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  • Business and finance related queries, e.g. if your bank (NAB and Westpac) has a skill, it can give you balances etc
  • Connected car – Order Uber etc
  • Education and reference
  • Food and Drink – order Uber Eats, Domino’s Pizza or make a booking on The Fork (painful!!!)
  • Games, Trivia and accessories – Sports facts
  • Health and Fitness
  • Lifestyle – control smart home devices generally using a third-party smart hub

Skills range from useful to banal. For example, there is a guard dog skill that makes the speaker bark. The only problem is that I could not get it to stop barking!

Many skills are more about promoting the brand/product than being useful. According to Deloitte the sole purpose of a skill is to gain mind space, so you remember it when you purchase. “Skills are more brand name heavy and focused around asking for [a specific] brand than really useful.”

Google Home Actions

Google seems to require devices to be designed for Google Home, and that usually involves including a specific piece of silicon (chip). For example, the Philips Hue bridge is Google Home enabled allowing the far simpler command, “OK Google turn the lounge lights off” (as it knows what the lounge lights are).

It claims more than 1 million actions and 10,000 smart devices.

GadgetGuy’s take –Google Assistant users do much more than Amazon Alexa

The real question is – what is best? Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa?

We have a full test suite of both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Both are competent voice assistants, and it is too early to call the winner. What is clear is that Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa have overtaken Cortana, Bixby, ThinQ and other voice assistant challengers.

Twelve months ago, Alexa was ahead on points but what a difference a year makes. The use cases for voice assistants continues to explode, and almost every new tech device supports them both. We are going on the voice control journey whether we like it or not.

And as time progresses all voice assistants will have to develop the same levels of linguistic competence or fall by the wayside. At present Google’s continued conversation mode and vastly wider language support puts it in front.

What will accelerate one over another is to find an exclusive, must have, action or purpose.

For example, in the Apple world, you only have one choice. I suspect that in the Android world tighter integration with Google Maps, Translate, Lens etc., will make Google Assistant the one choice.

If you accept the stats, Google Assistant is fast narrowing the gap in Alexa’s US homeland and is well ahead in the rest of the world.

Without fear or favour, I have had a greater level of success in using Google Home products over Alexa skills products. With the former, it just works!

I think it will come down to Android users will favour Google Assistant as it is part of the environment. Just as Apple users will favour Siri. Inveterate shoppers will favour Alexa, and perhaps that portends the answer of what is best. In the interim – fact: Google Assistant users do much more than Amazon Alexa