Can't seem to find a good review on what's better between the two when it comes to home automation, and hubitat eco system. (i dont care about wifi based smart devices, im sticking w/ zwave and zigbee)
Most comparisons are about hardware like speakers, and other features and I cant find an indepth comparison between the two as SMART HOME voice access/control
@tj1 Both integrations are pretty equal. With Alexa it takes a bit more to do tts on but that's fine. If you are hooking up a Wi-Fi device to be used in automations, I think Alexa is a better bet as the routines there can be more complex than allowed on Google. Honestly in the end it's just a personal choice. Just remember you don't want it for primary control
@rlithgow1 nailed it ...
- Amazon more routine flexibility (but most of this can be handled in HE/Node-Red)
- TTS on Amazon is a bunch of work
- TTS on Google disconnects (search the group, tons of workarounds)
I use both .. do I love it, not really. TTS alert on Google, Alexa for 'Make me a sandwich'
Alexa is probably the better choice for those like myself that don't wanna set up node-red
@rlithgow1 doesnt HE just work better than alexa routines? Or do you mean for some of the WIFI devices that dont exist in HE (Ive avoided this use case)
Absolutely. I'm thinking more in terms of, before the Bosch integration was done, I would create a virtual switch/contact on HE. My ecolink firefighter if tripped by my nest protects would then turn on the virtual switch/contact. This was monitored by Alexa. If alexa saw the change, it would in turn use the Bosch Home Connect skill to turn on my stove hood to high (home connect is also cloud based). This is useful for that oddball wifi cloud device someone may have. An integration as been created for Home Connect now though so I don't use Alexa for that purpose.
ah yeah, the proxy routines! I have a couple
- Alexa sees Arlo motion triggers a virtual motion
- HE triggers an open valve; Alexa sees it and turns on sprinklers
I like to keep all my rules inside he and just use Google for voice. I threw Alexa in the pool after about a week of her not hearing me correctly and turning on the wrong devices.
I have both the HE skill for the usual selected device control and NR for more sophisticated stuff.. there is a lot you can do including feeding commands back to Alexa. Also having the ability for a single set of custom commands work across different Echos - so something like "Alexa, Shades Up!" will only raise the shades in the area where a particular Echo lives not everywhere.
Note: I am STILL not a big fan of cloud devices so none of this stuff is critical to my system functioning properly.
I originally bought a lot of Echo dots. They can be connected to external speakers via aux cable or Bluetooth, have a community integration (which I also used with SmartThings thanks to @tonesto7 ), and are inexpensive.
I have recently started buying Homepod minis, and wish I had not bought so many Echos. The minis are great if you have a house full of iPhone users (and are willing to setup Homebridge). They don’t become completely unresponsive (Alexa can’t do anything without the internet) if the internet goes out, but neither solution is perfect.
I would suggest the OP buy one of each and see which one appeals to you more. Take back the one you don’t want.
I run both. In terms of smart home devices I run Google. I have an android, and the integration between Android and google home seems pretty good for me. Setting reminders from the speakers and having it remind me on my phone is probably my biggest reason. Though I'm pretty sure that is possible thru the Alexa app though.
I use Alexa to control wifi devices via Hubitat. Alexa allows a routine to run from a contact sensor being flipped. My Roborock and roomba don't have easy integrations with Hubitat. So I have them paired with Alexa, and created virtual contact sensors in Hubitat. Then I setup a rule so daily, when no one is home the vacuums run. If someone is home, they don't run. And, if everyone leaves, and it is after my daily check, then they will run. These are really the only wifi devices I have that don't integrate nicely with Hubitat direct.
I do have an ecobee with integrated Alexa, so I guess I have one Alexa device in my home, but it isn't really used.
Personally, in terms of devices it is going to come down to what you prefer. If you are engulfed in the Google ecosystem, then that may be the better choice. Though I think in terms of commanding devices from the speakers, then either will do just fine
I too run both and their place in my smart home is purely for voice commands. All automation is done within Hubitat. In the event of internet outage (which renders both assistants fubarred) there are a plethora of manual Zigbee buttons dotted around the house. For me (out in the sticks) local control/over-ride is essential.
Before Hubitat (and not even knowing that Zigbee or Z-wave existed!) I started off with Google & had a handful of Shelly wifi light modules along with a Nest doorbell, and treated the household to a Logitech Harmony and a Tado smart central heating system.
Very shortly after the initial "wow factor" my opinion went in to terminal decline with an assistant that seemed to not even know the difference between the words ON and OFF. This trait has seemed to get worse with each update.
Wind forward to the introduction of Hubitat and a shed load of Zigbee additions. Window blinds, light & switch modules. Google is STILL as deaf as a post.
In utter frustration with Google I then invested in some Alexa devices...
Alexa's voice recognition is SPOT ON, rarely misunderstanding a single word. Her down-side is that you have to be quite precise in your commands. Despite going in to Alexa's settings and grouping devices in to the same room/group, individual Alexa devices still don't seem to grasp their location. Ask the Alexa in the Office to "close the blind" and she'll ask which blind - despite there only being one in THAT room. As for groups of things (like 3 smart blinds in a bay window) she really struggles. I can create a group with her, but she then only recognises open/close group commands for the group and nothing else (like STOP!).
As for Google, I use the Google Home Community app (which is great!) but Google regularly pipes up "could not communicate with Hoobitat." Sometimes she carries out the command and lied about the communication issue. Other times it takes several tries. She's still as deaf as a post. Not knowing the difference between ON and OFF. Or the difference between LIGHT and HEATING.
If you want them for voice command my advice is to go for BOTH. Alexa requires more precision but never fails IF you can get all your commands right. Google is able to be more intuitive, understanding a wide variety of commands to achieve the same goal. The complexity of this intuitiveness is (most likely) the main reason for her major let-down of missing the difference between simple things like ON and OFF.
Over time I (and the rest of my household) have learned to use different assistants depending on which task they handle better. I know it's not ideal, but it works.
I do this with IFTTT... at least on the Arlo side. Arlo sees a person, IFTTT turns on an HE virtual switch.
Yeah I agree with you here. I feel google has worked better for me than it has for you, but there is still days it seems like it doesn't want to listen at all. If the room is somewhat noisy (conversation with other people, moderately loud appliance running, etc...) and you aren't very close to the speaker then it doesn't listen well.
Though I will say for the WAF factor, I think google works better than alexa. This way my wife doesn't need to know specific commands to do what she needs. She knows what all the lights are named, but she doesn't need to say a command in a specific way to get it to work.
For some of the things that seem to be more commonly misunderstood, I have tried to setup routines with different catchphrases to try to accommodate the issue.
GH Routines with catchphrases: Me too; with some, but far from complete, success. She's still as deaf as a post, sometimes her mis-heard word doesn't even sound remotely similar. The funniest (and weirdest!!) was when my OH asked her to "kill the lounge" and she responded by offering suggestions about hiding a body!
Did the advice work? (Asking for a friend)
It worked a treat! The only down side is that I keep tripping over the Google Nest Hub/Mini sized lumps in the patio.
I could... I mean I think they could live with that..