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Old 12-10-2018, 07:41 AM
 
872 posts, read 1,661,769 times
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So it seems the home assistant is really here. Star Trek is happening . I'm finally ready to pick up one, but how does one differentiate between the three?

My big worry with these is if they decide to lock off their ecosystems that'd be really annoying. It's already mildly irritating that I can't steam Amazon on my chrome cast, I always have to do it through the browser.

In my case I'm all in on google because of e-mail, calendars and maps; but I have an iPhone 8 (may get an Android in the future, I just dind't like having two phones); and I obviously buy everything on Amazon (funny how Amazon has made many lazy shoppers).

I'd also like a system that can work in two rooms, and that can pair up with a small home theater setup--nothing major, but something that can help the TV sound a little better or that can pair with a TV soundbar.

Do Alexa, Google and Apple each do that? Do they send information to your phone too?
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
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We have an Alexa in the living room and an Echo-dot in the dining room. We really enjoy both, although there are limits to their knowledge. I love asking Alexa math or spelling questions, or telling her to open my media and playing any song in my library. The Echo-smart speaker is decent for music. I would go with Alexa, but the others probably work fine too.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:05 AM
 
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Just say no!
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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I'm going to recommend Google here.
I'm all in on Google after trying Amazon. My house is pretty voice automated.
My stuff is really dialed in. When I pull in the driveway, the lights in the living room come on and the thermostat bumps up a couple degrees. I can run the lights, the (Roku) TV to an extent, and the thermostat with my voice. I also no longer have house keys which is probably my favorite part. How 'all in' do you want to go here?
Since you are all Google I'd suggest that route. Yea, I shop the hell out of Amazon too but not to the point where I trust Alexa to get me the best price if I say "Alexa, order me laundry soap". I still shop Amazon the 'old fashion way'... on my phone.
Amazon and Google aren't playing with each other which is why you can't stream to a CC from Amazon... or get YouTube on a Fire Stick. As for a sound bar I don't think Amazon has an Alexa one yet... but Google does which comes with Android TV.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._soundbar.html

So many ways to go here. I consider myself a bit of an expert here so tell me more about what your endgame is and I can go into more detail. How far you wanna go?
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
So many ways to go here. I consider myself a bit of an expert here so tell me more about what your endgame is and I can go into more detail. How far you wanna go?
Nice setup you have!

I’ll be in a tiny apartment so won’t be as elaborate. Mainly I’d like to be able to send commands to my phone or ask google to do simple tasks lol me tell the weather.

I’ll also want some sound that’s better than the TV that has a little punchiness but with minimal imprint.

Also a speaker that can stream music from Chromecast audio/google, doesn’t have to be the best speaker money can buy but also again small with some depth in the sound.

If i can get various affordable speakers into this setup, and google can stream music or interact with them (at least for playing music) that’d be awesome!

Now in terms of commands and voice, are all the Hoogles good? I.e. would a mini work if it’s setup with other devices?
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:50 PM
 
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I have both Echo and Google Home. They each have their pros and cons. I initially went with the Echo because, as a Prime member, I could upload my entire music library for a minimal cost. They've since eliminated that option and only allow up to 250 songs to be uploaded. That got me interested in Google Home. In the process of doing that, I ended up subscribing to Google Play Music so that all of my family members could stream music simultaneously. I have a ChromeCast Audio connected to my audio receiver for when I want to really enjoy my music. I had planned on getting rid of the Echos, but my wife likes them. I prefer Google's two word activation phrase as it doesn't have the occasional false positive that Alexa does.

From a home automation perspective, both for me are on the periphery. The core of my system is a SmartThings hub with a number of Z-Wave and Zigbee end items. Both assistants are integrated into the hub and can be used for controlling lighting. Recently, the ability to play audio and announcements through Alexa via Smartthings has been added. That is something I'll be playing with over the holidays and may well make the Echos worth keeping. I'd hope, though, that something similar will happen with the Google products.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:11 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
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None of the above, I still don't see the point. When the echo or google home or whatever actually gets artificial intelligence (AI), I may look at it and I know that's a long time in coming. When I can ask it the same thing I would type into a google search and it would come back with answers, that would impress me. Right now it just adds convenience.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gguerra View Post
When I can ask it the same thing I would type into a google search and it would come back with answers, that would impress me.
Other than Alexa using Bing instead of Google, that is what they do.
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:22 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmaxwell View Post
Other than Alexa using Bing instead of Google, that is what they do.
It can read back to you what you could read on your own. Again, that is just convenience and a voice interface between you and the search engine.

As with a manual search, sometimes it takes some reading and searching to find the best answer. That's what I am talking about. Answers are not always so simple or objective.

By the way, you can set up a "google search" skill on an Alexa. I know they are competing companies but there is still a way.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:01 PM
 
1,860 posts, read 2,262,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gguerra View Post
As with a manual search, sometimes it takes some reading and searching to find the best answer. That's what I am talking about. Answers are not always so simple or objective.
True, but that isn't what you wrote. That would be impressive, although I don't know that I want either company synthesizing a complex, subjective answer for me.
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