As so many of these this started as a reply to a question on a Facebook group. In this case what is up the Google Assistant and Homeseer? After a rather lengthy response I thought I should flesh it out even more an post it here. I'm just comparing my experience living with them nt side by side features. In my opinion both Amazon and Google are trying to push hard into siloed home automation which is just wrong. Interoperability is the future and local control is a must. Expect to see local (cloud independent) voice assistants REAL soon.
I find I'm using Google Home less and less. Mainly I use Home when Alexa is one of her moods (had another badly weighted update pushed) but things seem to have peaked with Google Home.
For an example it used to be "tell Harmony to turn on TiVo."
Then is was just "turn on TiVo"
But then "Turn on TiVo" got you "Do you want to use Harmony for that?" "Yes". In diff voice "Turning on TiVo".
Then "Turn on TiVo" got you "Do you want to use Harmony for that?" "Yes." "I don't recognize your voice."
Now back to "Tell Harmony to turn on TiVo." and half the time it says it does not recognize my voice. Which is even more irksome considering how often it responds to someone on the TV or a podcast just saying Google without even the hey. Not to mention all the times I'm not sure what triggered it.
Sorry but having to remember which thing this week to ask to turn something on or off on top of the name for the thing I had to give it so it did not sounds like something else, is just is not going to get you market share. Especially if it keeps telling me it will not do stuff cause it does not recognize my voice. Granted maybe if I spent more time tweaking it I could improve it a bit but that kind of misses the point of it and I've not had to mess with Alexa other than adding devices and alias TV to TiVo after one especially bad update. Though I have to admit recently I added my "Good morning" "routine" so instead of just telling Homeseer to put the house in day mode it also tells me some fun fact and the weather.
I should note too Google is more likely to false trigger and to just not respond than Alexa if it does not know what to do. So it might be having trouble listening when you think it is down. Though Alexa is getting more like Home in that respect. I keep the notification sounds on so I know when they think they heard something but ignored it. Which is why I just do not get people that complain about Alexa saying OK. But then I work in IT so I kind of expect a certain amount of errors. Like saying "thank you" to end a follow on sequence it just makes sense from a programmer's mindset.
Anyway contrast the above with Alexa will generally get a voice command at least by the third try if I have not triggered it some other way before that. Some responses just make you go huh? Like the other yesterday when I said "Alexa , turn on video", a command to switch my main video stream from the triggered security cams back to what I was watching and unpause. Her response, "I can not find a device named lamp." Then too I started putting Echo buttons about as backups / quicker response for things like sending OK / Select to the device currently playing video or signalling the house to go into away mode. They light up green instead of saying OK so you know the command got through. Used to have an Echo button for TiVo skip too before they made that automatic. Planning on getting some more Prime day. Note you can only pair 4 to an Alexa and they are only reliable to around 20 feet though a wall. At 2 for $14 (on sale price) hard to beat for when you just need an easy to hit button. Like advancing to the next show while washing dishes with the volume up. Both seem able to pick your voice out of impressive levels of room noise but you can only expect so much.
Note too IFTTT has been having a ton of issues with Homeseer, among others, lately. So I wonder sometimes which end it is truly on. Or if maybe something in the middle is the iffy bit. Which why you always have back methods for every trigger no matter the interface. Even the local ones.
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