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8 things your Amazon Echo can do that Google Home cannot do



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Amazon Echo can do seven things that Google Home cannot do. CNET

Amazon and Google have long fought for the number 1

smart speaker spot. And although Google Home has features that Echo does not have such as listening to multiple commands at the same time, Amazon still has some unique skills that Google cannot yet. (The Echo also has a sometimes hair-raising sense of humor .)

Only Amazon Echo (

$ 100 at Amazon

) can guard your house and warn you if it hears something suspicious while you are away. It also lets you know when your packages have been delivered. Google Home (

$ 79 at Walmart

) still can't track your packages and can't tell if he thinks someone is entering your house, although last week six more actions were announced to his portfolio, including sticky notes .

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

Delivery Notifications

The smart speaker from Google Home will not tell you when a package is available for delivery, but the Echo certainly can – no surprise, since this is an Amazon product we are talking about.

Alexa will notify you from the time your Amazon order is shipped until it arrives. Just say something like "Alexa, where are my packages?" to get an update. You can also enable notifications for Domino & # 39; s so that you know when to expect your pizza order.

Alexa can whisper back to you

When you wake up in the middle of the night, you no longer have to go to your clear screen of the phone to see what time it is. Instead, you can whisper to Alexa and ask what time it is – or another command, such as turning on the light. You don't have to change anything in the settings to do this, you just have to whisper to your Amazon Echo and it will go into whisper mode. No other voice assistants have this option yet.

Alexa supports Amazon Music, Prime Music and Apple Music

Although Google Home supports popular music streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Pandora and more, this still does not support Apple Music or Amazon Music, both services from major hardware competitors. Alexa, on the other hand, does. When you unpack your Amazon Echo, the default music service is Amazon Prime Music, but you can change these settings even in Apple Music. The rivalry with Google seems fierce enough to exclude Google Play Music from your list of options.

If you mainly listen to songs with Apple Music, open the Alexa app menu and select Settings . Under Alexa Preferences, tap Music and Podcasts > Link 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 custom skills

In the Alexa app there is an option that allows you to create your own personalized skills. To use it, open the app's menu and select Blueprints .

From here you have a list of templates to choose from, such as custom questions and answers, games, stories, greetings and more. After selecting your choice, tap Make your own to start creating your skills.

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 place Alexa in your car

You already know that Alexa is a great assistant for your smart home, but it can also be useful to be with you in the car. Your Echo provides hands-free commuting so that you don't press buttons on your car radio while you change lanes.

You can connect your Echo Dot to a USB port or you can use Amazon's Echo Auto and connect it to a USB port or the lighter port. Note that you must use the mobile data from your phone to use your Echo in the car. Remember to hide the device when you park.

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Echo Auto connects to the USB and lighter ports of your car.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Echo can guard your house

If you leave the city and are worried about leaving your house unattended, you can set Alexa Guard on your Amazon Echo . Once activated, your smart speaker will listen to sounds such as breaking glass and alarms. It can also turn your smart lights on and off periodically to make it look like someone's house.

To set it up, open the Alexa app menu and select Settings . Scroll down to the bottom of the list and tap Guard > Set Guard . Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup. When you are ready to leave the house, simply say "Alexa, I'm leaving" to activate Guard mode.

Note that Google Home can link with Nest Secure but Google Home does not have that specific security action yet.

Set location triggers

When you & # 39; come home in the evening, it is nice to have the lights on so that you can see where you are walking. With Amazon Echo you can set location triggers, so that the lights are automatically switched on when you enter the driveway. You must of course have smart lights outside, and also inside if you do not want to walk into a dark house.

To set up location triggers, you need an Alexa routine . Open the Alexa app menu and select Routines . Tap the plus sign in the upper right corner. Now you need to add the routine name, tap When This Happens and select Location . Enter your home address, tap Arrives and then Next . Now select Add action > Smart Home > and tap the name of your smart lights, eg "Living room"

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Have you lights come on when you get home.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Alexa can quickly see when you are irritated

Last year, Amazon announced that it gives its voice assistant Frustration Detection . That means that if Alexa notices a tone of irritation in your voice, it will apologize and try to clarify what you actually want. The new feature will be rolled out this year, starting with music requests.

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 try to adjust, just as a person.

Although it is nice for Amazon Echo owners to know how their platform excels against the competition, there is much more you can do with your smart Echo speaker, from 5 essentials Amazon Echo tips that you now must know for this six things that you probably did not try with your Amazon Echo .

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Originally published earlier this month. Update adds another function that only Echo can do.


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