Sonos was ready to make Alexa and Google Assistant work together on the same smart devices, but Google reportedly didn’t want to share the stage.
Google reportedly prevented Sonos from launching a smart speaker that used Concurrency technology to offer two always-on virtual assistants on the same device, which means both Google Assistant and Alexa will be active simultaneously. Just to avoid confusion here, Google Assistant and Alexa can — and do — exist on the same device. However, users can only use one voice assistant at a time and have to keep the other one disabled. Companion apps allow users to quickly switch between the two assistants, but there’s still friction between harnessing the power of both assistants without having to go through the switching hassle.
Users can’t simply utter the Google Assistant hotword in one sentence and then summon Alexa in the next to get their tasks done without the cumbersome switching process. One can argue that cramming two always-on AI assistants on the same device might be problematic in its own way, as users might forget which assistant they assigned a particular task to. Another technical hassle is syncing time-sensitive, service-locked tasks like adding a calendar entry on a unified software directory that is shared by both Google Assistant and Alexa. However, the pros far outweigh the cons, and especially as each assistant has its set of strengths and utilities.