Google Assistant vs Alexa for Home Assistant

Hi, the most recent topic on this argument that i’ve found is dated 2018. A lot has changed in 2 years on both assistants, so i think that it may be usefull to compare them again.

Now i’ve only 1 google home mini, and i’m about to choose if going on with google family or switch to amazon world.

I think that google is better in understanding commands (example turn on this and that), at the same time it overthinks some command (you cannot name a light simply “light”, otherwise google will turn on / off all the room lights, not only the one named light and so on)

For home assistant “notification”, i’ve setup assistant relay with home assistant integration and it works, however having every sentence starting with “message from xyz …” is quite annoying. Some of you know if there is a better method? (tts cast is not an option since it will be stop any music playing at the moment of the notification). In alexa world i’ve seen that is a native TTS function, where also the emotion can be specified, if someone confirm to me that this is not stopping the music is probably a point to alexa.

For voice commands, i’ve seen that google assistant integration is quite straightforward (i’ve duckdns + lets’encrypt and a “test” project on action console for the real integration. Is the amazon integration as easy as the google one? Does someone have tryed both and can show differences?

For things “unrelated” from home assistant, i’ve seen that google assistant is quite good in answering quick questions going straight to the point, while alexa seems to catch informations only from a few services with less precision. Moreover google supports follow ups while alexa seems to not support them (correct me if i’m wrong).

Me and my girlfriend are already using android phones and most of google tools (calendar, keep, contacts, photos etc), so for us stay with google seems to be the more comfortable thing to not have to sync almost everything.

For multimedia, it seems that now is a tie, but google have just relased the new chromecast with google TV, wich (at least from first reviews) it seems better than fire stick and thinked to be a “multimedial hub” joining all supported services toghether.

I’m not a native english speaker so sorry for mistakes,please let me know what you think and if you have tested both, what let you choose. I think that this can be helpfull for many people

2 Likes

was just wondering the exact same

do you have something to add on what i said?

I am currently testing an amazon echo avec 1,5 year with google integration.
first thing I can say is that Alexa seem more restrictive for streaming music on it comparing to google.
I can understand that YouTube music do not work with it, but there seem to be only amazon music, Spotify and a handful of other. comparing to almost every app for sound that directly cast on the google home. or just directly the sound of the cellphone.
keep in mind that it’s an opinion base on just 1 hours of testing
will update when i will have more time for testing

I can confirm that TTS can be performed on Alexa devices without “stopping the music”. It lowers the volume of the music, does the TTS, and then raises the volume back up.

I can also confirm that there are more media options with Google. For me, I only play music via Alexa, and I only use Spotify, which works fine. If you want something other than that or Amazon Music, then you’ll have to look deeper into whether it’s supported. Chromecast/Google Devices is more open about this process, so more things are supported.

For other “Home Automation Stuff” I find Alexa to be better. For instance, I can get information about alarms that have been set on the Alexa device as well as information regarding which device was spoken to so that things like “turn on the disco lights” can work in any room, as long as you write an automation smart enough to read all the sensors and figure out which room you’re in. And of course, you’ll need disco lights in every room, but who doesn’t already have that. :slight_smile:

For me, Alexa made a lot more sense as a auxiliary device to Home Assistant. As a stand-alone device, I think Google works better and offers more features. So, in my house, there’s an Alexa in every room and a box full of Google devices in my office.

5 Likes

Thanks for all the explaining. Good question!
I really like more opinions in this.
I am leaning towards alexa in the Netherlands now, but still in doubt. It doesnt support dutch (which I can live with) but if the automations and smartness of that is better. Fine.
Any experienced people pro google point?
Very curious
Thanks

I am still pro google after 4 month.
but I think it depend of how you use a vocal assistant with your home automation.

most of my programming is done on HA and I just use Boolean variable to communicate when a google routine is fired like good morning of good night. you can tell google that these variable are in the bedroom or the kitchen. you can even specify the name and the kind off switch it is. so if you say turn the light on it will turn that variable too. I fond it more simple than using attribute or creating a skill, but its because I have learn it that way.

you can have a google routine called red alert that trigger a Boolean variable in HA.
or you can do the same thing asking Alexa to ask albert(my HA) to run red alert.

you can give HA a sensual british accent with google cloud service. I did not find that with Alexa.
you cannot link your tradfri bridge directly to alexa (but if you connect them by zigbee to HA that work)

I did find one thing that was working on Alexa that I did not réalise yet on Google: the music follow you thing. but in a 4½ apartment its not really a problem.

I think that if you began setting up with either one you can mostly achieve the same result it really depend on your situation. we can probably do a business just suggesting what is best for home automation in that or this case. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been using HA with Alexa for about 1 year now. I’m using haaska to connect the two.

So far, I’m happy, ‘Alexa turn on the kitchen lights’ works well. Most of my automations are done with Node-Red, not in HA.

Recently, I’ve gotten some Zigbee door sensors, Amazon won’t use them to trigger Routines (so Alexa won’t say “someone is at the door”).

The con’s:

  • Randomly, Alexa services won’t work correctly
  • The Alexa app sucks, trying to control spotify through it is awful
  • Sometimes, when I tell Alexa to ‘Make the light {insert some color}’ everything works correctly, but Alexa yell’s at me “I don’t know what went wrong”

I’m currently investigating Google Home, I’ll probably set it up and just us it from the app until I decide to go one way or the other.

p.s. setting up the Haaska stuff is not trivial