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7 Things Your Amazon Echo Can Do That Google Home Can’t


The Amazon Echo is one of the most innovative pieces of technology to come out of the previous decade. Amazon markets it as a virtual assistant, and despite looking like a rounded speaker, it can do quite a lot.

The Echo is just the speaker, but it’s what’s inside that really matters: Alexa. Amazon Alexa is a voice assistant that wakes up when you call its name, and can answer questions by searching the web. Alexa can also help you play music, set reminders, and much more.

Google Home can do all of that too. However, the Echo’s capable of doing a lot more than just that. Here are a number of tasks the Echo can do that Google Home still can’t.

1. Send or Read Text Messages

The Amazon Echo is a handy little speaker that can easily send text messages for you. This is a fantastic feature, especially when you have your hands full and are working on something important, such as cooking. Before you can enable text messaging on Alexa, it’s important to download the app for iOS or Android and give it the necessary permissions on your phone.

Once you do, sending text messages using Alexa is easy. Just say, “Alexa, send a text message.” The assistant will respond, asking you the name of the contact. Just reply with the name and then say the message you want to send out loud. Your Amazon Echo will confirm when the message is sent.


2. Receive Delivery Notifications

Picture of two Amazon packages

This one doesn’t come as a surprise, especially since it’s an Amazon product. When you order something from Amazon, you can get notifications about the delivery status, or ask your Echo to update you, by simply asking, “Alexa, where are my delivery packages?” It’ll let you know about the status of your orders one by one.

You can also turn on delivery notifications from the Alexa app. This way, whenever a package arrives at your doorstep and its status is updated, your Echo will give you an update. More importantly, Amazon has skills available from multiple courier service providers, including names like UPS and USPS. You can download any of those as well to ask Alexa about the status of your orders.

You can even take questions one step further by asking your Echo about the nearest UPS store location, how much time it’ll take for a package to arrive, and even the number of packages you can expect to receive on any particular day in the week.

Related: What Does a Blue Light Ring on Alexa Mean?

3. Order and Track Your Pizza

Another nifty feature is the Domino’s Alexa skill. An Alexa skill is like an app that you can enable through the Alexa app, using a voice command, or through Amazon’s site. There are plenty of those available, and each one can add a lot of new capabilities to your Amazon Echo. One of them is Domino’s. Once you activate the skill just say, “Alexa, open Domino’s.” Alexa will connect you to the pizza chain, thus letting you place an order.

If you have a saved profile with Domino’s Pizza, you can re-order a saved order too. Alexa also hooks up with the Domino’s Tracker, giving you real-time updates regarding the status of your order, including when it’s ready for pickup or out for delivery. It’s worth noting here that while you can order pizza via Google Home, you don’t get this level of comprehensive tracking, reordering, or customization.

4. Whisper to Your Echo

If you hate waking up in the middle of the night and checking your phone, you can simply whisper to your Echo. The Echo microphone is surprisingly intuitive, and picks up on whispers quite quickly. You can whisper to your Echo to tell you the time or turn a light on. Here’s the best part: your Echo recognizes that you’re whispering, and won’t respond back in full volume.

Instead, it whispers back. This is known as Echo’s whisper mode. The tech behind it is fairly intuitive. It uses short-term memory neural networks to detect your speech and then leverages its end-pointing system to analyze silence in the background. If you’re too far, the Echo may simply whisper back, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

You can also turn on Whisper mode manually. Just say, “Alexa, activate Whisper mode.” Or, you can go in the Amazon Alexa app, go to Settings, then find Voice Responses. Simply tap on Whisper Mode to toggle it on.

5. Support for Amazon Music and Apple Music

Amazon Echo Dot on a pile of books

The Amazon Echo is an AI-powered speaker, after all. It can easily play music from Spotify and supports other streaming services like Deezer. However, what sets it apart from Google Home is that it also offers support for Amazon Music and Apple Music. The default music service on Amazon Echo is Amazon Music, though you can change it to Apple Music or any other if you want.

Related: How to Move Music Between Echo Devices With Alexa

6. Customize and Create Your Own Skills

With the Alexa app, you can create your own skills, also known as Blueprints. From custom games to stories, greetings, and specific actions or commands, you can easily create your own skill. This gives you greater control over the different smart home devices that you have in your house.

And, the good thing is that these skills are only stored on your account, so they can’t be shared.

7. Protect Your House with Alexa Guard

Alexa Guard is a great Amazon Alexa that adds a layer of security protection to your house. When enabled, your Echo will send notifications to your phone if it detects something unusual, such as the sound of breaking glass or a smoke alarm going off.

Related: What Does Alexa Guard Do and How Does It Work?

You can also listen to sounds via the Echo. And, if you have connected your Echo to a smart lighting system, you can also turn those on to make it seem as if someone’s home. Amazon has also introduced a subscription-based option, known as Alexa Guard Plus. This offers access to an Emergency Helpline and informs you in case of a possible emergency and can even sound off a siren.

Amazon Echo Keeps Getting Smarter

Amazon has invested a considerable amount in improving its AI-powered Echo devices. With the company’s financial muscle and its ever-growing influence on the smart home sector, you can expect Amazon Echo to keep getting smarter by the day.

Amazon has also released a slew of new devices at varying price points, targeting households with different incomes. But, each one is powered with the same Alexa, and it’s one of the most innovative examples of how technology is changing lives and making things easier.

Echo Dot 3rd and 4th Gen and Question mark on Gradiant Background
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