Alexa, Siri, Google - which voice assistant best powers my smart home?

Personal assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri have grown tremendously in recent years and can be found not only on their respective smart home speakers, but also on devices like phones and tablets, each offering their own strengths and features. 

But which is the best personal assistant out there, and which one will best meet your needs? 

While there are other assistants out there, such as Samsung's Bixby, we've focused here on a summary of the top three - Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. This way, we want to help you understand what they are, what they can do, and on which devices you can find them.  

Amazon Alexa 

You can use Alexa to remotely control your Chuango smart home system. Alexa has been around for a while, and the feature set has expanded over the years with the availability of new skills, apps, and devices. Originally debuting with the Echo speakers in 2014, Alexa has been constantly updated, developed and maintained ever since. It is a very well-designed product that is also constantly evolving and improving. 

One of the most important features for many people is the novelty of Alexa being able to speak with the voices of celebrities. Who wouldn't want Samuel L. Jackson to tell him/her that he/she looks wonderful, or inform him/her about what's on the agenda today? The Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is at the heart of this service and works in the cloud much like Google Assistant. This makes Alexa powerful and versatile, but also means there is some ambiguity about privacy. 

"Um, Alexa, are you listening?" You can be sure that Alexa is listening! Alexa can help with all sorts of things, but it was designed specifically for your smart home. There are many compatible devices and accessories that can be added and controlled by Alexa. These are made by various third party vendors and are often relatively affordable. These include all the lights and outlets you'd expect, right down to your vacuum cleaner! 

There are also lots of fun accessories. So you can talk to your pet and give him/her treats from hundreds of miles away, or turn on the sprinkler at just the right moment (while watching it via your Chuango Smart AI camera). The sheer amount of different devices and accessories that work with Amazon's system (and can be controlled via Alexa) is one of the biggest draws. The downside, however, is that all the data is linked together, so data security may be compromised.


Alexa supports 8 languages: English (4 dialects), Spanish (3 dialects), French (2 dialects), German, Italian, Hindi, Japanese and Portuguese (Brazilian). You can use two languages at the same time, with different results. 

More information can be found in our FAQ article:  

https://support.chuango.de/de/support/solutions/articles/80000862071-integrieren-sie-amazon-alexa-mit-chuango-smart-ger%C3%A4ten or watch our detailed tutorial video:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMU5-QSIAGI  

You can find everything about integrating Alexa into your smart home system from Chuango in our blog article here!



Google Home Assistant

Google Assistant is probably the most intelligent and dynamic of the personal assistants. With Google Assistant, you can easily control your Chuango smart home system. 

Launched in 2016 as an extension of Google Now, Google Assistant not only provides personalized elements - by pulling information from Google Calendar, Gmail, and other Google services - but also understands context, recognizes different voice profiles, and supports features like "Continued Conversation" and Interpreter Mode. 

"Hey Google" gives you instant access to messages, plays music for you, provides a warm shower, organizes your bedtime, and connects to all devices in the Google Nest family. Google Assistant is available on more than 1 billion devices, including smart speakers, cars, TVs and watches. It integrates with other Google products like Chromecast and Nest, as well as third-party products like iDevices. 

Google Assistant supports a total of 44 languages on smartphones, but currently only 13 languages for Nest (formerly Google Home). These are: Danish, Dutch, English (6 dialects), French (2 dialects), German (2 dialects), Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (3 dialects), and Swedish. You can use three languages at the same time.

Google uses its ubiquitous cloud processing to manage data and voice requests, customize experiences, and store settings. You can expect all Google products to work well together, so you can expect smooth operation of Nest products with Google Assistant. A big advantage of the platform is the variety of modular options provided by third-party vendors, but that can also make it harder to maintain system stability and security. It should be noted that Google Assistant's cloud-based infrastructure means that personalization data and other information about you (and your home) is stored on external servers, but Google Assistant also has powerful processing capabilities. 

For more information, check out our FAQ article:  

https://support.chuango.de/de/support/solutions/articles/80000957368-so-integrieren-sie-den-google-assistant-in-chuango-smart-ger%C3%A4te 

When setting up smart bulbs in the Google Home app, you can easily create a device group for Chuango smart bulbs. Just choose a room or name a group for it during setup. Then, after setup, you can remotely control the light bulbs you've selected with your voice. Say "OK Google, turn on the lights in the office" and all the lights in that room or group will be turned on.  

You can also remotely control multiple Chuango Smart light bulbs through "sequences". A quick tutorial on how to do this:

Install the Google Home app if you don't already have it.
Open Google Home app. Tap "Settings".
Select "Google Assistant" under "Features".
Tap on "Manage all Assistant settings".
Tap on "Expirations"
Tap the plus sign to create a new flow. 
Add triggers. Here you can choose "Voice command." 
Choose a group of words, as a huge Harry Potter fan I chose the light spell "Lumos".
Add actions. Here you can choose "Set home devices." 
Tap on "Control smart devices" and select the smart light bulbs - "Turn on." 
Don't forget to save and activate the sequence. From now on, you can just say "Ok Google, Lumos". The selected smart bulbs will be turned on.  
*Note: The Google Home sequence must receive at least one trigger with a voice command. Otherwise, it will not work. 



Siri  

Siri is the familiar voice assistant found on Apple iPhones and iPads that can also be used to control Apple HomeKit. 

HomeKit has taken a different development path than its two main competitors, opting for a "slow and steady wins the race" approach. HomeKit has relied much less on smaller companies developing cheap, generic, "compatible" products. Instead, there has been more focus on ensuring that the basic design philosophy is maintained throughout the HomeKit ecosystem. This means that the system works seamlessly together, with a level of security that is second to none. Apple has worked hard to ensure this. Every Apple-certified device contains either an MFi (Made For iPhone/iPad/etc.) authentication chip or a secure software equivalent, which can only be achieved by working closely with Apple's engineers at all stages of the design and development process.   

Because of this, there are fewer devices that work with HomeKit, but they work perfectly. Another benefit is that Apple has retained control over system security. HomeKit's high level of security makes it the ideal combination with a Chuango smart home system. With the Chuango DreamCatcher Life app, you can use Siri as a voice assistant to control Chuango smart home devices.

'Hey Siri, I'm home again.' There may be more limited options, but there's no limit to HomeKit's functionality, no matter what you're up to. Of course, you're paying for the quality and deliberate design of the approved HomeKit accessories, but you're not missing anything in terms of capabilities.

Siri fully supports 21 languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch (plus dialects), Finnish, English (plus dialects), French (plus dialects), German (plus dialects), Hebrew, Italian (plus dialects), Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (plus dialects), Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish (plus dialects), Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Siri is not yet bilingual, but that will come in time. 

The main advantage of Siri as a smart home assistant is that most of the data processing happens in the base station itself, not in the cloud. This means that very little data about you or your home leaves the building. Siri is just as powerful and capable as other voice assistants, but it offers the added assurance of stability and security. If privacy is a priority with you, Siri is the best choice here. 

With our DreamCatcher Life app, you can easily control all your Chuango smart home devices with your voice.  

With the "Scene" feature in our DreamCatcher Life app, you can remotely control multiple devices at once. For more information on how to create a "scene", please see our FAQ article: 

https://support.chuango.de/de/support/solutions/articles/80000954392-wie-kann-ich-eine-szene-erstellen- 

You can also create Siri shortcuts for a "scene" to enable voice remote control. You can find more information for creating Siri shortcuts in our FAQ article: https://support.chuango.de/de/support/solutions/articles/80000954393-wie-erstelle-ich-einen-siri-kurzbefehl-f%C3%BCr-meine-szene- 

Conclusion   

So which personal assistant is the best? Well, as always, there's no easy answer here and it depends on your individual needs. 

If you have an Android or iOS phone, you can download the Google Home app and the Alexa app from the App Store or Google Play Store. As mentioned earlier, Siri is only available to Apple users. So if you own an Apple device, you'll have access to all three assistants.  

Each personal assistant has its advantages and disadvantages. If you want the smartest assistant, you should choose a device with Google Assistant. If the greatest compatibility with apps and services is important to you, you should choose a device with Alexa. If you prefer the most fun and natural assistant, choose Siri with an Apple device.

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