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New Affordable Home Personal Assistants from Amazon and Google

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You know that we have entered the age of the Internet of Things, with these AI (Artificial Intelligence) devices that soon will be found in most connected homes. By now, you may have heard about these hot new home tech devices developed by the two tech giants, Amazon and Google. They’re both quite affordable, so it’s time to give them a try. Plus, they make the perfect gift for any tech lover that you know.

Amazon’s Echo Dot comes in black or white and can be wall mounted or sit on a shelf

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon has developed the Echo Dot, which is a compact and more affordable version of the Amazon Echo, without the larger speaker.

The Echo dot is a puck-sized personal home assistant, named “Alexa”. You can ask Alexa many things, such as daily weather forecasts, news updates, and even jokes. Alexa will tell you what your day looks like, once connected to your calendar, as well as the day and time. It can sit discreetly on a shelf or can be mounted on a wall.

The Google Home Mini
By Mrschimpf – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63705836

Google Home Mini

The Google Home Mini is powered by Google Assistant. Also puck-shaped, it has a soft mesh cloth covering. It comes equipped with the Google Home Assistant which can answer all your questions regarding your day’s events, control your lights, play some music, and start your TV at your request. It’s like having your own personal assistant.

Features

Both devices will play your favorite music when requested, through the built-in speaker is not great. Instead, it comes with an audio port so that you can plug in your existing speakers, or connect a wireless one via Bluetooth.

Once you’ve downloaded the app on your smartphone, you can follow the steps to connect to your WiFi network.  There are all kinds of skill sets you can add that are provided by different companies and available through the app.

One of the best things they do, however, is the smart home control. If you have any other device, such as the Nest, Honeywell, or Hive to name a few, you can enable your personal assistant to control them. Then you can just walk into the room and ask to have the temperature turned up the lights switched on or off, the TV, and on it goes.

Fight over App Add-ons

Currently, the two tech companies are battling over the YouTube app availability. Unfortunately, this all becomes confusing and unpleasant for the consumer. We can only hope they will “play nice”, and keep app availability open to all.

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