Cyber Monday is tomorrow and I’m using it as an opportunity to stock up on the latest in smart home appliances. I’m in the market for smart lights, cameras and door locks.
The market is fragmented into 3 ecosystems - Alexa, Google Home and Apple Homekit. Each one serves as the hub of your smart home. This post is a quick review of all three.
Amazon Alexa is the most mature platform here. The Echo series of devices is now in it’s 3rd generation and is well supported by all smart home appliances, ofcourse very well tied into Amazon Prime. Alexa’s user interface could use some work - invoking skills is still a bit clunky and the app needs a design refresh. I’m also not a huge fan of the Echo Show, the smart home hub display.
Google Home is in close second here. Almost every device supports Google, and it has the natural advantage of knowing me through my Google account. Integration with Google photos, news preferences - all of these just work. The Google Home hub is a $99 device and ties in nicely to Nest as well. It is a newer platform and some of the hardware is still first and second gen, so I’m hesitant to buy.
Apple Homekit seems to be the newer entrant and has the advantage of tight integration into iOS, which means no additional hardware is required. I can ofcourse buy the Homepod. I’m also an Apple TV user so it would be an easy extension to the ecosystem. I’m not quite sure how well supported it is across smart devices, but likely not as much as Alexa.
I’m leaning towards Amazon Alexa because of platform maturity - I don’t want my smart home to be finicky with new hardware issues. This also reminds me of the PC vs Mac debate - it’s been a while since I’ve had to make a platform choice as binary as this.
I’ll post updates to my setup once it’s all done.