Have zero clue why Google Home (GH) is even compared to the Echo. We had the Echo since it launched and now several GHs. The Echo has commands that you memorize. The GH has no commands and you talk to it like you would a human.
So for example the Echo has the command "Song goes like ..." so I would would do a quick Google search because I could rarely remember how it went but knew other stuff. Then with the song name ask Alexa. With the GH you skip the search step. You just ask with whatever you have and the Google inference is amazing. Well like search.
But it is the human touches with the GH that gets me. Started asking GH something and say "I forgot" and shes saids "no worries happens to me all the time". But then another time I say "nevermind" and she saids "yes, lets move forward". It is amazing and assume it learned how to do this by Google crawling the web all these years for their search engine.
The two devices are NOT alike and drives me crazy when people compared.
…. The Echo currently works with a much wider range of smart-home devices than Google Home…
My Google Home (4 of them) are all integrated into my home automation SmartThing hub and have access to all my Home automation devices. GH works with IFTT to expand even more options. So I’m not sure if the comment means direct control of device with no intermediary. For me I like an intermediary device since it allows me a clean and powerful interface to home automation. So from my GH I can say commands such as
‘Ok Google turn on night mode’ – This causes GH to shut off all my lights, close my garage doors, Turn off my TV and various Sonos player
‘Ok google turn off/on device’ Any device I have hooked up to SmartThing is turned on or off. With some having additional volume or dimming capability.
All in all, I have found GH to be a very good voice command interface to my home automation
You're 1000% off base. The GH is infinitely better as it's not a vehicle to drive Amazon sales! I had both and the GH is easier to use, is contextual, and is backed up by the power of Google which is more powerful then the sales driven model of the Echo. More times then not when I'm trying to get information about something GH is stellar and rarely misses a beat, while the Echo ends of trying to buy stuff off Amazon.
Here's a thought. The Echo Dot is $49 and can work by itself or plugged into amother speaker system. It also supports Bluetooth. We plugged the Echo Dot into our Home Theater system and dedicated 2 of the 7 speakers to it.
I enabled Alexa's Bluetooth to my Samsung phone and now Alexa and Google can both answer our question though the same system. At this point in time Alexa has the edge with Home Automation but I believe Google has the best long term prospects in the voice assistant space due to a better search engine.
We will probably get GH too once the price drops to Echo Dot's territory.
The Echo's been around for longer, and it's technically the stronger home-automaton of the two. But, the Google Home is going to get there eventually. I think at this point it just really depends on how immersed you are in Amazon services more than anything else.