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Poll: Do you say 'please' and 'thank you' to your smart home assistant?

Echo Show 10 Nest Hub Max 3
Echo Show 10 Nest Hub Max 3 (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

For those who use smart assistants or own smart speakers and displays, you know they can be very handy to have around the house. They perform various tasks such as controlling the lights, answering the door, securing your home, and so much more. It seems like virtual assistants gain new abilities every day, especially if you own devices powered by Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

While we know these smart assistants aren't sentient (yet), we understand that some people like to practice their manners when asking them to perform an action or answer a question. Some Android Central staff even say "Please" and "Thank You" to their assistants, so that got us wondering just how many of our readers practice good manners with theirs.

Saying "Please" is easy enough on smart assistants, but saying "Thank You" requires an extra step. Usually, once a virtual assistant performs an action, they stop listening for additional commands, so the "Thank You" can go unnoticed.

Fortunately, there are ways to change that for some of the best smart speakers.

With Google Assistant, the feature is called Continued Conversation. It allows your smart speaker to keep the microphone on for a few seconds after completing a command to listen out for any follow-up commands. So, for example, you can use this time to say, "Thank You" to your device, and it'll respond with something like "I'm here to help" or "You're the best. I love helping you."

To enable from your phone, navigate to Settings > Google > Settings for Google apps > Search, Assistant & Voice > Google Assistant > Continued Conversation. From there, you can toggle the feature on, and it'll work for all your smart speakers like the Nest Hub Max.

For Amazon Alexa, a similar feature called Follow-Up Mode does more or less the same thing. To enable it, open the Alexa app and navigate to the Devices tab. Next, find the device you wish to enable the feature for, and in the device settings, you can toggle Follow-Up Mode on. However, you'll have to turn the feature on for each device.

It seems that Siri doesn't have a similar feature, although you can tap the Siri animation on your phone to have the virtual assistant listen for a new request. However, Siri doesn't appear to respond to politeness, which is discouraging.

Similarly, Bixby doesn't seem to be able to keep a conversation going without prompting it. However, at least Bixby will still respond accordingly if you say "Thank You."

It may not be a big deal for some, but it may be a good way to show our kids how to be polite, even to computers. And who knows, practicing good manners with our virtual assistants may be how we keep the robot uprising at bay.

Derrek Lee
Derrek Lee

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

15 Comments
  • Follow up question, do you thank your dishwasher when it finishes a cycle? Or an elevator when it arrives at your floor?
  • I didn't realize people are also going around talking to elevators and dishwashers.
  • Makes as much sense as thanking a speaker.
  • Needs an option for misanthropes who also refuse to say please and thank you to real people
  • Emphatically no. Though I always say please and thank you to people. I also have a distain for Alexa and it's inconsistencies. Switching all out to Google Home/Nest devices.
  • I don't think I've said please, but I do say "thank you" more often than not. Bad habit I guess.
  • Yes. I say "thank you" too.
  • Not all of the time but I do make an effort to say thank you when GA gets something right that she has struggled with on previous attempts. I also say "That is not what I asked" when she goofs up.
  • I do because I want it to be a good example for the children that when people do things for us we say thank you. I know it's not a person of course but still that's how we speak. And also because then I know it stops listening for commands after that as well.
  • I'm polite to my A.I. and my A.I. is polite to me (but my A.I. only goes as far as my phone, door cam, garage door cam, tablet).
  • Not please, but I do say thank you. Just habit I guess.
  • Hell no i don't say please OR thank you to my google assistant EVER!!!!!!!! However I do scold it and belittle it quite frequently for doing stupid **** like listening when no one has commanded it to do so!!! Or when it ***** up. It says stupid **** like "I may be a virtual assistant but your words are very real and hurtful"....like wow give me a ******* break!!!
  • Yes, I say thank you way more than please to both of my assistants. (Google and Alexa).
    Talk fast enough and the continued conversation could continue for awhile.
  • I always say please and thank you so that I don't get out of practice with real people just in case. I see people here saying do you thank your dishwasher do you thank an elevator? No, but I don't talk to them and command them and ask for things so there is a difference. So absolutely say please and thank you and I always have.
  • I say 'thank you' to my assistant when it replies to a question with the correct version of the answer I'm looking for because I feel these devices need training. For example, when I ask to hear a specific song by a specific artist and the assistant plays an obscure version by a new artist, I'll stop it and ask the question different ways until it gets it right. And then I thank it. But I've also sent this feedback back to Google to encourage it to employ this conversational tactic to make it's assistant more personal and effective.