I have a Google Home and Amazon Dot in my house, and their core differences are making it difficult to choose between a connected ecosystem.
I live in a multi-platform household. It’s incredibly jarring at times, particularly when I find myself unable to choose between platforms. Do I stick to Google and its Assistant, because my devices are all Google-born and tied to the search engine’s services? Or do I finally decide to make full use of my annual subscription to Amazon Prime? This is the conundrum I face.
I’m not just talking about connected speakers here: When you’re choosing between a Google device and an Amazon product, you’re choosing between two vastly different, robust ecosystems. Just as Google has its AI-driven assistant, Chromecast and Android TV platform, and a variety of integrated third-party services, so does Amazon offer its connected gadgets and library of content for anyone who is also excited by the idea of free two-day shipping. It’s not just a product these companies are selling here; it’s a lifestyle and the one you choose locks you into a rhythmic way of life where you rely on nothing but the services offered by your connected speaker.
I’ve been experiencing this myself as I recently bought an Amazon Echo Dot to accompany my two Google Home devices, just to add a bit more variety to my pitiable connected home. Granted, it’s part of my job to use this stuff (especially considering Alexa is on smartphones now), but it’s also helping me understand some of the core differences between Google’s and Amazon’s connected ecosystems.
Amazon buys you stuff
As if this wasn’t clear from the beginning, the sole purpose of Amazon integrating more variety into its commerce is to sell you stuff. And it works marvelously! There’s a reason the term “Daily Amazon” is a staple in some households.
I’ve spent months living with the Google Home and not once have I asked it to purchase anything. Conversely, the Amazon Echo Dot has become the shopping gadget; it’s there when my husband and I are going crazy attempting to organize our lives by stocking up on necessities. We are that commercial you often see for Alexa.
The commercial you often see for Amazon Alexa.
It’s not a bad thing; in fact, this might explain why Amazon is taking the lead. According to TechCrunch, though the Google Home sold well during last year’s holiday season, it was the Amazon Echo Dot that maintained consistency throughout the first quarter the year:
Google Home also sold more units than the Echo Dot during the holidays, but just barely, accounting for 39 percent of unit sales versus Dot’s 38 percent. The original Echo held a 21 percent share during this time.
After the holidays, though, the Dot quickly caught up in terms of unit sales, topping Google Home with a 53 percent share compared with Home’s 30 percent.
Connected speakers still aren’t considered a mainstream household item, but the small sampling of data we do have – Source