This article shows you the Alexa vs Google low-down, but more importantly we show you how to combine Alexa and Google to make a voice-control super-duo! If you don’t have an Android device to pair with Alexa, you can get a highly-rated Android for around $30 on Amazon. Keep reading to see how to set it up:
Alexa vs Google
- Alexa can utilize the power of Skills (which are Alexa’s “apps”), as well as play music from a variety of music services. But Alexa can’t make phone calls or search YouTube (until you pair an Android device with Alexa – directions below).
- Google can make calls, search YouTube, and search Google natively. Google can’t make use of Alexa Skills, which are apps that are custom-tailored for Echo devices.
- To get the best of both worlds, instead of putting Alexa vs Google we recommend that you use both Alexa and Google together. To do this, just pair an Android smartphone or tablet with your Echo / Echo Dot via Bluetooth (you can see the full step-by-step directions below). Then your Android’s audio will be output through whatever speaker your Echo or Echo Dot is playing through. This way you still have full use of Alexa commands, as well as full use of Google commands.
How to Pair Android with Alexa (aka “Setup Alexa with Google”)
- Just pair an Android phone or tablet with Alexa. It’s easy – start by saying “Alexa, pair Bluetooth“.
- Then turn on the Bluetooth on your Android device.
- Your phone should then see an “Echo” Bluetooth device.
- If your device doesn’t connect to the “Echo” Bluetooth device automatically, then select the “Echo” Bluetooth device from the list of found Bluetooth devices on your Android.
- After your Android is connected to Alexa via Bluetooth, make sure to place your Android next to your Echo or Echo Dot with the microphone pointed toward the center of the room (or wherever you’re speaking from) so your Android phone can hear your voice clearly.
- Now use any Google Now voice commands you would normally use, such as “OK Google, search YouTube for Alice in Chains.” or “OK Google, add an event to my Google calendar.” The result will be the same you normally get from your Google phone – simply just heard through whatever speaker to which your Echo or Echo Dot is connected.
- With this method, don’t forget you now have volume control on TWO devices (the Android and the Echo) instead of just ONE device (the Echo). So make sure your Android’s volume is at around 50% to 75%, and the same for your Echo for least distortion.
How to Control YouTube with Alexa
Once you’ve paired an Android device with Alexa via Bluetooth, use the commands below to control YouTube with Alexa voice commands. This basically is limited to music-based voice controls, such as “next track” (which is a key point in the Alexa vs YouTube debate), so keep reading after this section to see how to combine Alexa voice commands with Google voice commands:
- “Alexa, next track”
- “Alexa, pause” (or play)
- See a real example (below) of how I control Google Play Music on my Android phone by using Alexa voice commands, Google Now voice commands, and “cross-over” voice commands that control your Android phone / tablet using Alexa voice commands!
Example of Alexa vs Google Voice Commands (for Music)
Alexa commands are in blue, Google Now commands are in green, and “crossover” commands are in purple below. In the example just below, I show you the voice commands I used to start playing random music from my Google Play Music account. This was easy since my Android phone already has Google Play Music set up on it with a large variety of music, but you can use any other music app in its place to achieve this same exact functionality. Let the example begin!
- “Alexa, volume 8″
- “Alexa, pair Bluetooth” (then I turn on Bluetooth on my Android phone, after which Alexa connects to it immediately)
- “OK Google, play random music on Google Play”. Aaaaand BOOM – A random song plays from my Google Play Music account!
- “Alexa, next song”. Alexa controls the Android device via Bluetooth to play the next song in my Google Play music playlist.
- “Alexa, nevermind”. I forgot what I wanted to say to Alexa here, so I cancelled the voice command ;)
- “OK Google, play my Alice In Chains playlist on Google Play Music”. Then my Android phone starts playing my Alice In Chains playlist.
- “Alexa, skip track”. Alexa skips to the next track of whatever’s playing on your Android phone. Yes – this is Alexa controlling your Android phone.
- “OK Google, volume seven”. And Google says “OK” and turns the volume up! At this point the volume became too loud for my Android phone to hear me, but Alexa could still hear me. So I said..
- “Alexa, volume down”
How to Combine Alexa vs Google Voice Commands
Here’s how you can combine both Alexa voice commands and Google Now voice commands to maximize the amount of voice control you have:
- After pairing your Android with Alexa via Bluetooth, say “OK Google, search YouTube for (Song)”.
- On your Android’s screen, press the YouTube video you’d like to watch in the search results. Note: This is the only part of playing YouTube with Alexa that you can’t do with voice control. All other YouTube-related commands can be given via Alexa or Google Now voice commands.
- After the YouTube video starts playing on your Android phone (and through whatever speaker your Alexa is connected to), say “Alexa, pause” to pause the video. Then “Alexa, play” to resume the YouTube video. Try saying “skip ad” to skip an ad.
If you have any suggestions or issues settings up Alexa with Google, let us know on the KFire YouTube channel.