The 2 Things Google Home Can Do That Alexa Can’t

Hint: One feature has to do with search.

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There are lots of things to consider before getting a smart home device like Google Home or Alexa. Both are good systems that have different and similar attributes, according to Lance Ulanoff, the Editor in Chief of Lifewire. So what’s really separates the two? They’re both two of the coolest tech products you’ll want to buy this year. Eric Blank, an editor at thesmartcave.com with experience working with both devices, says the competition between the products is fierce. There are fewer and fewer differences between them as the brands figure out what consumers like. Still, there are some exclusive things that Google Home offers.

Google Home can answer contextual, two-part questions

It makes sense that Google Home is great at answering questions since Google and search go hand-in-hand. The brainpower behind Google Home, however, goes beyond single inquiries. According to a Google spokesperson, a unique to feature is that the device recognizes two commands in a single sentence, and performs them both. “For example, ‘Hey Google, play Thank You Next and set the volume to 50 percent,the spokesperson says. Although both devices try to answer two-part questions like this one, it’s more likely that Alexa responds with, “Sorry, I don’t know how to answer that,” than Google Home, Blank adds. Although, there definitely are some other unique features that you probably didn’t know Alexa could do.

Google Home can understand multiple languages

Google Home is multilingual, meaning you can address the speaker in different languages interchangeably. “We were able to do this because of our advancements in speech recognition technology,” a Google spokesperson says. There are more language options available with Google Home than Alexa, including Dutch and Chinese, the product team at eufy says. Ask one of these jokes that Alexa, Siri, and Google Home tell in another language.

One thing they both can do? Centralize control of other smart devices

Google Assistant action lets users directly control more smart home devices with just their voices. This includes robot vacuums, lights, smart plugs and switches, and even robot mops, according to the product team at eufy, a smart home brand. With Alexa devices, according to a representative from Amazon, all compatible smart home devices—from smart plugs, to smart thermostats, robot vacuums and more—can be controlled with Alexa by voice. If your Echo device has a smart home hub, smart devices can be set up by voice using Alexa by simply saying “discover my devices” and Alexa will connect to the device you’re trying to pair.

Similarly, Google Home lets users control these various smart home devices from one centralized app, according to Suhas Hariharan, a tech reviewer and smart home enthusiast from extraordinary.tech. “One of my favorite parts about the Google Home is that it integrates with my entire smart home, so I’m able to set up routines in the app and have it trigger multiple devices,” he says. “For example, I have a routine set up which automatically turns off my lights, puts my phone on silent, and sets my custom alarm on my phone, all by saying ‘OK Google, goodnight.'” According to Amazon, Alexa also offers a central app for users to control their smart home devices, create Routines, and review Lists. If you invest in the 15 smart home devices that are worth every penny, you’ll want to access them from one spot easily.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an associate editor at The Healthy and a former assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her work has appeared online at the Food Network and Well + Good and in print at Westchester Magazine, and more. When she's not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.