Google’s competitor to the Amazon Echo is a speaker called Google Home


Google just revealed Google Home, an always listening speaker they’ll be releasing later this year to take on the Amazon Echo. Google Home is a small cylindrical speaker that responds to the phrase “OK Google” to answer questions and achieve tasks via Google’s voice assistant. It features an interchangable base which will come in several colors so that you can match it to you home’s decor. Home will integrate with many of the same services and smart home devices as the Amazon Echo, but one thing it does that Alexa can’t is control speakers and TVs around your house through Chromecast integration.

Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners have been begging for Amazon to add cross communication between the Echo and Fire TV devices, but it looks like Google may beat them to the punch. Google Home can communicate with both Chromecast and Chromecast Audio devices. Google’s demo video shows a playlist being started on the Google Home speaker, which was then synced to other non-Home speakers in the house, presumably through Chromecast Audio, by simply saying “ok Google, play music in all rooms.” Later in the video, a child asking Google Home about the Alpha Centauri star system says “can you show me that on the TV” and a YouTube video begins playing on the TV through a Chromecast.

Google Home won’t have the vast third-party support that Alexa currently has, but it does seem like it will integrate with Google’s own ecosystem of devices better than the Echo integrates with other Amazon devices. Pricing and release date information was not revealed, and the general tone of the announcement was that Google Home was still in very early stages.

  1. Scott Howell says:

    Amazon is such a better ecosystem. Google Home will have its niche. But Echo will continue to perform. I know Amazon makes mistakes (Fire Phone), but I love that Amazon is on the edge of technology. Google is now having to copy Amazon. It’s fun to watch!

    Just got an Echo for my wife. We love it!

    • Eric says:

      Honestly the google home just looks better but functionally it is not on par with the echo. For example the google homes cannot cross communicate and that’s the only reason I got it over the echo because the hacks at best buy said it would be able to cross communicate.

  2. Vonda Z says:

    Not so sure Google will beat Amazon to the punch when it comes to communicating with the FireTV, especially if it is still in the early stages. The first thing I thought when I saw yesterday’s news about Amazon adding voice commands to the FireTV is that it is the first step in getting the FireTV to integrate with the Echo. Once the FireTV can handle such voice commands, it shouldn’t be difficult to have those voice commands come from the Echo rather than the remote.

  3. Nate says:

    Come on amazon get on this, looks like I’ll be switching over to this from my echo and firetv.

  4. Joe Hoffman says:

    Have the Echo and Echo Dot, watched the Google Home video and I like what I see. It will be great to see these product compete and raise the feature list for both. One downside is with both in the game, since they are competitors, they won’t easily let one another into their ecosystem/partnerships causing a “this one exclusively with that” scenario, much like we say with early streaming boxes – could get some from one and some from another, but not all from one!!! :)

  5. Freemz says:

    Where can I watch the video?

  6. Fjtorres says:

    You can get Echo today.
    Google home won’t be out til november.
    Until then it is demoware, whereas Echo is a shipping product with a real installed base and a two year headstart on lining up third party support.

    At the rate at which Lab126 has been adding features to both Alexa and the Echo hardware family there’s no telling what the comparison chart will look like in November.
    The problem with preannouncements like this is they give a competition plenty of time to undercut the product before it even ships.

    Temper the hype, guys.
    And remember Google TV and Android TV.

  7. Justin says:

    RIP Echo/Alexa. Google assistant allows conversation. Combined with Chromecast and Chromecast audio, plus Google having all your history…. no way it can compete.

    Amazon should just stick to streaming video.

  8. boudyka says:

    @fjtorres. Not in the UK it isn’t.

    Echo is doomed in EMEA if they don’t a fecking move on, getting very bored with Amazon focusing its products primarily in the US, but flogging cut down version of their tech to EMEA.

    Google will likely have no hesitation in launching globally.

  9. Douglas Pollock says:

    I will be faithful to Amazons Echo.

  10. Paul Mulham says:

    No way Amazon can compete with Google assistant. Google already blows Siri and all the rest of the voice command systems out of the water.

    This will be a great product, but Amazon does have a massive head start.

  11. Matthew says:

    Cancelled my Echo Dot pre-order (June 8 delivery projected) once I saw the Google Home. One of the big features I am wanting out of either of them is the ability to play any song from my music library on command. Google Play Music lets me upload all my own mp3s to the could, free of charge. Amazon has a limit of 250 songs. It’s easy to see who wins there.

    • Ujn Hunter says:

      Nice, didn’t realize Google Play Music did this… 50,000 songs free uploaded. There goes my hopes of having access to my Google Play library on my Amazon Echo (whether through Google or 3rd party support). Though seeing I’m already on board with Amazon, the $25 for 250,000 songs is better than the 50,000 free songs from Google Play Music for me.

  12. Tinwarble says:

    I think the biggest advantage of the Google Home over the Echo is that you want need to be locked into the Amazon eco. Plus it will have better integration with more devices, Android phones/tablets, Android TV, Nest, Android wear, Chromecast, etc.

    • Ujn Hunter says:

      Now you’re locked into the Google eco though, so unless you have issues with one company over the other, this doesn’t seem like an advantage/disadvantage.

      • Powarun says:

        I feel that Amazon is still more open to other developers to make things to connect to the Echo than Google. Amazon can get money from the sale of the product easier than Google. I think the brilliance of the Echo was that it was an interface without a screen.

  13. gdroid666 says:

    that design though
    it looks like an air freshener
    plus what ugly color choices

  14. pmcd says:

    Really enjoy our Echo. Amazon has a very interesting environment going for Alexa. Apart from Google tending to throw out beta products only to let them wither on the vine, there is something unnerving about having Google listening in to our lives. I don’t really feel like becoming the product…

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