Google Home to the Amazon Echo: 'Anything you can do...'

From CNET: The battle between the Google Home and the Amazon Echo keeps getting better and better. Yesterday, a year after Google first announced the Home and the Google Assistant, the search giant might have just shown the road map to put the Home ahead for good.

To this point, the Google Home smart speaker has lagged behind Amazon's competing Echo devices in terms of the things it can do. Amazon had a head start with Echo, bringing it to the market in 2014, and as a result, the Echo has more than 10,000 skills and works directly with dozens of internet connected hardware products. The Google Home only started with four device partners, but it has been catching up.

Since the Home speaker debuted last year, Google has quietly added and improved on a number of features -- flexible voice commands for controlling connected household devices, conversational recipe instructions in the kitchen, and personal assistance tied to your Google Calendar and Google Maps account. At its Google I/O developer's conference in Mountain View, California, Google added abilities that will be hard for Amazon to match, and announced better versions of a couple of Echo's recent upgrades.

Even if the Home becomes a more capable device than the Echo, there's no guarantee it will be able to catch up in sales. The Echo is still more versatile with 10,000 third party skills you can activate with your voice, and if you want the best smart speaker value on the market, the best option is the $50 Echo Dot. Amazon also has a couple of new Echo products on the way, so it will add to its versatility lead soon. Even Apple is supposedly getting in on the smart speaker this year, which will make the battle even more interesting.

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