Smart assistants can certainly make your life easier, but when you have a bunch of questions, going through them one by one can be a bit painstaking, especially when you have to wake your assistant up with every new question.
So when Google introduced continuous conversations to the Google Assistant, it was like they unlocked a real personality. No longer do you have to utter “Hey Google” or “Okay Google” every single time you want to talk to your Google Home smart assistant. With the latest update, you can now wake it up once and ask follow-up questions after the Assistant has responded (it’s only available in English so far, but that will hopefully change in the future). From there, you can carry on the back-and-forth for as long as you feel inquisitive.
Continuous conversations aren’t very complicated to have with your Google Assistant. All you have to do is watch your speaker’s indicator lights to see if it’s still listening to you. This feature is available on any device with Google Assistant built in, but it definitely works best on first-party Google Home devices. Regardless of which device(s) you have, if you want to simplify your voice command routine, here’s how to set it all up.
Enable Continued Conversations in the Google Home app
Before you can start having continuous conversations with your Google Home, you have to enable the ability in the device’s settings. In the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device, open the app menu and select “More settings.” From here, tap on “Preferences,” and then “Continued Conversation.”
At the top of the screen, you’ll see a toggle to turn on Continued Conversation. Below that will be all the Google Home devices connected to your account that has access to this particular feature. Whether you have the Google Home, the Mini, the Max, or a third-party speaker with Assistant built in, they should all appear here. You can tap on each speaker to the right of the main screen in the app to adjust individual settings, but beyond turning this feature on and off, there are no additional options at this time.
How to have a conversation with Google Assistant
When you’re ready to try this new method of communicating with your speaker, get familiar with the dynamic by asking it a simple question. It can be about anything: the weather, your calendar appointments, or a smart home command. After the Assistant responds, the Google Home's indicator lights will stay dimly lit, indicating that it’s still listening for your next command.
You have several seconds to follow up with an additional query before the lights turn off completely, indicating that Google thinks you’re done for now. To start another round of question-asking and command-giving, utter the wake phrase and cycle through your queries. Continued conversations will even work after you’ve dismissed a command, in case you want to correct something you misspoke.
Note: While I had success using this feature on all three of the Google Home speakers, the JBL Link 20 speaker, which comes with Google Assistant baked in, stopped working after the first round of continuous conversations. Some users have even flagged this issue on first-party Google Home devices, so if you can’t get it to work, leave a comment in Google's product forums to get advice on how to fix your issues.