Why Google Home Is Better Than Google's Allo Messenger

Updated on September 28, 2016
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Krzysztof is a lifelong future tech junkie investigating the latest stories from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon.

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Google Home Is Here

Google Home is a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo but it's a lot more than that.

As far as comparisons go, Google Home will do most things that Echo, Echo Dot, and Apple's HomeKit can do but in a smarter way.

The newest smart speaker will be able to:

  • Connect with smart devices (Nest)
  • Play music
  • Set timers/alarms
  • Sync with multiple Home products
  • Answer questions or tell you the weather/sports/news

And you'll see numerous additions being added consistently, but it's the software that matters most.

Consumer AI has never been more powerful than this.

The Google Assistant

How Does Google Assistant Function?

For those you don't have the Android's Nougat software update or Google Home, you can try a preview of the Google Assistant on the "Allo" messenger app available on iOS and Android.

In Allo, the Assistant is the answer to Facebook Messenger's bots. But instead of having multiple bots to choose from, you get one helper that tries to do it all (or will soon).

The best thing about the Google Assistant is that it can participate in two-way conversations, so you don't have to repeat your requests.

Hands-on: Google Assistant's Allo Chatbot

In the messenger app, the assistant learns and automates responses to friends/family including uploading relevant images/videos to your liking. You can also increase and decrease the size of your pics, messages, and emojis to accentuate your texts.

Additionally you'll get instant information without having to search the web within your messenger app though functionality is currently limited.

Presently this chatbot is a silent helper but the assistant inside the Home will be a bit more chattier. Home is also always-on versus an app that you have to open from a mobile device.

However you'll have all its smarts at your disposal.

Google Home vs. Allo Messenger

Why Google Home Is Better Than Allo

Allo's main flaw is that it doesn't have access to third-party apps, so you can't do everything within the messaging platform.

Google Home will function more like the Amazon Echo.

It'll accumulate numerous third-party skills over time so you'll be able to check your banking information, book a ride-sharing service, or control multiple smart home devices all via voice.

Allo's assistant will have the smarts, but Google Home's aide will have smarts + functionality that'll make it much more useful (at least initially).

There's no question that their messaging app will gain more functionality over time and eventually both should have similar capabilities, however; Google Home will be the superior platform.

You're always going to have an edge when you mix hardware with software, and the Home's greatest strength will be its always-on speaker. It has the potential to dominate the home space like the Echo is starting to.

Now if Allo had a huge third-party ecosystem instantly accessed from within the app, then it could supersede the Home because it'll be portable. Allo's role is inside your smartphone and chances are your phone's constantly nearby.

And if the Google Assistant manages to integrate itself into your car, then all bets are off.

The Google Assistant vs. Google Now

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How Different Are They?

Google Now's best feature was that it would attach relevant search cards to the main page based on your search history.

You could also provide spoken requests to pull needed information, but it wasn't always accurate. Granted today's digital assistant are a lot better than 4-5 years ago but they still struggle to answer basic questions or fail to work entirely.

Google Assistant promises to change all of that due to Google's progress with AI. Their progress with machine and deep learning has been vast, and this will be the first test to prove it beyond localized venues.

Now produced cards of information, Assistant doesn't need to because it already knows what they are.

Honestly the only likeness between the two is that they'll need to access your personal information in order to function properly, which has always felt slightly unnerving.

However if you want to book an Uber or an appointment through the Assistant, then you have to be willing to let that happen. These bots can't function how they're meant to without input.

Goodbye Google Now

New Changes to AI Software

Google is already on its way to eliminating the popular Google Now. The same can be said for "Now on Tap".

The message is clear that the company plans on revamping its famous AI helper to a much smarter version, aka "The Assistant".

It does feel like the company wants to shift their entire landscape into something less clunky. Google is also re-launching their Nexus smartphone brand into "Pixel" along with the latest Android v 7.0 update titled "Nougat".

It's out with the old, in with the new kind of ordeal, but will customers embrace it?

That depends if these re-launches actually make peoples' lives easier and clean up the mess that was Google Now with their useless search cards.

Now on tap made even less sense since you could just use your voice to find things you wanted. At least that portion of Now won't go away particularly since voice searches are beginning to take over written requests.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

The Future of Intelligent Digital Assistants (IDA's)

Source

Projection of Smart Speakers

Smart speakers have become inherent with the internet of things, which connects all things to the internet.

The Amazon Echo ignited the current firestorm of voice integration and the control of smart gadgets, but it's still very early. The market is projected to boom in the coming years, but will consumers invest in the IoT?

No doubt companies will attempt to connect everything to the internet in the next few years, but that doesn't mean people will buy them.

Smart gadgets remain expensive, disjointed, and pose privacy risks.

Despite millions of bought Echo devices, the majority who didn't cited security as a main reason why they chose not to invest. It's going to take a while before more people jump on board, and things have to get more secure before they do so.

Even with new smart speakers coming from Google and Apple, it'll be a slow though gradual climb to the top akin to many of today's wearables.

Tech experts cite 2018 as the inflection point for the internet of things, but I don't think they realize how linear our progress is compared to technology.

Regardless, we'll gradually adapt Allo messenger and Google Home into our lives despite their flaws. They each have a purpose although both have a long way to catch up to Facebook's Messenger, iMessage, or the Amazon Echo.

It'll be an interesting fight to the top, but it all depends on the Google Assistant.

Who will get their first: Google Home or Google Allo?

Your Turn

Which Is Better?

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Questions & Answers

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