Amazon Vs Apple Vs Google: What Smart Home Side Are You On?

Our homes are shaping up as the next high-tech battleground as the three online superpowers engage in retaliatory strikes against one another's smart products.

A smart home is more than a house full of smart gadgets, it's a tight-knit ecosystem where all those gadgets work in unison to hopefully make your life a little easier. Amazon, Apple and Google are all pitching their smart speakers as the central hub to rule over your smart home, but unfortunately interoperability is the first causality in their battle for domination.

Hostilities have broken out in the lounge room, with Google withdrawing YouTube from Amazon's Fire TV players and Echo speakers. Amazon's attempts to sidestep the ban have also been blocked.

Meanwhile Amazon refuses to support Amazon Prime Video on Google's Chromecast streaming media player or Android TV. The long-promised Prime Video app for the Apple TV has finally appeared this week, but Amazon still refuses to sell Google and Apple's media players, even though the online retail giant handles most of their other hardware.

This battle is about to reach Australia as Amazon starts selling its Fire TV Basic, with the other Fire TV models seemingly on hold until Amazon's talkative Alexa smart assistant comes to our shores early next year.

The schism between the three major smart home ecosystems is spreading beyond the lounge room, with some models of the Google-owned Nest smart smoke alarms and security cameras disappearing from Amazon's online stores.

For now Alexa is still on speaking terms with Nest gear, but it's difficult to say what could happen under the next round of sanctions.

The escalating war comes as all three tech giants ramp up their international expansion plans, with Apple's Siri-powered HomePod delayed until next year – coming to rival the Google Home and Amazon Echo range.

You won't find the Google Home for sale on Amazon, so don't expect to see the Apple HomePod either. Not unless two of the tech giants decide the bury the hatchet to fight the third, assuming they can agree on a common enemy.

The biggest losers in this war are end users. As shifting allegiances threaten to turn the smart home into a fragmented mess, which side will you take?



    until there is a system where I am not mined for my data, my home is staying dumb

      Does that include the occupants? :p

      Jokes aside, the data mining is one of the more interesting parts of this. On one hand, it is a disturbing softening of privacy, but on the other hand, most of these are based around services we've been using for years that have been doing that very data mining.

      Google Home is the easiest example. Basically based around a logged in Google account, which is pretty much any android phone user, YouTuber, or PC user. Anything done on those is going to have been data mined for years given you're logging in by default for most of those.

      Apple is a little more subtle, but if you're in the Apple ecosystem, they've been doing the same thing for just as long.

      At least with these devices its not hidden.

      Meh, I use Google Home stuff I'd be otherwise doing on my Pixel anyway, so it's no difference to me.

      I got a freebie Home Mini via the Woolies promotion and while it's not life-changing in any way, it's been surprisingly useful in a few situations.

    I'll take none of them. No interest whatsoever. Happy to stick with a dumb speaker and a smartphone.

    Potentially apple combo’d with HomeKit? I enjoy the bits and pieces of voice with the Xbox, and not having to find a remote, but it looks like this is another area Microsoft have totally given up the fight in.

    I guess I'm with Google, but that's because I use Google services and Android by default. To be honest though I've never had Google Assistant do anything particularly useful or intelligent. It can't even fetch package information for Australia Post deliveries from my Gmail account.

    I'm all for Smart Homes and have been increasingly delving deeper into the apple eco-system for years.

    One thing I'm not a fan of though is any form of voice recognition. Its been in our lives now for almost 20 years and only ever seems to cause me greater levels of frustration. Plus I don't like randomly talking into thin air like a mad (Unless when day 5 into music festival) man.

      Maybe try voice recognition from someone other than Apple? I find voice dictation to Google Assistant very reliable - I rarely bother to type IM or SMS messages anymore, provided that I'm alone...and setting reminders and alarms has been almost flawless for years. It even gets 9:50 rather than 9:15 right every time, despite those sounding very similar.

    With Amazon and Google, you are the product. Your data collected and simply sold to advertisers.
    So, no thanks.

      Definitely why I would be less than keen for either of those companies to be permanently listening to your home. Especially after google were busted permanently listening and sending home with the Home mini (sorry, it was a “bug”).

      Even being aware of all of the data slurping that goes on, there's a surprising number of people making an informed choice to have one/more of these in their homes.
      My (first) one has even just achieved the coveted WAF benchmark (Wife Acceptance Factor), she's using it more than I do.
      The problem I do have with a lot of this "smart" stuff is that it just isn't actually smart. And, at the current pricepoint, it just doesn't seem value for money.

      "your data collected and sold...."

      I dislike this meme so much, because it's so clearly misleading - but people mindlessly swallow it and chorus "ooo that's so wrong and evil" instead of thinking about it for a few moments.

      Your data collected - clearly true.
      Your data sold - demonstrably false.

      Google, Amazon etc build a personal profile of users for the purposes of highly targeted advertising. How is that so much worse than just being spammed with non-targeted advertising all day? At least you see ads about stuff you genuinely might want to buy. Advertising pays for so many of the products and services we use every day already....why is Google/Amazon so evil for doing it better than anyone else?

        Anything that listens to my private conversations and turns them into adverts like facebook does is just creepy and intrusive.

          Neither Amazon nor Google actually listens to private conversations. They're listening for a trigger phase before activating any 'listening.'

          And there's no evidence that Facebook listens via the Facebook app...just a bunch of unsubstantiated accusations that I agree sound suspicious. If this were actually the case, it would be a massive (and almost certainly illegal) breach of privacy.

            I’ve had enough conversations about something left field with absolutely zero use of the phone that has become a facebook ad to have absolutely no doubt about it. When I disabled microphone access for the app, it stopped, but also stopped the ability to have voice calls in messenger.

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