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Google, Amazon or Apple: Which home automation system is right for you?

It’s 2018 and the future has arrived. We can now affordably and conveniently adapt our homes to respond and interact with us via voice commands.

However, even if such systems available are significantly more accessible to the average person at far lower rates than they were just a few years ago, choosing the right one is a big decision. You’ll want the most efficiency and ease of use for the amount you’re spending. 

There are several options out there, with the biggest and most well-known ones being Apple’s HomeKitAmazon Alexa and Google Home. While there is overlap between the features offered by all the systems, there are also some differences. 

Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you’ll likely prefer one system over the others. To help you choose which is best for you, here’s an overview of each with the pros, cons and reviews from those who’ve already implemented the systems.

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Amazon Alexa:

Controlled via the Amazon Echo speaker (now in its 2nd generation), the Alexa home system has been well-received by consumers and tech experts. Seen as an affordable, yet well-functioning home automation system, Alexa provides voice activation convenience to control your home.

Pros

– The Echo speaker can almost always hear you, even when music is blasting

– Bluetooth connectivity works seamlessly

– Works with numerous third party apps and devices

Cons

– It’s been known to activate accidentally

– The speaker works with a limited number of music services

 

Buy the Amazon Echo here for $99.99. Other supported devices can be purchased at AmazonNewegg, or Best Buy.

 

Google Home:

Complimenting its Google Assistant service, the Google Home speaker was initially seen as a lagging competitor to Amazon’s system. However, as Google has moved to improve its service, increasing its compatibility with more third party devices, the home automation system has its benefits despite its imperfections.

Pros

– It’s easily personalized to your preferences, giving you info on your daily commute, weather, and calendar 

– Provides lots of choices for music listening

– Flaws in the system are addressed rapidly by Google, with constant improvements

Cons:

– Some of the system’s voice commands are confusing to remember

– In comparison, it provides limited smart home control

 

Buy the Google Home speaker here for $94.99. Supported home automation devices can be purchased at Newegg or Best Buy.

 

Apple HomeKit:

If you’re already an Apple person, this might just be the ideal option for you. With many quality home automation products functioning with the application, you can easily control your home by using your iPhone or iPad. However, unlike Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Apple has yet to release its stationary speaker to conveniently control the system within your home.

Pros

– Ideal for Apple users, working easily with Apple devices

– Synchs home automation devices quickly and efficiently 

– Arguably more secure than other home automation systems

Cons:

– The system only works with iOS, meaning you can’t control it via your Mac desktop or MacBook

– Until HomePod’s release, you have to keep your iPad or iPhone on hand to control the system


You can download the Apple HomeKit application via iTunes for $14.99. You can get compatible accessories through Best Buy and Amazon.

The AJC may receive a commission for purchases made through some links in this article.

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