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August 7, 2017

Screen showdown: Amazon Echo Show vs. Google Home with a Chromecast

by John_A

If you are looking to buy a voice assistant, you will inevitably run into the problem of choosing between a product from Google or Amazon. Both companies have voice assistants and, recently, have begun to include video. Google has Google Home with Chromecast, while Amazon has the Echo Show. The question most consumers have regarding the two is: Can the Google Home with Chromecast keep up with the Echo Show?

Since the Google Home does not come with a screen attached, you will need to buy Chromecast, which is a $35 investment. The Chromecast will attach to a screen, such as a TV, and will allow you to stream video to that TV; the Google Home can cast YouTube videos and Netflix to your TV once Chromecast has been set up. At the moment, however, Google Home cannot turn the TV on. This means you will have to either turn the TV on and then tell Google Home to play a video or leave the TV on all the time.

Beyond videos, the Echo Show dominates the added video field.

Both devices can play specific YouTube videos and recipe videos. However, Google Home will pick a random video from YouTube that it thinks best fits what you want, while the Echo Show will show you options for videos. Also, Google Home will only show you a video, not any instructions for recipes or other videos.

Beyond videos, the Echo Show dominates the added video field. The Echo Show can show you lists of movies that are playing in the area, shopping lists, lyrics to songs, news highlights, and calendar events. The Google Home just isn’t able to provide these features with Chromecast.

Another feature that the Echo Show has that the Google Home does not have is Drop In. Drop In allows users with the Alexa app to connect directly with the Echo Show in a FaceTime-esque scenario. This video call connects directly to the screen on the Echo Show, but only users with the Alexa app are able to connect. Google Home can make calls to any other US phone, but there is no video calling that is available, yet.

When comparing these two devices it is clear they are not on the same level. The Echo Show simply does the video features much better than the Google Home. That being said, the Google Home is much better at knowledge questions simply because it has access to Google’s knowledge. Overall, the Echo Show has a much better integrated video system that Chromecast can’t compare to.

David Cogen, a regular contributor here at Digital Trends, runs a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech. You can also find him over at Twitter discussing the latest tech trends.

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