June 21

There’s got to be a better way! Home assistant

#HelpANerdOut This is a GREAT question from Ryan P.: “I’m confused about all the home assistant devices like, Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s new Siri thing…

Which one is best? And what can they do for me? Just wondering if I really need one.”

Joanne B: I love Alexa! I use her for music, and lists- shopping and to-do. Also love being able to just quickly ask for weather and sports scores and schedules​ “Alexa, when is the next Stanley Cup” game?”

Steven R: I use Amazon Echo and honestly I hate it. It is SO not intuitive like Google is via a smart phone. It constantly comes back with “I don’t know” and “I don’t understand” and “Hmm….I’m having trouble finding it.” Even connected to Spotify it is challenging to know exactly what to say to get a playlist going. The only thing we use it for consistently is weather, alarms, and playing our evening Jeopardy questions together.

Brenda T: The Google Home “tell me about my day” feature is nice. Beginning my day with the weather forecast, a listing of calendar events and reminders, news, short podcasts and traffic is helpful. We ask it questions to silence the household trivia debates (“what year was X movie released?”) and stream music a lot. Two in the house; two are at college apartments. We all like our GHs, but seem to use them in different ways.

Claire M: I have Google Home. I add things to my grocery list which is so helpful. I ask random questions all the time – especially when watching tv and want to know more info about something. I tell it to play music and ask about traffic before I leave the house. It also controls the lights.

Theresa C: Alexa has been great! Music is so easy to access. News on demand.

Doris N: I have an Echo and two dots. I just added the second dot so that I could listen to music and turn off the bedroom light after I get in bed. I am using Alexa to control lights, thermostats, my Neato robotic vacuum. I agree with others music, lists, weather, questions on other knowledge. I have been expanding the “skills” and am considering, because I work out of a home office, having Alexa dial and answer calls for me, I’m not there yet with the calls, I use Google Voice and manage staff through Slack and Messages so it will take a bit more comfort for me to turn Alexa loose with my contacts. I do not have it set to order from my Amazon account, (Even though I order a great deal from Amazon). I don’t know if you “need” one, I’m certain that I could live without it quite nicely, as long as you don’t take away my iPhone! I can still control all of my devices with that, as well. Great question!



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