Robert wants a voice assistant that has the best artificial intelligence. He wants to be able to ask it a variety of different questions about the news. Leo says the Google Home is the winner in that category, but the Amazon Echo is the only device that lets you shop on Amazon. Amazon is also very good with music, and simple commands like setting a timer, and home automation tasks. There's also more than 50,000 third party skills on the Echo. The problem is that it's hard to find skills, and then he'd have to learn the specific syntax to use that skill.
Nancy has an Android phone, her kids have iPhone. Which assistant should she get, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Leo says it doesn't really matter, but for Nancy, using the Google Home would be similar to Android's voice assistant. The Echo has been out for a few years now and it's a mature system, whereas Google Home just came out not long ago. Google Home is better for facts because of its search knowledge. Amazon Echo is better for home automation. It works well with a variety of Internet of Things devices. Google Home isn't quite there yet with Internet of Things.
Alan's wife works for a non profit for helping the disabled and wants to know what technology should be in the houses they build. Leo says that Wi-Fi internet is a given, as is cable television. Cutting the cable is attractive, but Leo says that connected TV is still the best option to date. He should run conduit in the walls and just switch out the cables as technology evolves. YouTube TV would be good if they can get it. Also, voice activated devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home would be a lot of help.
Michael is looking to buy Google Home, but he wants to know why he needs an app on his phone? Leo says that the hardware that connects to the internet has very good microphones and you control it over your phone to customize it. It also links to the phone to make phone calls. That's what the phone interface is for.
This week Google announced a ton of new products, including a new Google Home and a donut sized version of Google Home (called the Mini) that Leo says may be better than Amazon Echo. Though Leo says that Amazon has a huge lead, in the long run, Google may have the advantage. Meanwhile, Amazon did get a shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Sonos will partner with Amazon to bring connectivity of Sonos to the Amazon Echo. But that may be short-lived since Sonos plans to work with Google and Apple as well.
Mike B says that Google Voice can call 800 numbers, and he used it to call the Tech Guy show. That's something that the Amazon Echo cannot do.
Cindy wants to know if the Echo can work as an intercom all around the house. Leo says it can, but the Echo Dot requires external speakers, while the Echo has its own speaker. There's also the Echo Show, which also has video. She heard that it can make phone calls. Leo says it doesn't make phone calls, but it can make Echo to Echo calls to anyone in her network. If she wants to make phone calls, then Google Home is the way to go. It uses Google Voice.
In what Leo calls a simple application of machine learning and data translation, Google Home can now make phone calls to any number in your phone's contacts. Leo adds this is the benefit to offering free services like Google Voice and Google Photos. It's able to take all that data that Google has access too and apply it to applications that make our lives easier.
Keith is a fan of the Amazon Echo because he is vision impaired. Leo says that the Echo is great for accessibility because he can talk to it and get the necessary replies. It's not perfect, though, of course. It doesn't make phone calls yet. Right now, he could "drop in" and make phones calls to other Echo users. Some day someone may make a skill for that, but Google Home, by contrast, will be able to make a call to any phone number via Google Voice. So for that option, Google Home is the better option.