Non-smart home Alexa vs Google Home

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I recently purchased an Echo Dot and a Google Home.  I have the Dot hooked up to wireless speakers  I don't really have any technical need for either, so I'm really viewing them more as a perk than for solving an issue.  I don't have any 'Smart' devices I need controlled by either device, I don't have any music in the cloud, but I do have Amazon Prime.  

Aside from the cost difference, I was wondering if anyone else found one more useful than the other.  These are things *I* found, stuff I actually would use them for.

  • Google Home has factual answers to random questions more often than Alexa, who says 'I don't understand what you are asking'   
  • Because I have Amazon Prime, asking Alexa to play a specific song is usually successful.  There does not seem to be any free alternative with Google.  You get a free 6 months of You Tube Red (what an unfortunate name), but after that, you can't request specific songs without a premium music service.  
  • I can ask Google for traffic to any specific location.  I can't with Alexa  
  • Google remembers what you were talking about.  If you ask Google the 'what is the capital of Russia', it answers Moscow.  If you then ask 'what is the population', it remembers you were talking about Russia.  
  • The Google shopping list goes directly to Google Keep, which I already use.  Alexa lists go to the Alexa app.
  • Alexa can send texts through the AT&T Skill.  I can't send texts with Google Home.

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Thanks for this - I was looking for an answer to exactly the question that you address.

Any other observations since you posted?

I think if you teach Alexa your home location (using the App) you can get accurate traffic info.

As for music, doesn't Google Home play music if it is on standard You Tube?   Seems like they advertised that.   I know that Google Play often offers free CD downloads, so with those in your Google Play account, you can play that
music from Google Home, but I agree that Amazon Prime makes Alexa more music friendly.   Without Amazon Prime, you would only have music in your Amazon account (CDs that you buy from Amazon go to Autorip, so they would
all be there).  

In general I think Alexa doesn't do a good job of answering questions (like Siri and Google do).

Hmm, in my experience, Siri is the worst for just about anything other than setting an alarm.

I'll be getting an Echo Dot with Alexa pretty soon. 

I use my Amazon Echo on a regular basis to play music from Pandora. Once you connect your Pandora account, you can say "Alexa, play (station name) radio from Pandora".

Alexa also integrates with Spotify (premium only), TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audible.

If you have Amazon Prime, you're probably better off with the Echo since it ties in better into your existing account. If you were a heavy Google user, I'd recommend the Home for the same reason. Other than that, the capabilities are very similar unless you have a very specific requirement. I have both and wouldn't say that either is clearly better in the vast majority of cases. I agree that Home usually finds answers better. I like the way the Echo works with SmartThings. It's a toss up for me.

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