Google Home

Why Haven't Home Assistants Gotten Smarter?

Assistant

Episode 1713

Old Chef Guy from Aqua Caliente

OCG wants to know if Google can make the Home Assistant voice hardware become smarter. Leo says that the entire IoT space has kinda hit a limit of what it can do, and there's been very little innovation of late. Even for Amazon Alexa and SIRI. At some point, it should increase in power and intelligence. But it has plateaued right now and voice-activated devices are a disappointment. AI isn't very smart, and it turns out it's very hard to do.

Why can't I listen to my music with Google Chromecast Audio?

Google Chromecast

Episode 1555

Dennis from Hoover, AL

Dennis is an audiophile and he's having issues playing music from smartphone using Google Chromecast. It wants him to upload all his music to the cloud first. Leo says that his casting app may be corrupted. He should try another one, like AllCast. From the chatroom - Google requires you to upload your music to the cloud before casting with Google Play. That's what it's designed for: to play from the phone at home using the Google Home App.

Amazon Echo or Google Home?

Amazon Echo Show

Episode 1450

Nancy from Tarzana, CA

Nancy has an Android phone, her kids have iPhone. Which assistant should she get, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Leo says it doesn't really matter, but for Nancy, using the Google Home would be similar to Android's voice assistant. The Echo has been out for a few years now and it's a mature system, whereas Google Home just came out not long ago. Google Home is better for facts because of its search knowledge. Amazon Echo is better for home automation. It works well with a variety of Internet of Things devices. Google Home isn't quite there yet with Internet of Things.

How can I hack my Echo?

Amazon Echo Dot

Episode 1449

Bill from San Carlos, CA

Bill wants to know if he can hack the Echo to make it more powerful. Or would he be better off going with Google Home? Leo says that both are good, so he should pick one and stick to it. Leo advises buying the cheaper Echo Dot. It has Bluetooth and line out, so he can connect it to a really nice powered speaker. He can also do a party mode where they are linked and synced together. He can then create zones for different music, or have them all play the same thing.

What voice assistant is best for artificial intelligence?

Google Home

Episode 1435

Robert from Mira Mesa, CA

Robert wants a voice assistant that has the best artificial intelligence. He wants to be able to ask it a variety of different questions about the news. Leo says the Google Home is the winner in that category, but the Amazon Echo is the only device that lets you shop on Amazon. Amazon is also very good with music, and simple commands like setting a timer, and home automation tasks. There's also more than 50,000 third party skills on the Echo. The problem is that it's hard to find skills, and then he'd have to learn the specific syntax to use that skill.

Amazon Echo or Google Home?

Amazon Echo Show

Episode 1433

Nancy from Tarzana, CA

Nancy has an Android phone, her kids have iPhone. Which assistant should she get, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Leo says it doesn't really matter, but for Nancy, using the Google Home would be similar to Android's voice assistant. The Echo has been out for a few years now and it's a mature system, whereas Google Home just came out not long ago. Google Home is better for facts because of its search knowledge. Amazon Echo is better for home automation. It works well with a variety of Internet of Things devices. Google Home isn't quite there yet with Internet of Things.

What technology should I use in a home for the disabled?

Amazon Echo Show

Episode 1431

Alan from Michigan

Alan's wife works for a non profit for helping the disabled and wants to know what technology should be in the houses they build. Leo says that Wi-Fi internet is a given, as is cable television. Cutting the cable is attractive, but Leo says that connected TV is still the best option to date. He should run conduit in the walls and just switch out the cables as technology evolves. YouTube TV would be good if they can get it. Also, voice activated devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home would be a lot of help.

Google Announces Several New Products

Google Home Mini

Episode 1428

This week Google announced a ton of new products, including a new Google Home and a donut sized version of Google Home (called the Mini) that Leo says may be better than Amazon Echo. Though Leo says that Amazon has a huge lead, in the long run, Google may have the advantage. Meanwhile, Amazon did get a shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Sonos will partner with Amazon to bring connectivity of Sonos to the Amazon Echo. But that may be short-lived since Sonos plans to work with Google and Apple as well.