If your Google Assistant-powered smart home display or speaker is rambling on and on after you asked it for the weather, you can now tell it to “stop” without having to say “Hey Google” first. It’s a small, but welcome, change and one that makes interacting with a digital assistant just a little more natural.
Google’s smart home devices have had a version of this feature for years, where you could silence an alarm without saying “Hey Google.” It’s nice to see it expanding to silence the Assistant, too — saying “stop” when you want something to... well, stop happening is just so instinctive, like batting at an insect buzzing around your ear.
Google has also been rolling out a similar feature on the Pixel 6, with the Assistant’s “quick phrases.” Like on the home devices, quick phrases let you do certain things without saying “Hey Google.” On a Google support page, it says you can use the feature to snooze or stop an alarm or answer or decline calls.
From our tests, the feature that’s rolled out on Google’s smart home devices isn’t a universal “stop making noise” command for your smart speaker. (To be fair, Google didn’t promise that it would be.) You’ll still have to say “Hey Google” if you want to stop a song, though that’s probably a good thing — imagine trying to listen to “Stop! In The Name Of Love” or “Uptown Funk.”