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Consumer Reports: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home

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Lauren Glassberg takes a look at a Consumer Reports survey on digital assistants.

If you're checking off your holiday list, you may be considering a digital assistant from Amazon or Google. So how do they work, and how do they stack up against each other?

Experts at Consumer Reports say the technology is showing a lot of promise, and there is an endless number of things you can ask a home assistant speaker. They then search the web in an effort to answer all your questions and even control certain internet-connected devices in your home.

Consumer Reports' electronics editor, Mike Gikas, explained how the $130 Google Home stacks up against the $180 Amazon Echo.

"I think the Google Home speaker is a lot smarter," he said. "For instance, I can say, 'Okay, Google, when's it going to rain again?' And it's going to tell me."
With the Amazon Echo, the answer would sound more like a weather report. But Consumer Reports says the Echo actually does more, like dimming the lights and turning on the TV.

Right now, the Google Home doesn't work with as many home-automation systems as the Echo.

Consumer Reports also found the Home sometimes gets confused between a playlist, album or title of a song - something the Echo also has problems with.

"When I look at the Google Home speaker and I see its intelligence, the kind of answers I'm getting, I'm thinking within a short time, the Google Home is not only going to catch up to the Amazon Echo, but surpass it," Gikas said.

The Google Home is expected to add more features soon, including being able to send directions right to your smart phone.

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