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Google Assistant Users No Longer Need to Keep Saying ‘Hey Google’

Owners of Google Assistant voice-controlled speakers no longer have to say, “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google” before every question about the weather or traffic. They now only have to speak once before starting a back-and-forth conversation.

The change, part of a software update by Google released Thursday, was initially shown off at the Google I/O conference in May. The goal is to help users accomplish tasks and get information more seamlessly.

Now, after a user makes an initial request, Google Assistant remains active—with its rainbow LEDs illuminated—for eight seconds. If no speech is detected, the conversation ends and the Assistant goes on standby.

Users can also end the conversation by saying “thank you” or “stop” after their final request.

As of now, the update is only available in the U.S. and only in the English language setting. It is available for all of its Home speaker platforms: Google Home, Home Mini, and Home Max.

To enable the so-called Continued Conversation, users must open the Google Assistant app, then click “Settings,” “Preferences,” and slide the toggle for “Continued Conversation.” On its first day of availability, some users are happy with the change.