Home Hub Showdown: Google vs Amazon

Here at Livewire, we get asked all the time which smart home hub does the best job controlling home technology. We decided to create a simple article highlighting the pros & cons of each major platform to help our clients decide for themselves which one works best for their home.

Since the Amazon Echo debuted in 2014, the cylindrical smart speaker has been at the center of a worldwide fascination with voice-activated gear. However, we’re long past the early-adopter days of hardware manufacturers touting gadgets as smart home skills. We’ve entered the next stage: early majority.

So far we’ve seen Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri emerge as the major players in the smart home hub space.  Amazon Alexa holds 60% of the market, Google Home sits at 30%, and Siri holds less than 5%. Since Amazon Alexa and Google Home are two major players, it makes sense to focus on them for our side-by-side comparison.

The Comparison:

Amazon Alexa Google Home
Multiroom Audio Works with major streaming services & Sonos Works with major streaming services & Sonos
Lighting Control Compatible with most major lighting control systems including Lutron, Philips Hue and many others. Compatible with most major lighting control systems including Lutron, Philips Hue and many others.
Video Native integration with Fire TV and strong support with Logitech Harmony. Basic shortcut support available for Control4, Crestron and Savant which can sometimes mean using awkward language commands. Not as strong a category for Google right now since they were late to the party but their presence is growing. Google Home commands for TV may require third party skills necessitating memorized non-linear verbal commands.

Wish versus reality – ways of problem solving / solution finding
Since Amazon has been around longer, they’ve had more time to refine their offering and support more natural language commands. Google isn’t going anywhere and its ability to answer more complex questions can’t be denied. With coming developments in AI, watch for Google to play catchup quickly.
Answer Accuracy* 80% 93%

The Final Verdict:

Smart home hub technology changes constantly, so we’ll be sure to update this article as we see new meaningful industry developments. In the meantime good luck and remember we’re here for you if you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of tech junk that looked really good on Amazon but may not magically work out of the box.

*According to Loup Ventures Annual Digital Assistant IQ Test