Google adds more partners to growing smart home ecosystem

Peter Newman for Business Insider:  Google’s smart home ecosystem continues to expand as the company adds new partners to make devices that are compatible with its Google Assistant and Google Home smart speaker. Over 70 companies in smart home automation have made their devices compatible with Google’s smart home assistant, CEO Sundar Pichai said on Alphabet’s earnings call. The company is looking to continue adding partners as it tries to wrest smart home dominance from Amazon and Alexa.

Partners are a critical part of the growth of a smart home ecosystem. Pichai singled out Honeywell, Logitech, and LG — all leading manufacturers of smart home devices — as key partners for the Google Assistant. Smart devices from these companies also work with Alexa, which is understandable given Amazon’s two-year head start on Google in the smart speaker space. And Alexa boasts far more voice-based apps, with a library of 15,000 of what Amazon dubbed “skills,” versus 378 for Google Assistant.

Google’s behind Amazon in the smart home and smart speaker market right now. Amazon has sold well over 10 million Echos by this point. That far outpaces sales of the Google Home. Google has a number of avenues into the smart home beyond just the smart speaker, though, as Google Assistant is available as a built-in feature on Android devices running Android 6.0 and above (that includes 43.3% of active Android devices). It’s also available for download on iOS, though it only has about 192,000 downloads in its first 60 days on the App Store, according to data from SensorTower.  Full Article:

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