Google Assistant's Continued Conversation functionality, one of the most compelling announcements at Google I/O 2018, is finally live. The search giant has announced that the new feature is ready to roll out for all users. Continued Conversation lets Google Assistant in devices understand multiple conversations in a way that mimics regular human interactions. Starting now, users will no longer have to call out the Google Assistant by name every time a command needs to be issued. Separately, some users have reported that the Google Assistant is now showing a personal overview page that consolidates things in a feed-like interface.
Triggering the Google Home smart speaker range with hotwords like 'Hey Google' and 'OK Google' has long been one of the most common pet peeves for users. With the latest announcement, you will now be able to have a more natural conversation without having to trigger the commands after every sentence with Assistant, and it will also be able to distinguish between when you are talking to it or to another person. By enabling the feature in your Preferences tab, you can ensure that you need not use "Hey Google" or "OK Google" for follow-up commands, even when you have multiple requests. Google offers the following example in a blog post, "Hey Google, what's the weather today?"... "And what about tomorrow?"... "Can you add a rain jacket to my shopping list"... "And remind me to bring an umbrella tomorrow morning"..."Thank you!" Yes, you will have to say "thank you" or "stop" once you are done, or the Assistant will end the conversation once it detects that you are no longer talking to the Assistant.
Google has noted that the Continued Conversation feature is available starting Thursday (June 21) on Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max. To access the new feature, you can turn it on in the Google Assistant app by going to Settings > Preferences > Continued Conversation and tapping the toggle. You will have to access the Assistant settings on an associated device in order to activate the feature. Once you have activated Continued Conversation, the feature will be available on all smart speakers set up under the account. Also, the initial "Ok Google" or "Hey Google" will still have to be spoken to trigger the Assistant. Interestingly, Google had recently announced better multitasking features for Google Home. The smart speaker, Google had said, will soon be able to perform up to three queries/ commands at a time, so that you can multitask using just the spoken word.
Coming to the personal overview page in Google Assistant, the updated app is said to be showing two new icons at the top right of the screen when you open it. One of them is a compass and the other is an inbox. When a user taps on the compass, it takes you to an Explore section that is essentially the same result you get now by tapping on the drawer icon. However, when you tap on the new Compass option, you will be taken to the personal overview page, Android Police reports.
According to the report, the new overview page shows you the time of day with your name, location, and current weather. It also reminds you of upcoming events on your calendar, and also shows the latest prices for the stocks you're tracking, any plane reservations, purchases and more. Also, you will get more things to try with the Google Assistant. At I/O 2018, Google had said that it is partnering with several service providers to incorporate features right into Assistant. Google Keep, Todoist, Any.do, and other note-keeping services will be available on Google Assistant so that users need not have to open the apps to use them. The report also posted a few screenshots that show that Google Assistant is providing the directions to home (or work) card and a task integration example from Google Keep.