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Difference Between Google Assistant and Alexa

One of the most common things about human race is communication. Technology has completely revolutionized the way we communicate in many aspects. Today nearly everyone has a small computer in his/her hand, their smartphone. As the interface between computers and humans grew thinner, the voice became the next medium to act as an input tool to computing devices, and hence there has been the advent of voice-based personal assistants. Of the many milestones of the voice revolution, the most common names are the famous Google Assistant and the Alexa developed by Amazon.

Alexa and Google Assistant are the market leaders in the voice-based digital assistant space and they are getting smarter day by day. Both the digital assistants can control compatible smart home devices, play music, run timers, alarms and reminders, find information online, news highlights, and so much more. Google Assistant is probably better at handling internet search-based queries which is obvious, while Alexa tends to rely on Wikipedia for general knowledge queries. Each has their own set of features and strengths, but the question is: which is the best digital assistant out there – Google Assistant or Alexa?

 

All about Google Assistant

Google Assistant is an AI-powered voice-based digital assistant developed by search giant Google that is primarily available on smartphones and various smart home devices. It is basically an AI and virtual assistant that users can use to play music, get weather reports and traffic updates, book cabs, set reminders and alarms, call contacts using Duo, plan content to a Chromecast device, and so much more. Google Assistant is an evolved version of Google Now, the voice assistant introduced by Google for Android smartphones in the year 2012. Users can have full-length conversations with Google Assistant, which is not possible with Google Now. Google Assistant is available on Pixel phones, Google Home speakers, Android phones, and Wear OS smartwatches, earbuds and headphones, and more.

 

What is Amazon Alexa?

Alexa is the intelligent, interactive voice-based personal assistant by Amazon, originally developed to be used jointly with a Bluetooth speaker and microphone hardware called Amazon Echo. Alexa is a digital assistant that is oriented towards a smart home concept. It uses speech recognition as interactive mechanisms. The core of Alexa has a natural interaction. However, the API provided by the company to develop the skills allows third-party programmers to add functionalities. Users can summon Alexa with their voice starting with the keyword “Alexa” followed by the request such as day-to-day queries about weather, food recipes, or set alarms, shop for daily items, and much more.

 

Difference between Google Assistant and Alexa

Technology

– Google Assistant is an AI-powered voice-based digital assistant developed by Google that is primarily available on smartphones and various smart home devices. Google Assistant is closely integrated with Google search; it uses machine learning to turn speech into a string, then uses Google Search to look up useful answers. Alexa is the intelligent voice-based personal assistant by Amazon, originally developed to be used with its family of Echo devices. Alexa uses speech recognition as interactive mechanisms but the API provided by the company to develop the skills allows third-party programmers to add functionalities.

Strength

– Both Google Assistant and Alexa are the market leaders when it comes to virtual assistants and they are getting smarter by the day. Both the digital assistants can control compatible smart home devices, play music, run timers, alarms and reminders, find information online, news highlights, and so much more. Google Assistant is, however, more natural to use and is better at handling internet search-based queries thanks to Google search. Alexa has the upper hand when it comes to e-commerce or shopping related queries, which is Amazon’s main forte.

Integration

– Alexa can do almost anything its counterpart Google Assistant can accomplish. Alexa is the brain behind its entire family of Amazon Echo devices and a wide range of smart home devices such as smart lights, smart locks, smart switches, smart plugs, smart hubs, security cameras, smart thermostats and more. Google Assistant has a relatively narrower range of integration with smart home devices, which include Google Nest Hub, Google Home and Chromecast devices, smart thermostats, smart plug, smart camera, home security, etc.

Google Assistant vs. Alexa: Comparison Chart

 

Summary of Google Assistant vs. Alexa

In a nutshell, both the digital assistants Google Assistant and Alexa are the market leaders when it comes to virtual assistants and they are getting smarter by the day. Both are very skilled and have their own set of features and strengths. However, Google Assistant is more natural to use because of its better contextual awareness. Thanks to Google Search, it responds quite well to internet search-based queries. Alexa, on the other hand, is the brain behind its entire family of Amazon Echo devices and a wide range of smart home devices. Alexa has an upper hand when it comes to handling e-commerce or shopping related queries, which is Amazon’s main forte. But what the evolution of AI and Machine Learning brings to the table in the coming future and how the two digital assistants are able to leverage that is yet to be seen.


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[0]Image credit: https://i.vimeocdn.com/filter/overlay?src0=https%3A%2F%2Fi.vimeocdn.com%2Fvideo%2F675690997_1280x720.jpg&src1=https%3A%2F%2Ff.vimeocdn.com%2Fimages_v6%2Fshare%2Fplay_icon_overlay.png

[1]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/Android_Assistant_on_the_Google_Pixel_XL_smartphone_%2829526761674%29.jpg

[2]Bhargava, Madhur. Alexa Skills Projects. Birmingham, United Kingdom: Packt, 2018. Print

[3]Lee, Henry. Voice User Interface Projects. Birmingham, United Kingdom: Packt, 2018. Print

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