also track the packages and alert the user of its status. To track a package, all one has to say is "Alexa, where's my stuff?"

In response, Alexa will give you the estimated day of arrival but not go into details like the package's current location and status of shipment. Still better than Google Home because if you ask the same question to the device it will just say "I can't do that yet."

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