Nabu Casa: Google Assistant vs Alexa & The Duplicate Issue

Which do you prefer, and why?

I’ve got a bunch of Google Home Mini devices as well as a Google Home Hub (the display). I’ve moved all my integrations from Google to Home Assistant except for a couple that I couldn’t get to work as effectively, and they are funnelled back into Google via the Nabu Casa subscription. It works quite well for the most part, but I do find it pretty slow to respond. I don’t know whether that’s Google’s servers, the interface between them and Nabu Casa, or the devices themselves. Maybe it’s just the request route itself. Sometimes, they just don’t seem to hear me either, but that’s definitely down to the devices themselves (and maybe the positioning). I have an LG C8, and the Google integration is absolutely terrible. Instead of exposing the device functions to Google, LG chose to create a hideous assistant of their own that must be accessed with phrasing like “Hey Google, ask LG to turn off the TV”. Google sits there for what seems like an age, then says “Okay, getting LG…”. The LG assistant then joins the conversation with a different voice and says “Okay, done”, and eventually the command is executed. It’s also not possible to ask LG to turn the TV on for some reason, even though the TV supports it. It was this along with the generally sluggish performance and selective hearing that made me think about using Alexa again.

I have a few Amazon Echo Dots from when I first got into smart home tech, but later switched to Google because of how well connected it is with my phone and the services I use. Plus, at the time it supported different accounts matched to voice profiles so that I could ask Google to play something on Spotify or Netflix, and it would play using my account/profile, whereas if my wife asked, it would use hers. Similarly, I could ask what’s on my calendar today and get my own results. I believe Alexa has something similar now. Because of the aforementioned problem with LG, I decided to try the Alexa integration and was shocked at how much better it is; no cumbersome third-party assistant to “ask”; Alexa can just turn off the TV, switch the channel, adjust the volume etc. like it’s any other device. It’s so much faster at executing these commands than Google, and it can actually turn the TV on! The Echo devices seem to respond to the wake word better too, so I don’t find myself struggling to get their attention. However, there’s one big issue I have yet to get around, and that’s an issue with duplicate devices. Whether I’ve installed a skill or not, Alexa insists on automatically pulling devices in from the network. So my LIFX bulbs are listed twice; once via Nabu Casa, and again because Alexa found them on the network.

So anyway, I guess I’d just like to hear your thoughts on either of these assistants, how you integrate them with Home Assistant, etc. And for those using Alexa, have you found any way to stop duplicates?


I am also interested, particularly about Google Assistant. For the moment I use the manual configuration and noticed sole long delays when switching lights on/off compared to the Philips Hue Smart Home Google Action.
Taking in account Nabucasa adds another step to the Home Assistant instance, are there advantages on this part to use Nabucasa?
I know the advantage of the easier configuration and it allows to support Home Assistant financially, which is not negligible for me. But it could be interesting to have some feedback from users who tested both solution to compare.