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Popular Voice Assistant Options and Commands

The list of Voice Assistants out there, and what they can do, grows every day. At the top of this list, you’ll find Amazon, Apple, and Google all vying for your attention with their own versions of Voice Assistants. While all three options have basic similarities that are essential to what a Voice Assistant is, each is uniquely different and offers a range of different interactions not only with you but with other smart devices in your Smart Home.  

To get a quick glimpse into the big three Voice Assistant options, check out the below. And while all respond to voice commands, each company is unique in which commands are supported and perform better. 

Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa is the most popular Voice Assistant, largely due to Amazon beating other competitors to the punch and offering wide accessibility via both Amazon devices and Alexa-enabled third-party devices. 

Alexa is known for having a huge list of actions it can perform on command. Many of these Alexa commands serve to carry out actions on specific devices. For instance, Amazon was the first company to come out with a Smart Speaker, called Echo. When you use an Echo, you talk to Alexa. The novelty of the Echo came from its ability to hear you from anywhere in your house and answer commands to stream music. 

Beyond Amazon products like Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, Alexa is also available on third-party devices that aren’t made by Amazon, including but not limited to: Android, iPhone, Smart Lights, Smart Lamps, Smart Door Locks, Smart Thermostats, Smart Refrigerators, and even competitor Smart Speakers like the Sonos One. 

Overall, Alexa supports over 100,000 Smart Home devices from over 9,500 brands, according to Amazon, and is continuously adding more. 

Apple Siri

Siri is the first Voice Assistant to reach a large audience due to its integration with iPhone. Siri is the Voice Assistant by Apple and was first released on the iPhone in October 2011, way before any of the other competitors released their versions or before Smart Speakers were available. 

Siri’s largest strength is being integrated into the iPhone and the rest of Apple’s devices, such as iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and the Mac. So if you already use Apple products, you already have access to Siri.

While Siri offers the best experience on iPhone, you can expect Siri’s seamless integration to get better in the near future with Apple’s other products, specifically the HomePod as competition for Smart Speakers heats up.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is the other major player in the Voice Assistant market and is by—you guessed it—Google. Although Google is the last to enter the Voice Assistant area, Google Assistant leverages Google Web Search, the most-used search engine in the world, to help its accuracy in answering general informational commands. 

While Google Assistant can mainly be used on Android phones, Google is aggressively producing new Smart Speakers as other options for ways to reach and interact with the Voice Assistant. What’s more, it’s not uncommon to get a Google Home Mini, one of Google’s Smart Speakers, for free.

Voice Assistant Commands 

Generally speaking, the Voice Assistants of Amazon, Apple, and Google all function the same with living in the cloud, being accessible through a device, and sharing simple interaction patterns with commands. The major difference between the three is what specific commands each knows, as not all Voice Assistants know the same commands. What’s more, not all commands for each voice assistant work across all devices it’s accessible on. 

The challenge is even more magnified by the simple fact that Voice Assistants can’t show you what commands they support. Popular devices like Smart Speakers don’t have screens to offer command guides. Meanwhile, Alexa is getting smarter through third-party skills and devices; Siri’s intuitive nature is deepening between Apple’s ecosystem; Google Assistant is ever-evolving with search queries. Simply put: finding out what you can do with these Voice Assistants is really hard. 

Fortunately, this struggle is where Smart Home Explained comes in. 

Alexa Commands

Whether you’re new to Alexa, an intermediate user, or a seasoned pro simply looking to get the latest commands, I’ve got you covered. The weekly series called Keeping Up with Alexa Commands is released every Monday and serves to strengthen your use of Amazon’s Voice Assistant on devices like Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. 

Siri Commands 

Are you a diehard iPhone fan?If you’ve cycled through a few iPhones, you probably don’t know the available list of Siri commands. That’s where I can help.

The newly-launched series called Keeping Up with Siri Commands outlines 350+ Siri commands within 28 separate, easy-to-digest posts. What’s also useful is this guide includes notes on what commands you can use with your iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and other Apple devices.

Google Assistant Commands 

Google Assistant is readily equipped to perform a multitude of tasks after first activating the Voice Assistant with either “OK Google” or “Hey, Google” wake words. Stay tuned for a Smart Home Explained guide on Google Assistant Commands to use. In the meantime, these other pages may be useful: 

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