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Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the Apple Homepod: how to choose?

Posted on June 1, 2020

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If you’re like most Americans, you’ve either considered buying a smart home device, or you already own one. If you’re still deciding among the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the newer Apple HomePod, you may wonder how to choose. Here are three factors that might help you decide:

  1. Price: these three options all look good, so maybe the only factor you care about is how much they cost. Fair enough! The standard version of Amazon Echo and the Google Home are both available for just under $10, but smaller versions with more limited functionality are also available at a lower price point. The Google Home Mini is offered at $39, with the Amazon Echo Dot just behind at about $60. At least for now, Apple’s HomePod falls well behind, at $299.
  2. Integration: maybe price is less important, but what you care about is how the device will integrate with your other accounts. If you are a Google user—particularly if you use Google Play—and want to sync your Google Home to your account, then go with the Google Home. If you are an iTunes or Apple Music user and you have iPhones and iPads in the house already, you’ll find the smoothest integration with the HomePod. And if you’re a frequent Amazon user, you may want an Echo (more about that under #3).
  3. Specific uses: maybe price isn’t most important, and neither is integration (after all, you already use Amazon, Apple, and Google, so integration is pretty equal). In that case, your decision might be driven by the primary use of your smart home device. If you love music and will mostly use the smart home device as a speaker, reviewers tend to agree that the HomePod has the best sound (which is probably why it’s the most expensive). If your primary use for the device is easily ordering more products when you run out, the Echo is your best bet because it lets you easily order new items online. And if you will use the device primarily for information—like a voice-activated web browser—it’s hard to beat the power of the world’s strongest search engine, Google.

No matter which you choose, it’s hard to go wrong among these three excellent products. Happy shopping! And may your home be a little smarter as a result.