Amazon Alexa is celebrating over 1,000 days in Australian homes offering a competing smart speaker and display ecosystem to encourage Google to innovate more with it’s own smart speaker and related devices.

Since Alexa first launched in 2018, Australia has seen a huge rise in the number of households integrating smart home technology into their daily lives, with 1 in 6 houses now having a smart speaker.

In it’s home country the USA Amazon’s Alexa is the dominant home speaker smart assistant. However in Australia that is flipped around with Google’s smart speakers being dominant here, probably because they were available for sale and heavily marketed the year before Amazon’s speakers were.

Amongst the Ausdroid team some of us prefer Alexa speakers and displays and some prefer Google’s equivalents instead.

Personally I think that Amazon’s speakers are better at controlling smart home devices, while Google’s are better at search results.

In my household we use various Amazon speakers and other brand sound devices with Alexa built-in to listen to our favourite radio stations and music, podcasts and control various smart devices in the house eg: lamps, TV volume mute/unmute.

In 2020, Amazon says they experienced a significant rise in the sale of smart home products, with it’s base level Echo Dot speaker selling well.

Interestingly while Aussies are keeping up with their reputation as early tech adopters, data from Amazon has also revealed that many of us are not always using Alexa to its full potential, with less than half of users (43%) making the most of Alexa’s smart home capabilities by pairing it with other compatible devices like smart lights and smart power plugs.

During their daily routine 48% of Australians use smart speakers to listen to news and weather reports.

As a country of music lovers, streaming music remained a top use case for Alexa in 2020, with Tones and I’s Dance Monkey topping the chart for the most requested song by an Aussie artist last year.

If you weren’t playing Dance Monkey, then you were probably listening to the radio, with requests for radio stations also spiking last year as Aussies spent more time at home and less time in the car.

And with many users engaging with Alexa more than ever last year, Amazon is predicting that Aussies will become more adventurous in the ways they use it.

Kate Burleigh, Country Manager for Amazon Alexa and Devices said:

“We’ve worked hard to delight our customers by adding over 25,000 skills to Alexa, from useful skills such as Cocktail King and RadioApp to crowd pleasers such as Spotify, Audible, Apple Music, Podcasts, and Netflix. We pride ourselves on building a seamless experience that Aussies love and will continue to deliver on this for our customers”.

“Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond, we’re expecting to see more customers talking with friends and family in Australia and internationally, via Alexa Calling and Alexa Drop In features in response to the human need to connect. Never has this been more important, especially while many of us are unable to visit friends and family as often as we would like”.

Do you prefer Amazon Alexa or Google smart speakers and displays? Please let us know in the comments.

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Quentin Wright

“Personally I think that Amazon’s speakers are better at controlling smart home devices, while Google’s are better at search results.”

I’ve found exactly the same thing. I especially like Amazon’s routines but normally ask Google for web results.