Echo vs Google Home

I have a lot of Google Home Minis and Echo Spots.

Was wondering which is the "preferred" hubitat voice control solution.

to me it looks like Amazon's Alexa is since I can see almost every single device while Google Home only shows lights/switches.

Will the GH integration be brought up to feature parity to Alexa? or do I need to start the long road of replacing my minis with spots.

I use Alexa devices. I have google home but the lack of capabilities for skills brought me back to Alexa.

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We have 7 or 8 Dots and 2 GH Minis. The Dots are for voice input, timers, & reminders. The Minis both have their mics turned off. I only use them for TTS output. This works well for us, but I'll likely replace the Minis with Ikea's Sonos speakers in order to go local.

feature parity

I read recently that Amazon has captured something like 65% of the voice assistant market. IMO, I do not think that Google will ever pull out the stops and make a concerted effort to catch up.

For feature parity I meant with the "hubitat skill" or whatever Google calls it.

I know that google supports smart locks and other devices but it looks like only amazon shows them for what it is.

I'm guessing this is a limitation of what google gives developers to work with.

What do you mean by using Sonos speakers to go local?

Hubitat has direct integration to Sonos devices locally. I too use those for the majority of my home TTS announcements.

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I'm 100% Amazon and for the simple reason of that GH has never supported the types of devices that Amazon does when exposed to HE. I'm not sure if that's in the way HE wrote the skills, but it's the world we live in.

Plus, there are also certain decisions that Google has made in terms of Home that just annoy me. Want a custom routine that uses a phrase that you want... like "Good night"? Nope. That's reserved. Amazon, otoh, allows for not only custom phrases for routines but also custom blueprint skills.

I have both, but almost exclusively use Google. Depending on your needs either can potentially work.

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I have both but all the mics are turned off on the GH.
Use them for tts only

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As you can see, the needle tends to swing toward Alexa. I too have Echos and minis and a Home Hub, but as you discovered, Google's big push after CES seems to have really tapered off to nothing at all. This supposed great new replacement for the Works with Nest program is a no-show. This seems at the moment very typical of Google. Their focus is not good and they are easily distracted by consumer pressure and lack of long term dedication to a product segment in my opinion.

For question that your kid has, Google Home is great. For an off the shelf touch panel for your devices, the Google Nest Hub is not too bad. For everything else smart home, it's a real let down. Alexa TTS via routines is quite easy and their support for contact sensors and motion sensors as a trigger for Alexa Routines makes that an easy choice. Google still does not support triggers by anything but spoken word or time for Google Assistant Routines.

Google supports very few locks in Google Assistant, in comparison to Alexa. Hubitat cannot improve the integration until Google improves what is available.

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To All,

It is good to hear it is a mix of devices but my question is how does it all come together in HE.

  • What is required to use an Alexa or Google device?
  • Alexa
    -- Do I need an APP to operate?

  • Google
    -- Do I need Chromecast beta?
    -- Google Home Assistant. (Looks that it is a broadcast only)

    It would be great to hear from the experts.

That was my fear. I would have thought they would want to make it easy for everyone but I guess they really want to push their nest ecosystem.

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Your voice and an internet connection. :wink:

Need? Not really, but it makes it a LOT easier when you start adding in HE devices for smart home control. You can do some of it from the Alexa web interface, but the smart home portion of it is craptasic at best when it comes to features. With the Alexa app, you can control devices, create groups, setup routines, etc.

Nope. Just the Google Home Skill in HE. Chromecast beta (and Google Home Assistant) are primarily for TTS in HE.

If you're in a country that has the Hubitat Skill for Alexa available, then you need that, and you need to install the Amazon Echo Skill App on Hubitat.

https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=Amazon_Echo_Skill

If you're in a country that does not support the Hubitat Skill for Alexa, then you need the Amazon Echo app on Hubitat. The naming IS very confusing, I know.

https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=Amazon_Echo_App

For Google Home, you need to add the Google Home app on Hubitat and in the Google Home app, you need to go to Home Control > Assistant > Manage > Accounts and search for Hubitat. Again, confusing names make this a bit confusing to navigate the first time.

https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=Google_Home

The Chromecast Integration (beta) app on Hubitat is for TTS and playing music via any Chromecast enabled devices. It does not pertain to controlling Hubitat connected devices with Google Assistant or a Google Home devices. Google Assistant Relay I think you mean, is a node.js application that runs on a separate computer or Raspberry Pi. For TTS, yes it does only support broadcast announcements, and it has a terrible prefix that cannot be removed now. However, its real value is to be able to silently control devices attached to Google Assistant by sending TTS messages to it from Hubitat. You simple prefix them with [CC] and Google Assistant will control many devices they support as if you had spoken to your phone or Google Home out loud. If you prefix the TTS message with [CCC], it will do the command, but will also give you feedback.

In GH I can add a routine that uses any "custom phrase" that I want and then what action I want it to trigger. Or am I missing something else you are referring to?

It didn't last time I tried (about 6 months ago?). Can you create a routine with the phrase "Good night"?

It looks like that won't work because it is already a default routine with that name. But I can still edit the default "Good Night" routine and choose the action I want.

Ahhhh, Ok. Yeah, that's the same results I had, but I couldn't edit the default routine. Good to know!

I use Alexa, I haven't used Google Home but here are the things I like about Alexa that google may or may not be able to do.

Can setup a virtual switch in HE that can be exposed in Alexa, I can then ask Alexa if it is open or closed or Alexa can speak if it changes. I use this for checking if the Garage door is open or closed with GOGOGATE on HE.

Can check any contact switch and ask if it's open or closed, so doors and windows etc.

Can setup routines that trigger HE switches, most are virtual and are a temporary ON, so turn off 1 second later, can ARM Home and ARM Away with voice or even just set up a goodnight routine to turn off the lights, turn off the TV and set the Alarm. The routine can be a mix of HE devices or rules triggered via virtual switches, HUE hub scenes and my Harmony Hub.

Basically there isn't really anything I haven't been able to do with an Alexa routine or Skill and integrating with HE and my HUE bridge. Speaking of Hue bridges using HE and Alexa means I can now voice control lights on both bridges where as with just Alexa you can only connect to one Hue bridge :slight_smile: The second bridge has it's devices exposed through HE to Alexa and is seamless.

So I see it as;.

1 - Control HE connected devices via the Google Home or Alexa Skill app .
2- TTS - Text to Speech

TTS is the one that seems to have multiple drivers/apps from some really talented coders. This is where it would be nice to have a location where apps are provided in a menu structure with an explanation of what the app/driver will provide you.

@Leehcourington - Sorry..I didn't mean to steal your thunder.

So the bunch of new Echo devices released look interesting, the echo flex with motion sensor add on and echo loop (ring with Alexa built in) both interest me. I wonder if the ring will work for presence sensing? This is the sort of thing that made me choose Amazon over Google.

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