Google buried a little switch in the Google Assistant app that allows its AI to be a lot more conversational.

The new feature is called Continued Conversations. When it's turned on, you can make additional requests without having to repeat wake words. Previously, when you asked Google Assistant a question, you had to say the wake word every time. You couldn't say, "OK Google, turn off the lights," then wait, and add, "Set the thermostat to 72." You'd have to fully say, "OK Google, set the thermostat to 72."

Not anymore. Continued Conversations changes all that. After switching it on, ask Google Assistant a question or say a command like usual. The indicator lights on your Google Home device will continue shining for about eight seconds after to allow for additional requests. In other words, Google Assistant will keep listening so you can issue strings of commands without saying "OK Google" every single time.

What is Continued Conversations?

At Google I/O 2018 in May, Google introduced a feature called Continued Conversations for Google Home devices. Continued Conversations allows you to ask Google Assistant a question and then add follow-up commands without having to say “OK Google” each time. An example of a conversation could go something like: “Hey Google, what’s the weather?... What about Saturday? ... Remind me to buy flour."

Which devices support Continued Conversations?

All Google Home devices support Continue Conversations: Google Home, Google Mini, and Google Home Max.

How to make Google Assistant listen to your string of follow-up questions image 2

How to turn on Continued Conversations

To enable it, here's what you need to do.

iOS users

  1. Open the Google Home app on your mobile phone.
  2. Go to Settings (hamburger/three-line icon in top corner).
  3. Tap More Settings.
  4. Tap Preferences.
  5. Tap Continued Conversations.
  6. Turn on the Continued Conversations toggle.
  7. Once enabled, start barking commands at your Google Home.

Note: Android users can use this same method, or the one below.

Android users

  1. Open Google Assistant on your Android phone.
  2. Tap the blue circle with a rectangle in the middle.
  3. Tap the three dots at the top right.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Preferences.
  6. Tap Continued Conversations.
  7. Turn on the Continued Conversations toggle.
  8. Once enabled, start barking commands at your Google Home.

Where is Continued Conversations available?

The feature is launching in the US for US English language users.

Can Alexa do this?

Yep. Amazon introduced a similar "Follow-up Mode" feature in March. You can read all about it from here.