Like the Amazon Echo, the Google Home speaker is less a wireless speaker than a conduit for a cloud-based virtual assistant. It can control internet-connected devices, procure Uber taxi rides and other services, and answer questions—silly or serious—to help get you through the day.
It’s pretty nifty as a speaker, too, because the assistant, the same Google Assistant you’d use with Android smartphones, will begin streaming your favorite music, news reports, and traffic and weather updates from an impressive number of sources at your command. It’s as simple saying OK Google.
Start using Google Home, and it becomes clear that the Google Assistant has a slightly higher IQ points than the Amazon Echo’s Alexa does.
For instance, the Google Assistant understands and responds appropriately to questions spoken in sloppy English, such as like “What’s the calories in a bagel?” And it also seems to have a better grasp of context. For example, you can ask Google Home, “When’s the next time it’s going to rain?” And it will tell you, “In [your home town] it will rain on Thursday.”
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