Question

Timers Google Assiatant

  • 7 November 2020
  • 4 replies
  • 52 views

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

I previously used Alexa a lot and was quite happy with it. However, it seems Google Assistant is winning the smart home battle at least in Denmark where more and more products are coming out with support for Google Assistant but not Alexa. 
 

I am therefore trying to force myself to use Google - but I am not very happy about it. 
 

It is generally less responsive and less intuitive.
 

For instance, Alexa starts music from Spotify at least twice as fast as Google and when asking Alexa to “set all lights to bright” all lights will turn on at their brightest setting while Google will turn on all lights at their dimmest setting and slowly increase brightness everytime the same request is made - with Google I need to ask it to “set all lights to 100%” which is just not as intuitive.  
 

Worst is the Google Assistant app. 
 

When using Alexa, opening the Alexa app would grant an quick overview of latest commands, e.g status of started timers, my shopping list and so on. 
 

With the Google app, I have now given up on locating the status of any timers set. It seems my only option is to walk up to the relevant speaker and ask that specific speaker for the status of the timer. Extremely frustrating. 
 

A lot of yelling and one specific question:

 

Anyone knows if/how to check Google-timers set on a Sonos-speakers from their phone?


4 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +3

Due to Sonos not supporting Google Assistant properly and leaving out basic features like this particular one, viewing alarms and timers is not available on Sonos speakers. Adjusting alarm and timer volumes isn’t supported either.

With most Google Assistant speakers, including third party ones, but not Sonos, you head over to the Google Home app and select the speaker you set the alarm/timer on. You then select Alarms and timers which then lists all that have been set and let’s you delete them as well.

The Sonos app itself supports alarms only, which cannot be controlled by voice, nor does it support timers.

All the support on this forum ever says is that they’re forwarding your feature request to the responsible department, or they request a diagnostic code or point you towards the Sonos app for setting alarms and timers and adjusting the volume of them, which in turn defeats the purpose of voice control entirely.

Sonos speakers severely lack in the Google Assistant department and this, amongst many other missing features, needs to be fixed.

Another note: The feature you’re asking for has been available on most Google Assistant speakers since March 2017. But it isn’t available on Sonos.

 

 

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

I feared this would be the case. Incredible that the Google integration is so lacking considering how long it took compared to the Alexa-integration that arrived first. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

Both Alexa and Google Assistant have plenty of weird quirks and inexplicable shortcomings. It’s especially mystifying when they don’t copy each other’s best features. Do their developers not familiarize themselves with the competition at all?

The Sonos implementation of both is adequate, once you get accustomed to the differences and additional limitations in the Sonos versions. Yes, Sonos is missing some features, but after it has been reported and complained about for more than a year, and it’s clear that Sonos can’t or won’t address it, you have to just shrug and accept it. You get used to it after a while.

In truth the more annoying problem I encounter with both Alexa and Google Assistant, on both Sonos and the native Echo and Google Home speakers, is the variability. I can say the same phrase to Google Assistant for 99 days in a row successfully, and on the 100th day it suddenly can’t understand that phrase at all. Then a few days later it’s back to normal. Yesterday I told Alexa to turn off the light, and it tells me it never heard of a device called “Light”. Repeatedly, even using the specific name of the room light. A few hours later, everything normal again. I told Google to set the house temperature as usual, and it told me how tall some random celebrity I never heard of is - several times in a row before I finally gave up and told Alexa to set the temperature instead. Today Google is fine again. It’s something like that almost every day. Perhaps they’re trying to humanize AI voice assistants by making them more variable? :rolling_eyes:

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

Both Alexa and Google Assistant have plenty of weird quirks and inexplicable shortcomings. It’s especially mystifying when they don’t copy each other’s best features. Do their developers not familiarize themselves with the competition at all?

The Sonos implementation of both is adequate, once you get accustomed to the differences and additional limitations in the Sonos versions. Yes, Sonos is missing some features, but after it has been reported and complained about for more than a year, and it’s clear that Sonos can’t or won’t address it, you have to just shrug and accept it. You get used to it after a while.

In truth the more annoying problem I encounter with both Alexa and Google Assistant, on both Sonos and the native Echo and Google Home speakers, is the variability. I can say the same phrase to Google Assistant for 99 days in a row successfully, and on the 100th day it suddenly can’t understand that phrase at all. Then a few days later it’s back to normal. Yesterday I told Alexa to turn off the light, and it tells me it never heard of a device called “Light”. Repeatedly, even using the specific name of the room light. A few hours later, everything normal again. I told Google to set the house temperature as usual, and it told me how tall some random celebrity I never heard of is - several times in a row before I finally gave up and told Alexa to set the temperature instead. Today Google is fine again. It’s something like that almost every day. Perhaps they’re trying to humanize AI voice assistants by making them more variable? :rolling_eyes:

I like the idea that making AI more unreliable is actually making it more human 😁 Some days it should say “Not right now. I can’t take anymore Today!”

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