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Mapping services & public transport directions

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Mapping services & public transport directions
« on: June 17, 2020, 09:46:15 am »
I've been a Google Home user for a couple of years and recently bought an Amazon Echo Dot to take Alexa for a spin. I was immediately, in pretty much literally the first minute of use, impressed by how much more natural a single wake word is vs the clunky "Hey/OK Google" phrase, the speed of responses, and the less grating UK female voice of Alexa vs Google Assistant. I also prefer the physical device design and Amazon seems to innovate faster on devices. I hit one issue though in terms of functionality vs Google Home which if correct is a show-stopper for me switching and am wondering if I'm missing something.

A big use of my smart speakers is getting public transport journey planning (appropriate departure time, routing and travel times mostly on London tube and buses and UK trains), walking times/distances to places, and closing times of local shops. Google Home does a really excellent job on all of those tasks, I assume because of a tight integration with Google Maps, but Alexa falls down badly on these tasks. It seems to have no concept whatsoever of public transport and I have found no suitable public transport skills that can do any UK-wide journey planning or planning across the entire London tube, rail and bus network. The skills I have found simply give info on service disruptions or only cover a part of the network. Furthermore, Alexa's knowledge of my local shops and service is quite poor, often giving info on a branch miles away when there is a big branch only a few hundred metres away from my home or simply not knowing about local services when Google does.

Is this simply an area where Amazon is still doing catchup or am I somehow not seeing functionality that should be there?

If it is a deficiency then has Amazon stated any intention specifically to improve mapping services and route planning capabilities beyond what so far seem to me to be limited to very basic driving instructions between places where even that isn't particularly reliable in terms of recognising destinations?

Offline Laurel

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Re: Mapping services & public transport directions
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 03:22:35 pm »
I don't know your answer. But you might try "across the pond" on this forum.

Re: Mapping services & public transport directions
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2020, 03:42:26 pm »
there are advantages of having your own search and map company.  that is something amazon does not have.  that is one reason why home is better with answering questions. 

locally, alexa is pretty accurate with local stores and am able to give accurate info about other stores in other cities as long as I give that towns name.    I never tried using the maps but I just tried asking the distance from here to another city and it gave the distance.   I asked the route and it gave a route though it was not the shortest.   It was also same route my google home gave. 

did you check alexa skills to see if there was a tube skill?