Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Microsoft Cortana: Which one is smartest?

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Microsoft Cortana: Which one is smartest?
How does the Amazon Echo fare against other smart speakers? Jeff Chiu/AP
How does the Amazon Echo fare against other smart speakers? Jeff Chiu/AP

There’s no shortage of smart speakers on the market, from Amazon’s Echo to Google Home to Microsoft’s Cortana. They all offer an array of features, but when it comes to differentiating between which one is the smartest, it gets a bit trickier.

The difficulty lies in defining what makes a smart speaker “smart.” If it’s the number of so-called skills — aka voice-powered apps that run on the device — then there just might be a definitive answer. According to analysis from Voicebot, Amazon’s Alexa voice platform is superior since it now offers more than 15,000 skills.

In comparison, TechCrunch reported, Google Home has only 378 available voice apps, while Microsoft’s Cortana has just 65. There’s some discrepancy in the exact number of unique Amazon skills, but since Google Assistant’s voice apps trail so much farther behind, we can be confident in saying Amazon easily outnumbers both Google and Microsoft.

Amazon has the most skills compared to Google Home and Microsoft Cortana.
Amazon has the most skills compared to Google Home and Microsoft Cortana. Susmita Baral/Mic

“There are thousands of skills in the U.K. and Germany as well,” Voicebot’s Bret Kinsella wrote. “However, some of them are unique to those countries and some are duplicates of skills already in the U.S. Alexa skill store. As a result, it is challenging to get an exact globally unique Alexa skill count.”

Given these stats, it comes as no surprise Amazon is expected to hold 70% of the voice-powered device market in 2017. That said, things could potentially change with Apple’s new Siri-powered HomePod speaker. Apple has yet to reveal whether it will allow third-party developers to create apps for the device.