Back at the I/O developer conference in May, Google announced several impressive features coming to Google Assistant and, subsequently, Google Home ($129 at Crutchfield) speakers in the following months. Duplex, for instance, will make dinner reservations, schedule hair appointments and find holiday hours for businesses for you — sometimes calling those businesses on your behalf. It also announced new AI-based voices (including that of John Legend) that are powered by WaveNet are coming to Google Home.
It’s already rolled ($70 at Amazon.com) out Multiple Actions and customizable Routines, but one of the bigger announced features was Continued Conversations, or the ability to have a back-and-forth conversation with Google Home without the need to constantly say the wake phrase.
Starting today, Continued Conversations will be rolling out to users in the US. Here’s how it works.
For starters, Continued Conversation is an opt-in feature that isn’t automatically enabled. More importantly, that means if it doesn’t work how you hoped it would, you can choose to disable it and revert the old way of saying the wake phase every time you want to talk to your smart speaker.
To enable Continued Conversation, first, make sure your Google Assistant app (Android, iOS) is up to date. Then, open the Google Assistant app and tap the Explore button in the top right corner. (You can also get there by using the Google Home app and selecting More settings in the left menu.)Tap the action overflow button in the top right and go to Settings > Preferences > Continued Conversation. Tap the toggle to enable it.
Once enabled, after you say “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google,” you will be able to continue talking to Google Home without repeating the wake phrase over and over.
For example, you could say, “OK, Google, what’s the weather?” After it responds, say, “And what about tomorrow?” (It’s contextually aware, so you don’t need to reiterate that you’re asking about the weather.) Then say, “Remind me to buy an umbrella while I’m at Target.” Then you might say, “Play Manchester Orchestra.”
You can keep going with this for as long as you’d like. While the Google Home speaker is listening, the indicator lights will be solid white. And when you’re finished chatting it up with Google Home, you can say, “Thank you, ” or “Stop.” You can also just stop talking and Google Home will stop listening after no more than eight seconds if it doesn’t detect any speech.