Google Assistant just got a big upgrade that makes it easier to talk to

Google Nest Mini 2
(Image credit: Google)

Update: Google Assistant can now automatically change your passwords if they've been compromised

If you know how to use Google Assistant, you've probably noticed by now that canceling a request or getting the assistant to shut up isn't exactly easy. It's downright inconvenient. But Google just rolled out an awesome update that makes quieting down Google Assistant less of a hassle.

Instead of saying, "Hey Google, stop" every time you want your voice assistant to quit speaking, now you can simply say "stop." The mere word will cut Google Assistant off, even if its in the middle of dictating a response or listing off a random fact you didn't ask for in the first place.

Although many of the best Google Assistant commands come with lengthy responses, sometimes you need the assistant to quiet down. Whether you need to answer an incoming phone call or no longer want to hear what the assistant has to say, this new shortcut saves you a step.

It doesn't appear the upgrade can stop a music or podcast playing through the best Google Home speakers like the Google Nest Audio or Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen). This makes sense, considering how frequently you might say "stop" aloud in vicinity of but not directed to a Google speaker.

Rather, the new "stop" phrase is intended to cut off Google Assistant while it's talking to you. It's not like "Hey Google, stop" is all that many more words, but when you're communicating with AI, less is better. 

Sometimes it feels like I speak fewer words to my friends and family on a daily basis than I do to my voice assistants, but maybe this Google Assistant update can balance the scales a bit better. (Although I doubt Google Assistant will consider me telling it to stop rude, whereas a real person would probably be offended.)

This latest Google Assistant command option is in some ways similar to Google's continued conversation feature. Continued conversation lets you carry out a chat without needing to say "Hey Google," to start every phrase. When continued conversation is enabled, the speaker's microphones will wait up to eight seconds for follow-up responses.

The best Alexa speakers have a version of the feature you can try out with our guide on how to enable Alexa's follow-up mode, too. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.