Google Assistant's 'Continued Conversations' Rolling Out to Reduce Need for 'OK Google' Commands

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Siri rival Google Assistant received a major update today across the Google Home speaker ecosystem with a feature Google revealed at I/O in May, called "Continued Conversation." Now, when you speak to Google Assistant and wake it up with a "Hey Google" or "OK Google" phrase, you don't need to repeat the phrase again for a follow-up request.

For example, you can ask "Hey Google, what's the weather today?", and then follow up with "And what about tomorrow?" or "Can you remind me to bring an umbrella tomorrow morning?" When your thread of requests is finished, Google explains that you can say "thank you" or "stop" to end the conversation, but Google Assistant will also do this automatically if it detects you're no longer talking to it.


Continued Conversations will need to be turned on in the Google Assistant app's Settings > Preferences > Continued Conversation. When starting up a new conversation you'll still need to say "OK Google" or activate a physical trigger every time, but the company hopes that reducing the instances you need to speak a wake-up phrase will result in more fluid and natural interactions with Google Assistant.

In comparison, Apple's Siri still requires you to say "Hey Siri" every time a command is given, or by activating the AI assistant manually on iPhone or HomePod. Later this year, Apple will debut improvements to Siri in iOS 12 in the form of a new "Siri Shortcuts" feature, allowing iPhone owners to build customizable workflows and connect a variety of third-party apps and services under one voice command.

Siri remains one of the downsides for Apple's products for some users, with a recent survey finding that iPhone X early adopters were very satisfied with all features of the smartphone except Siri. Around the time of that survey, The Information reported that Siri has become a "major problem" within Apple and that the assistant remains "limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
31 months ago

"The Information reported ('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/03/14/siri-has-turned-sour-report/') that Siri has become a "major problem" within Apple and that the assistant remains "limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant."

More internet myth spreading. Siri, and all of them have a ways to go. And with the most powerful processor of any, I am looking forward to updates that Apple will roll out for my HomePod, but any "lead" is so blown out of proportion regarding home speakers. Every survey shows Siri can already do quite well at the things 99% of users of smart speakers want. Number one is to listen to music, then set a timer, check weather, sports, traffic, etc. Please tell us the key things that the HomePod can't do that any significant number of smart speaker users want to use their smart speaker for?

It can't recognize different wake words. (meaning my iPad, Homepod and iPhone are all fighting to figure out who should respond).
It can't recognize multiple users on Homepod which means I can't use text, calling or calendar features in my home without give all my family and guests access to hearing my text messages.
It can't answers simple questions like, "How can I tell if an egg is bad?" or any number of other voice assistant "normal day to day questions" queries I do on my Google Home.
It is the worst of the three at accurately recognizing my words and translating them correctly to text.
It is much slower than the other Amazon or Google.
It can't order products like Alexa.
When I ask it for information about issues related to apple products, it automatically directs me to the Apple site instead of giving me the relevant information I want.
It can't set multiple timers. (Which I use when cooking all the time).
Oh , yeah, what the guy above said too, drop in/intercom I use all the time.

Lots of other things too, but those are some of the more "normal daily issues".
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
Meanwhile Apple is like „lol we have no idea so do it yourself“
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

Siri is toast. This is an institutional liability for Apple, and could threaten them as a viable platform in the future. It amazes me they don’t see it.

This is true. As assistants get integrated into everything (even builders are adding Alexa into new homes under construction) if Siri falls farther behind it will discourage new users to the platform and risks loosing me and my Apple ecosystem in the future.

Apple seems to be spending more time courting Hollywood than building great tech.

*edit - It's been quite a while since Apple introduced something that literally made me say WOW. And that is sad.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
But there's new animoji's in iOS12, yet Siri is still dumber than a doorknob!

WTG Timmy!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

"The Information reported ('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/03/14/siri-has-turned-sour-report/') that Siri has become a "major problem" within Apple and that the assistant remains "limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant."

More internet myth spreading. Siri, and all of them have a ways to go. And with the most powerful processor of any, I am looking forward to updates that Apple will roll out for my HomePod, but any "lead" is so blown out of proportion regarding home speakers. Every survey shows Siri can already do quite well at the things 99% of users of smart speakers want. Number one is to listen to music, then set a timer, check weather, sports, traffic, etc. Please tell us the key things that the HomePod can't do that any significant number of smart speaker users want to use their smart speaker for?

The application for voice commands is far wider than just the HomePod.

How do you not see that? o_O

By all means cheerlead for Apple, but at least keep some rational perspective on the issue.

Apple are far behind their competition and Google (and Amazon) are moving ahead at a heck of a pace.
Apple have been caught napping.

On topic:
This is excellent news for us, the users. It makes the whole interaction far more natural. Things flowing from one command or query to the next.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
I have two reasons why I continue to use Apple products. iCloud (for photos mostly) and Messages. The iCloud part is easily replaceable with Google’s offerings. Messages not so much. If Google ever gets a compelling alternative, no reason to allow myself to be let down and tortured by lack of features in Apple’s software.

Safari? It can’t play 4K YouTube. ATV? Same thing. That is such a tiny thing yet so huge. A little big thing. And they’re more little big things like this all throughout iOS, macOS, and tvOS. I’m really, nearly, done with all of it. Google gets a widely adopted Messages alternative and poof, I’m gone from this slowly rotting Apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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