updated 08:19 am EST, Fri February 28, 2014
Hands-free voice search could hit public Chrome release in near future
Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome browser to add hands-free voice search, among other updates. Version 34 of the beta adds the same voice search functionality the company added to the Chromium browser last month, and allows users to search for items using the "OK Google" command, without needing to install an extension beforehand.
The Voice Search operates in a similar way to the version offered through smartphones and tablets, with statements asking questions, making reminders, and setting a timer also included. Users will need to open a new tab or visit Google.com in the browser, and can then start speaking the request with the "OK Google" prefix.
The update will be rolling out to the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of the beta browser, states the Google Chrome Blog. Initially, the feature will support US English, though support for additional languages as well as Chrome OS is also touted. Its appearance in the beta browser means it should reach the general release version in the near future.
The Chrome Releases blog notes the beta update also includes the option to import "supervised users" onto new computers, a change to the way the browser deals with "responsive images and unprefixed web audio," a number of new APIs for apps and extensions, and other stability and performance changes.