Google turns on ‘Continued Conversation’ in the Google Assistant

Users will be able to ask repeated follow-up questions without the need to say "OK Google."

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Among the ways that Google is trying to make interactions with the Assistant more natural is enabling follow-up questions and interactions without injecting “Hey Google” each time. At Google’s developer conference in May, the company announced a new feature called “Continued Conversation.”

Continued Conversation, which is launching today in the US, allows users to have “a natural back-and-forth conversation” with the device without using the wake word trigger each time. The company says this has been one of its top requests from users. Amazon launched something similar, called “Follow-up Mode,” in March.

It appears that users will be able to keep asking or talking with the Assistant for an extended period as long as there isn’t an extended pause. It’s not entirely clear how many follow-ups you can ask.

Google also says that the Assistant will recognize when you’re talking to it versus someone else such as a family member in the same room. The company says Continued Conversation will be available on Google Home, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max (but it doesn’t appear it’s available yet for Android handsets).

In order to use the new feature, as with Alexa’s Follow-up Mode, users have to enable it. It’s not on by default. To enable the feature, go to Settings → Preferences → Continued Conversation to enable.

You can end Continued Conversation by saying “stop” or “thank you” or by simply discontinuing the conversation. However, the initial invocation of Google Assistant still requires an “OK Google” or “Hey Google.”

The discussion of Continued Conversation in the Google I/O keynote begins at 22:34.

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About the author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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