Google Home and Alexa: The Differences Between Them

August 19, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


Google Home and Amazon Alexa are the two most popular smart home voice assistants today, but which one should you choose? The short answer is that both Alexa and Google are great smart home platforms, but each has benefits over the other for certain users. Here’s a look at the main differences between Alexa and Google Home. 

What Alexa Does Better

Alexa is the better smart home assistant choice for most users, especially if you use an iPhone. The features baked into the Alexa assistant make it much more functional for smart houses. For instance, you can have Alexa trigger a routine of commands using a smart device, like turning the lights on when the door sensor triggers. 

Amazon’s Ring alarm system has no competition in the Google Home ecosystem. Alexa also has the Amazon Guard feature, which will listen for suspicious activity, like the sound of glass breaking, and randomly turn lights on and off to make it look like your home is occupied. Alexa even has a “hunch” capability to warn you about unusual activity, like an unlocked door. These security features are arguably Alexa’s greatest strength for smart homes. 

Another cool smart home feature Alexa offers is the energy dashboard. You can use this feature in the Alexa app to view and monitor power usage in your home. You’ll need other smart devices, like smart plugs and smart bulbs, for Alexa to monitor consumption. Smart lightbulbs are already great for saving energy, but this Alexa feature adds an extra layer of smart home efficiency features. 

The Alexa assistant has more compatible devices than Google Home, although this may change due to the Matter program, a collaboration between Google, Amazon and other smart home brands. Alexa can also do more than Google Home on a software level. 

It has more skills and games than Google, which are like apps for your smart home speakers. You can also change the wake word on Alexa and even use Echo devices to talk to other people in your house. 

What Google Home Does Better

Google’s voice assistants all ranked higher than Amazon’s in right answers given to voice questions, according to a 2019 research study. This means Google’s voice assistants are more accurate than Amazon’s. When you ask Google Home a question, you are more likely to get a correct answer. 

Voice search is just one of several strengths Google Home has over Amazon Alexa. For instance, the Google Home smart display has a faster response time and more features than Echo’s. It can recognize faces, so it brings up a custom feed of info when you walk up to the display. 

Google’s Nest doorbells also have facial recognition, a feature that Amazon’s smart doorbells lack. It will even give you a custom notification when a recognized person is at the door. This is one of a few security strengths that Google Home has over Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem. 

Google also has an option for 24/7 cloud recording on certain Nest smart home devices, such as the smart doorbell. Amazon only has event-based recording, so this is a major security difference between the two. Google’s 24/7 security recording could be worth missing Alexa’s Ring alarm system for some users. You need a Nest Aware subscription to use this feature, though. 

Google Home also has some great quality-of-life features for smart home devices. The app can create routines, such as turning on certain lights connected to multiple voice custom voice commands. 

This might seem minor, but it can be extremely useful. Imagine you want a routine that turns on night lights in your child’s room. You could program the Google Home smart speaker to respond to various similar phrases so you and your child don’t have to memorize one specific command. 

Alexa vs. Google: What Should You Choose?

Which smart home assistant should you choose, Alexa or Google Home? Google Home will naturally work much better if you have an Android phone, which is the main hub for controlling your smart home devices. 

Alexa smart home devices will generally work better if you have an iPhone. Alexa is also better for security features, while Google Home has a more accurate voice search and unique facial recognition capabilities. 

Finding the Best Smart Home Assistant

Alexa and Google Home are both excellent smart home assistants. Both have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. For most users, Alexa is the way to go. However, Google Home has some benefits that could make it the better choice for others. The best way to decide between the two is to identify what features you most want in your smart home system.