Despite growing security concerns surrounding Alexa, Amazon's smart home technology ruled the 2018 holiday season.
- Amazon's Alexa companion app was the most downloaded app in both the Google Play and Apple App Store on Christmas Day. The app is used to control smart home devices with the Alexa virtual assistant.
- Amazon said a record number of smart home devices were sold during the 2018 holiday season, and their Echo Dot smart speaker was one of the most popular items.
- Google Home was also the 6th-most popular app in both stores, suggesting that smart home devices were common holiday gifts this year.
Shoppers are eagerly adopting Alexa into their homes and Amazon couldn't be happier; the world's largest online retailer is currently leading the wave of new smart home technology. People who gifted smart home devices like Amazon's Echo Dot speaker helped make the Alexa companion app the most-downloaded app in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store on Christmas Day.
The Amazon Alexa app helps users customize "skills" used to command their smart home devices with the Alexa virtual assistant. The Echo Dot and Echo were among the most popular items sold on Amazon during the holiday season and new devices from companies like Bose and Sonos are being designed with built-in Alexa support. Alexa is now usable with a wide variety of devices ranging from watches and laptops to thermostats and smoke detectors.
Amazon reported that a record number of smart home devices were sold this year, and customers used Alexa for help shopping more than three times as many times this year as they did in 2017. Some of the best-selling smart home tech included the Amazon Smart Plug, Ring Video Doorbell 2, TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini Outlet, and the iRobot Roomba 690.
The Google Home app was the sixth most popular app in both the App Store and Play Store on Christmas Day, suggesting that Google's virtual assistant also got a holiday boost. The Google Home app shares many similar features with Alexa but uses a different framework to function. Alexa currently boasts more commands than the Google Home, a benefit of being roughly two years older.
Despite growing security concerns surrounding Alexa, shoppers have shown little hesitation in adopting Amazon's virtual assistant; and the world's largest online retailer has been successful in placing its smart home technology at the center of the holiday gift-giving season.