Google is reportedly working on an Amazon Echo competitor

Igor Bonifacic

March 24, 2016 3:01pm

Google is planning to launch a competitor to the Amazon Echo, according to The Information, a publication made up of former Wall Street Journal reporters.

For the uninitiated, the Echo is Amazon’s take on the personal assistant. Developed by Amazon’s Lab 126 outfit, the same division of the company that was responsible for the creation of the Kindle and the not-so-successful Fire Phone, the Echo can do things like stream music from Spotify, dictate news and weather updates, and much more.

Both critics and consumers have found the device compelling — it currently has four-and-half star rating across more than 35,000 reviews — the one issue with the Echo is that Amazon seemingly refuses to bring it to Canada.

For Canadians, this news is exciting insofar as Google has a much better track record of bringing its products to Canada than Amazon.

The Information doesn’t provide specifics on what features Google’s competitor will offer, nor does the publication mention when the company plans to release its competitor or how much it will cost. It does note, however, that Google executives are keen to try and copy the success of Amazon’s Echo.

  • It’s Me

    Google is reportedly working on an Amazing Amazon Echo competitor

    YIFY 😉

    • Marc Palumbo

      Well, they’ll have to make it better than whatever Amazon did, because according to a lot of people that use it, it’s pure garbage.

    • Kyolux

      Oh is it?

      Was it high expectations or just that it just doesn’t work well.

      I was somewhat interested, but it not being available for Canada, didn’t do that much research.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Some complaints, of which I completely understand is annoying is when you need to add items to a grocery list. If you want to add:

      Orange Juice

      Instead of saying “Alexa, add milk, eggs, apples and orange juice to the grocery list”, you will get one single line in (I forgot which app it works with). The system should have been able to add each item individually. So what people are doing is the following:

      Alexa, please add Milk
      Alexa, please add Eggs
      Alexa, please add Apples
      Alexa, please add Orange Juice

      Just that alone, which is one of the major points of home automation, is annoying. I’ve even read that a lot of the speech/text – text/speech is stored as plain text when sending and receiving to whatever server you’re contacting. That sucks to, especially if you’re transmitting some sensitive information. The thing works as intended, but it’s almost just barely enough. The last time I checked, the Echo was looking at ratings of 3/5 on Amazon. I just don’t think Google has much of a competition here to make a better product.

    • vn33

      Still waiting for the day I can say “Alexa, Earl Grey, hot” and my tea would appear 😉

    • Comrade Yeti

      A typo in the title! If there was ever proof that no one at Mobile Syrup proof reads or cares there it is. It was bad when Daniel was around but I swear its worse now.

      Does ANYONE at MobileSyrup care?!

    • It was quite obviously a typo. Nobody is perfect 🙂

    • Comrade Yeti

      Patrick, no one is perfect, but there are frequent typos and bad grammar in every post. For MobileSyrup to be the premiere tech site in Canada thats embarassing.

    • Well, we’re already the premiere tech site in Canada.

      Look at any publication, even “reputable ones” like the National Post, Globe and Mail or Toronto Star and you’l find similar errors. When you’re writing up to 10 stories a day, mistakes are bound to happen regardless of how much pride you take in your work.

      Errors happen Comrade. It’s a fact of life.

    • Comrade Yeti

      Mistakes do happen, and I’m just saying they happen far more often here per word/per story than the Toronto Star or the The Globe and Mail. Hoping you guys would get better but if you think you are ok, you are ok.

      As an example, the story right below this one, has “Note 5 is now coming this early next month”. Took a 45 second scan on the next story to find it.

      My opinion is you guys need to take an extra 5 minutes per story to proof read, or find a good editor.

    • We’re also a small staff. Papers have dedicated copy editors (well, some still do). To quote the commenter below, “relax.”

    • It’s Me


  • Raj Singh

    The Xperia Agent looks like a promising alternative…

  • C. Paul Courtney

    So you mean they are reviving the Nexus Q?