Don’t panic. People aren’t being replaced by robots...yet. But there are a couple gadgets that promise to do some of the tasks a personal assistant can do. Well, maybe except make coffee.
Last year, Google launched a new toy just in time for the holiday season – Google Home, a voice-activated smart speaker that plays music, answers questions and controls the air conditioning, among a plethora of other abilities. Google Home shares a lot of similarities to Amazon Echo, which essentially does all the same things.
So which one is better? Well, we’ll leave that up to you. But if you’re looking to get either of these, here’s a little insight into what you can expect to get out of each one.
Best Buy Rating: 4.7 stars
CNET Rating: 4 stars
Price: $139.99 on Amazon
Notable Features: Amazon Echo goes by the name “Alexa.” Say its name, and your wish is its command (so long as your wish is limited to what it can actually do). Echo connects with other apps, or “skills,” so you can call Uber or order pizza from Domino’s. It connects to home devices, too, and can be programmed to turn on the lights, open the garage or adjust the temperature. Echo is also Bluetooth enabled, so you can connect it to your phone as well. When it’s time to chill, Echo can read audiobooks to you or play music from players like Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio. According to Amazon, Echo can hear you even if music is playing, and its seven microphones and “beam forming” technology allow it to hear you across the room. And when you’re lonely, you can ask it questions like “What’s the weather in Japan?”
Best Buy Rating: 4.3 stars
CNET Rating: 3.5 stars
Price: $129 on Google Store
Notable Features: Google Home has a slightly lower rating than Amazon Echo on Best Buy and CNET, but it’s not as pricey, and its base also comes in different colors. Its magic words are “Okay Google.” Google Home, too, can connect with multiple programs to do things like adjust the air conditioning or turn on the lights. Being a Google device, Google Home pairs well with other Google apps like Google Calendar, Google Play Music and Google Keep. It can play music from players like Pandora, Spotify and YouTube Music, and much like Amazon Home, it can hear you when the music is on. And as mentioned, the base is customizable. So yes, Horned Frog fans, you can get it in purple.