Accuracy, for a start. In the most recent survey, Google Assistant answered 88% of questions correctly, compared to 72% for Alexa.
Personal information analysis is second. Google can pull in accurate information that relates to my specifics needs, like my Calendar appointments, travel plans pulled from Gmail, curated YouTube info etc. It can leverage Chromecast and Chromecast Audio for reliable video and or audio sync to any other device.
It’s more inclusive, in the sense that it does the best job of recognising accents.
But the thing that makes the most difference to me on probably a daily basis is subjective, but attempting to use other systems like Alexa is frustrating, and that’s down to the way third party integrations work.
If, for example, I happen to know (or read a tweet/news briefing) that a certain service is now available on Google Home and Alexa, with Google, all I’ll need to do is say “Hey Google, talk to x” and it’ll do it. Or even quicker, if the use case is obvious, it could be one command - “Hey Google, find out Y from X”. Job done.
With the Alexa system, I need to go into the app (which is also quite convoluted and doesn’t have great UX, IMO), navigate to the list of integrations, search for the integration, manually enable it, and only then can I launch the voice command.
The other day I tried to do this on the Echo Dot I have lying around and the search function in the app didn’t even work at all. So I then had to go into Alexa Skills from the actual Amazon website and enable it from there! Adding yet another unnecessary step to the process.
The simple fact is that all Amazon have is first-mover advantage and retail specialisms. But that’s not what makes a smart hub device magical. You need that contextual advantage, of all the things that Google knows about you, and your family, to really make something great.
For example, on my Google Home Hub, it displays my best photos from Google Photos, in real time. It displays highlights and it’s truly joyous, it’s like the world’s smartest digital photo frame, even if you ignore all the other stuff! And it consistently makes me smile with the photos it’s chosen. If you compare that to the Echo Show…I don’t even know what that shows by default. The time and weather maybe?