Is It Faster To Ask A Digital Assistant Or Just Do It Yourself?

Is It Faster To Ask A Digital Assistant Or Just Do It Yourself?
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Video: The Amazon Echo and Google Home have all sorts of abilities. But is asking them something out loud actually faster than doing it yourself?

To find out, we enlisted our friends at Gizmodo (who have an Echo) and presented a challenge with Lifehacker’s very own video producer, Abu.

This video contains repeated uses of the Amazon Echo trigger word “Alexa”. To prevent your Echo from responding, watch with headphones.

We timed how long it took to ask Alexa a question, and waited for her to complete the task. At the same time, Abu looked up the information on his phone (and, in some cases, performed the action IRL).

The verdict? Well, it depends. Certain answers Alexa gives are wordy, meaning a task such as reading the day’s headlines is faster if you’re just glancing and scrolling. But if you have smart home devices hooked up to voice control, you could shave off a few seconds, say, turning on a light. And the biggest win for the digital assistant? Doing basically anything with dirty hands.


  • Well I just dogged my Google Pixel in a later post here. Now I go the other way.

    Because Google Assist uses temporary location data, and a bunch of other stuff the make Assist fast there is now way other information retrieval could be faster. Things like, how do I spell xxxxxx and or what is the history of your local suburb? are all accurately answered in less than 2 seconds. Alexa has no chance of competing with that. Try asking Alexa about the current country of Georgia…

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