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Assistant’s Continued Conversation feature lets you drop all the ‘Hey, Googles’

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We first learned that Google would be bringing a Continued Conversation feature to Assistant at Google I/O, when the tech giant unveiled a whole host of exciting new features that would make the smart helper more useful than ever. And now, Continued Conversation has been launched, and promises to make your interactions with Assistant more natural. In essence, it allows you to chat with the A.I. tool without constantly starting your sentences with “Hey Google.” After all, it’s not how you would speak to a fellow human, so Google thinks it’s not how you should speak to Assistant either.

“For the Google Assistant to have a natural conversation, it should be able to understand when it’s being spoken to and should be capable of responding to several requests during an interaction,” Google noted in an announcement. So rather than saying “Hey Google” multiple times, you now only have to say it once — from then on out, if you ask follow-up questions, you can just ask them as though you were asking anyone else.

The feature is rolling out today, June 21, on Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max. You’ll be able to turn on Continued Conversations by going to Settings, then Preferences, and then toggling on the Continued Conversation option.

Once you’ve activated the feature, then when you ask Assistant something (which does still need to be cued by saying, “Hey Google,”) you can keep the rhythm going by asking a follow-up, setting a reminder, or adding something to your shopping list. Once you’re finished with your conversation, simply say “thank you” or “stop.” Or, Google says, Assistant will end the conversation herself “once [she] detects that you’re no longer talking to the Assistant.” With the new setting, Assistant should stay active long enough for you to say everything you need to say at once (plus, you can also now give Assistant multiple commands — up to three, to be exact). Google notes that Assistant will stay active for eight seconds tops if it does not detect any speech. The LED lights at the top of your Google Home device will stay illuminated while the helper is listening.

So moving forward, your interactions with Google could look something like this: “Hey Google, what’s the weather today?” … “And what about tomorrow?” … “Can you add a rain jacket to my shopping list” … “And remind me to bring an umbrella tomorrow morning” … “Thank you!”

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