A Rant About Alexa: Why Google Home is Better than Amazon Alexa

Warning: This post is not a technical overview of the fact-based differences between the Google Home and the Amazon Alexa. This is, however, a biased rant from someone who needs to get out more.

Answer to the question in the title: Because it runs Google.

Once upon a time I was a Windows Phone user. A part of the Windows Phone ecosystem is the presence of Bing everywhere. Now, when you use Bing in front of people, it becomes a joke. It's like owning a Zune, which was hated for no other reason besides Apple's amazing marketing, and the iSheep contaminating a fantastic MP3 player. Here's a hint for everyone who mocked the Zune for being an iPod clone: Apple didn't invent the MP3 player; they just made it shiny, and produced great commercials about it. Bing gets the same ridicule from people who have never used it claiming it sucks. Now admittedly, the primary reason I used Bing was because they have a rewards program where you can win free Amazon.com gift cards, but it's not like you can make bank from that to justify using a terrible search engine. It really wasn't that bad. Sure, Google found some things better than Bing, but my results were still pretty damn accurate.

This brings me to Alexa. Amazon's smart speaker is the number one choice among consumers by a large percentage. Why isn't the Google Home? When you use them side by side, the Google Home is much better at getting relevant results, if Alexa even has an answer, which it most of the time doesn't have. And why? Because the Google Home uses Google! The same argument for people to not use Bing could be made to not use Alexa.

This isn't to say Alexa is bad, it certainly has services that work well together to create a very smart speaker system. However, if you don't have many IoT devices, you'll be using Alexa as either a Bluetooth speaker, or for questions, and there's plenty of questions Alexa just doesn't know the answers to.

Amazon was lucky to be the first smart speaker to get its name out there, that and their great commercials. Those helped define the smart speaker as the "Alexa," like Band-Aid did to bandages, and Kleenex did to tissues.

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