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

by

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.

google continued conversation
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

wwchris Avatar
34 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)
itsmilo Avatar
34 months ago
Meanwhile Apple is like „lol we have no idea so do it yourself“
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleMad98004 Avatar
34 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)
HiVolt Avatar
34 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)
arkitect Avatar
34 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)
ThatGuyInLa Avatar
34 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)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...