Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Good day,

one of my future projects will be to link a Google Home or Amazon Echo to Openhab.
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with one or both devices mainly for Openhab.

I would love to hear your input/ stories for installation/ configuration/ compatibility/ rules that differentiate the 2.

Which one would you pick and why?

I use the Amazon control binding, so far I like it but my wife is ready to hang me.:rofl: I have motion sensors placed around the house and use Alexa TTS to speak a message when motion has been triggered. Check out the post here to see what’s currently available for the binding. Installing the binding is fairly easy just follow the links tutorial. Also the link has several examples to get you started.

Example rule for my garage using Alexa TTS

var Timer stopMotionTimer = null
var Timer startMotionTimer = null
var Timer startLightTimer = null
val int timeoutMinutes = 60
rule "Detect Motion when Garage is Open"
    Item Esp_Easy_Motion changed from OFF 
    if(Proxy_Motion.state == ON && stopMotionTimer === null && ESP_Easy_Door.state == OFF){  // Door open = OFF
        Echo_Plus_TTS.sendCommand('Alert, garage movement!')
            stopMotionTimer = createTimer(now.plusSeconds(15)) [|
                stopMotionTimer = null

rule "Auto ON Garage Motion Detection after One Hour when Garage is Open"
    Item Proxy_Motion changed from ON to OFF
    if(startMotionTimer === null && Proxy_Motion.state == OFF){
        Echo_Plus_TTS.sendCommand('The garage motion suspended for one hour')
            startMotionTimer = createTimer(now.plusMinutes(60)) [|
                Echo_Plus_TTS.sendCommand('Garage motion is now on')
                startMotionTimer = null
rule "Garage Light Detection"
    Item Esp_Garage_Lightlevel received update
    val Val_Light = Esp_Garage_Lightlevel.state as Number 
    if(Val_Light >= 650 && ESP_Easy_Door.state == ON && startLightTimer === null){
        startLightTimer = createTimer(now.plusSeconds(190)) [|
            Echo_Plus_TTS.sendCommand('The garage door is closed, and light has been left on')
            startLightTimer = null
    if(Val_Light <= 500){

Another rule for playing around with an Altek (used to change the temp) and temp. This one got me in trouble.:smile: Note, I censored some of the Alexa comments.

rule "Test Switch with Alexa"
    Member of gTemp changed
	var testName =
	var state = triggeringItem.state as Number
	var new_state = "UNKOWN"

    logInfo("This light:", testName + triggeringItem.state )
    switch true { 
        case state < 71  : new_state = "My xxxxx, are hard, a bit to Cold, dont you think"
        case state >= 78 : new_state = "Its too xxxxx, Hot, time to get naked"
		case state < 78 && state >= 76  : new_state = "Its still hot in here, and I don't mean, the good kind, either"
		case state < 75 && state >= 74 : new_state = "Slow, but getting cooler"
		case state < 73 && state >= 72 : new_state = "This is perfect weather, for procreation, don't you think"
	if(triggeringItem.state != new_state){
		Echo_Plus_TTS.sendCommand("The" + testName + "has an update," + new_state ) 

I can’t speak for Google Home but if you have an echo try it out.

Hope this helps.


lol, i can see where you have your goals set. :slight_smile:
Good example thx.

I still need to buy one and it is not yet for now.
preferably i would go with a google home hub, the one with a screen.
i like the fact that the google search is just integrated by default compaired to the Alexa then.
I use the assistant already which works rly good imo

By default Alexa uses bing for a search engine,:roll_eyes: but there’s a work around to have it use google.:smiley:

i have indeed read about that, though… unless there are specific reasons i would go for Alexa i prefer to have the option that has the least work :slight_smile:

I use Alexa to control a couple of pre-defined scenes.
I used proxy-items in openhab.
Like: Alexa, turn 'Eating' on and openhab will execute some commands I defined in a rule.
This works great.

I also startet to integrate Google Home with my smartphone.

Until now I prefer Alexa, because google snwers with very long sentences.
While Aelxa only says OK or even just makes a short sound with the new brief mode.

There are other differences, but I don’t know all of them. :slight_smile:

Thx for your reply.

that is actually a good point i have never thought of before.

This does make me think on something i have read… that alexa is more “command like” while google home uses more “real sentences” to make things happen.
You have both devices, can you confirm this?

Like I said, I don’t use it that much.

And I use both the same way: Just say a command to the device.

The bigger difference is when you want to use the assistant.
I think that is the point where google is much better because google has much more knowlage of everything.

I am not sure about the Alexa app, but to test the google home feature you only need the app.
No need to by a new device. At least for google.

In regards to both my only issue is learning the differences.

For example my Alexa if I said turn off all lights she has no clue, where google turns off all lights. Because of this I created a device in openhab called all lights. So I can tell Alexa turn off all lights. The reason you have to be careful is when I tell google turn off all lights, it turns off it turns off anything that is defined as a light.

The point here is that in general they are both very similar and behave the same way. However in regards to certain things they will always behave different. Unfortunately I don’t believe there is a hot list out there so you can decode easily.

Having both I have found that I prefer them both depending on circumstances, but prefer echo for what I do on a daily basis. The primary reason is my wife can install the Alexa app and setup things easily. Scenes and routines.

I use groups in the Alexa app to turn everything in one room off with a single command. You could create a group, all lights and do the same.

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I forgot to comment on this, as my wife originally rolled her eye’s when I bought our first echo. She viewed it as, just another one of my gadgets.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: It took about a month for her to actually start using it. Before Alexa we keep the shopping list on the refrigerator, if the store was out of an item, it was a pain making sure the item got added to the new list. Now Alexa keeps our shopping list and it much easier as we remove the item from the list when it goes in the cart. If item wasn’t bought it remains on the list, and not forgotten.:grinning: Her other favorite is soothing sounds, at night she tell Alexa to play whatever sound for one hour, and we listen to crickets, rain, waves, etc… for the next hour.

As @Thedannymullen mentioned they are both similar so there is no wrong choice. Black Friday will be soon and there’s a good chance you can pickup one of each at half price.:grin: I do have a google mini (black Friday, half price last year) but it’s never used, maybe its time to see if google has made some improvements.:thinking:

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That is exactly what i have anyway in my Niko home control system.
So these things were setup up automaticly for me :slight_smile:

as for the wife, good point… :stuck_out_tongue:
that acutually limits me for that part to the google home, i just read that this is the only one that can be setup in Dutch.
I dont see my wife talking to a machine to start with (like you say it so lovely “just another one of my gadgets”) let alone in english.
Doesnt hold me for integrating both at some point tho.
But good point!

As for the same reason she will never create any rules for this.
Takes me 3 weeks already for her to pick up a new phone mentally before she allows me to start transferring all her data :stuck_out_tongue:
edit: which is today :slight_smile:

I didn’t either but once she realized the convenience she loves it. A few months back we lost our internet connection and my wife panicked because she couldn’t get Alexa to turn on a light. I walk over to the TP Link smart plug and pressed the button, the light came on and I just looked at her with a big.:smirk: It was funny to realize just how much she depended on Alexa.:grinning:

Yeh i believe that once this has been setup properly that the comfort can be increased and she will see the benefits for doing so.
I will need to keep this in mind it seems :slight_smile:
Trying to get as much examples as possible now for certain automations.

But very new still to Openhab and the possibilities so i still have so many questions and ideas to test/ play around with.
And so much information to go through as well.
Mostly i still get stuck tho :stuck_out_tongue:
But i said it before and will say it again, it is because of people like you that this is a great community.
You rly are a source of information :slight_smile:

oh and to clarify “people like you”, anyone taking the time to reply to some noobs in the Openhab-World and sharing thoughts


We all work together! I’ve learned a lot by helping others and reading solutions from the forum. Pick one idea, make it work then another and another. I found that trying to get 6 things setup and working, all at once, is not the best choice. Unless you like to read, til your eye’s bleed.:grinning:

Hang in there, you’ll be helping others in no time, then wishing you had more devices to connect.:sunglasses:

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i agree :slight_smile:
With the rest u said actually aswell.

looking forward to that day :wink: