Google just announced a slew of updates for Google Assistant onstage at Google I/O, but the best one might be the smallest: you can finally, finally get Google Assistant alarms to stop ringing just by saying “stop.” (Or shouting it, depending on how angry you are at your alarm in the morning.)
No longer will you have to say “Hey, Google, turn off the alarm,” just to get your Google Home or phone to stop ringing. Is this a subtle change? Undoubtably, but it highlights an important part of the advances that Google is starting to make with its voice assistant: namely, making talking to them work more like natural conversation, and less like trying to program a robot with specific voice commands at 6AM when all you want to do is roll over and go back to sleep.
Compare that to the old method — or, if you use Alexa, which still requires that you go through the whole “Alexa, stop” system to turn off your alarm — yelling “stop” at your alarm is unquestionably better. Google hasn’t said how it’s managing this yet: in an ideal world, Assistant is just turning the mic on to listen for the “stop” request when the alarm goes off, although this could be another expansion of Assistant’s always-listening capabilities to a new level.
The new “stop” feature should start rolling out for Google Assistant smart displays and Google Homes in English-speaking locales starting today.