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9 things your Amazon Echo can do that Google Home cannot


Amazon Echo can do nine things that Google Home cannot.


For several years, Amazon and Google have been competes for the No. 1 smart speaker slot. And while Google Home has features that Echo does not, like listening to multiple commands at once, Amazon still has a set of unique skills that Google can not yet do. (Echo sometimes also has one cool humor.)

Amazon Echo only ($ 65 on Google Store) can protect your house and warn you if it hears anything suspicious while you are away. It also lets you know when your packages are out for delivery. Google hem ($ 99 at Crutchfield) still can not track your packages and can not tell if it thinks someone is breaking into your house, even if it can translate other languages ​​in real time.

Read on for an overview of nine things your Amazon Echo can do that Google Home cannot do, and how to set them up.

Alexa can send you text messages

Apple HomePods and Amazon Echo speakers can both be used to send text messages – although you can only send texts from HomePod if you have an iPhone. However, Google Home is still unable to send you text messages.

To send a message with Alexa on your Amazon Echo, say “Alexa, send a text message.” Alexa will ask who you want to text, followed by what you want to say. To confirm that you want to send the message, say “yes” when Alexa asks if it should send the message. Note that you can only send messages to others who have the Alexa app.

Delivery Messages

The Google Home smart speaker does not tell you when a package is out for delivery, but Echo can definitely – no surprise, given that this is an Amazon product we are talking about.

Alexa will notify you from the time your Amazon order is shipped to the time it arrives at your door. Just say something like “Alexa, where are my packages?” to get an update. You can also activate Domino notifications so you know when to expect your pizza order.

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Alexa can whisper back to you

When you wake up in the middle of the night, you no longer need to look at the phone’s bright screen to see what time it is. Instead, you can whisper to Alexa and ask what time it is – or some other command, such as turning on the lights. You do not need to change anything in the settings to do this, you just need to whisper to your Amazon Echo and it goes into whisper mode. No other voice assistants have this capability yet.

Alexa supports Amazon Music, Prime Music and Apple Music

While Google Home supports popular music streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Pandora and more, it still does not support Apple Music or Amazon Music, both services from major hardware competitors.

Alexa, on the other hand, does. When you cancel your Amazon Echo, the default music service is Amazon Prime Music, but you can change these settings, even to Apple Music. The competition with Google seems fierce enough to exclude Google Play Music from your list of options.

If you primarily listen to songs with Apple Music, open the Alexa app menu and select settings. Click Alexa under Settings Music and podcast > Link to new service > and select Apple Music. Tap Enable to use and log in to your account with your Apple ID.

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Listen to Amazon Music, Prime Music, Apple Music and more on your Echo speaker.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Create your own customized skills

In the Alexa app, there is an option that lets you create your own personal skills. To use it, open the app’s menu and select Drawings.

From here you have a list of templates to choose from, such as custom questions and answers, games, stories, greetings and more. When selecting your selection, press Make your own to start creating your skill.

The skills you create are private, so only your Echo devices have the information. You can also create Alexa skills on your desktop.

You can put Alexa in your car

You already know that Alexa is a good assistant for your smart home, but it can also be good to take with you in the car. Your Echo will make a hands-free commute so that you do not press buttons on your car radio when changing tracks.

You can either connect yours Echo Dot to a USB port, or you can use Amazons Echo Auto and connect it to a USB port or the lighter port. Note that you must use the phone’s mobile data to use Echo in the car. Just remember to hide the device when parking.

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Echo Auto connects to the car’s USB and lighter ports.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Echo can protect your house

If you are going out of town and are worried about leaving your house unattended, you can do so set up Alexa Guard on your Amazon Echo. When activated, your smart speaker listens for sounds such as breaking glass and alarms. It can also regularly turn on and off your smart lights to make it look like someone’s home.

To configure it, open the Alexa app menu and select settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and press Guard > Set the guard. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setting. Now that you’re ready to leave the house, just say “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate Guard Mode.

Write it down Google Home can be paired with Nest Secure, but Google Home itself does not yet have this specific safeguard.

Set the location trigger

When you get home in the evening, it’s nice to have the lights on so you can see where you’re going. With Amazon Echo, you can set location triggers so that the lights come on automatically when you pull into the driveway. You will of course need to have smart light bulbs up outside, and also inside if you do not want to go into a dark house.

If you want to set the location shutter release, you must do so create an Alexa routine. Just open the Alexa app menu and select routines. Click on the plus sign in the upper right corner. Now you need to add the routine name, press When this happens and select Place. Enter your home address, press arrives and then Next. Choose now Add actions > Smart home > and press the name of your smart lights, e.g. “Living room.”

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Get your lights on when you get home.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Alexa can soon tell you when you’re annoyed

Last year, Amazon announced that it is providing its voice assistant frustration detection. This means that if Alexa notices a tone of irritation in your voice, it will apologize and try to clarify what you actually want it to do.

For example, if you ask Alexa to play Maroon 5 and it plays something else, the voice assistant will recognize the anger in your voice – “Alexa! PLAY MAROOOOOON 5 !!!” – and will try to adapt, just as a person does.

Amazon said the new feature will begin rolling out this year, starting with music requests, but we still haven’t seen it yet.

While it’s nice for Amazon Echo owners to know how their platform stands out from the competition, there’s a lot more your Echo smart speaker can do, from letting you know create a playlist with just your voice to these five surprising music hacks it can do. Plus, you can do it Turn your Amazon Echo into a free TV speaker.

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