Smart speakers are increasingly being sold all over the world (1 in 10 Americans buying one this year). Siri was the latest, but it’s only available on iOS. Therefore, we’ll see which is the best voice assistant and the one that better suits you for your house.
When buying a smart speaker, we look at things such as sound quality or design, but we also need to think which voice assistant is better for us based on the devices we choose to interact with it or the computer with which we’ll use it because we can monitor home appliances, light bulbs or any compatible device besides listening to music. These devices will turn our home into something only available in sci-fi movies in a couple of years, controlling a large number of elements using only the voice, and creating complex actions and tasks.
Amazon has been banking heavily on Alexa, incorporating the voice assistant into its Echo speakers. There are currently more than 28,000 Alexa-compatible products from 4,500 different vendors, with all sorts of gadgets such as light bulbs, connectors, microphones, switches, etc. This makes it the ecosystem with the largest number of gadgets, besides the fact that Amazon itself has a large ecosystem of Echo devices that can be distributed throughout the home, with clocks, screens like the Echo Spot, powerful speakers like the 2nd Echo gene, small as the Echo Dot or with the Echo Input to turn any normal speaker into a smart one. This makes the native hardware of the company the most complete of the three.
There are more than 100 non-Amazon devices that allow you to monitor Alexa and other apps by voice as well as having compatible hardware. In addition to this, they released in September 2018 the Alexa Connect Pack, a cheap package with WiFi and Bluetooth for manufacturers to incorporate into their smartphones and make them fully compatible with Alexa. Through this, we see that this worker, with relatively stable current, looks very promising for the future.
Google Assistant has been one of the first virtual assistants and has been present for the past two years and later on all Android mobile devices. We also already have more than 10,000 devices which can be controlled by Google Assistant. This number is lower than Alexa, some manufacturers don’t have apps that are compliant with it. Despite this, it has a wide range of compatible apps, and most of the most common devices offer Google and Alexa support.
Besides being the most advanced voice assistant, you can also ask him complex questions that need some abstraction and he will understand them and give you the answer. For example, if you ask “How’s the weather outside” it will tell you the current weather in your area.
Google has already launched several of its own devices, such as Google Home or the Home Mini, to use Assistant beyond the Mobile. We provide an assistant in both of them that has similar features to Alexa, such as a night mode for reducing the number of replies. Google does, of course, help recognize different family members.
Siri was the first great voice assistant to be released but just over 250 devices are supported. This is because all devices wishing to connect to HomeKit, their smart home software, must meet the requirements for encryption by Apple.
Privacy is among Siri’s most positive qualities. Although Amazon and Google log each request that we send to the speaker and then use it to advertise ads, market goods, or enhance technology, Apple is more privacy-friendly. The company does not associate the data with a personal profile, which means that the users’ information cannot be used or sold to direct the ads. Siri treats all requests using an anonymous key, stopping accounts from being connected to them.
Using such a closed and managed environment often allows the process of configuration and automation simpler, as long as compatible devices are identified. Routines that integrate multiple devices can be created, having the best app of the three assistants.
Of course, to get the most out of it, you need to be inside the Apple ecosystem. For example, in addition to the fact that there is only one smart speaker available (the HomePod), you have to subscribe to Apple Music, without there being “mini” alternatives. In addition to having to use an iPhone if we want to control it with our mobile, AI is behind Google Assistant, although at the same level as Alexa.