Latest Chrome beta listens for your voice, searches the web

By on February 28, 2014, 8:15 AM
google, chrome, beta, voice recognition, web browser, ok google

Over the course of the past few years, Google has been integrating a number of features from the Android version of Chrome into their desktop browser. Today, the company revealed that hands-free Google voice searching is available in the latest Chrome beta build, giving desktop users a feature we've come to love from Android's Now Launcher.

Similar to how voice searching functions with Now Launcher, in Chrome you'll be able to open a new tab or visit the Google homepage, say "OK Google" and then proceed to search via voice recognition; no typing or clicking required. As well as searching, you'll be able to ask Chrome to set a timer, or create a reminder that will show up in Google Now.

To have Chrome listening to your every word will naturally throw up some privacy concerns, as Google could theoretically use the data for demographical purposes or ad targeting. However the feature will be disabled by default, meaning anyone who wants to hands-free voice search will have to enable it first through the Google.com homepage.

Anyone running the latest Chrome beta in US English should see the feature go live in the coming days, while support for additional languages and Chrome OS will be "coming soon". If you're using a stable version of the browser, expect hands-free voice searching to arrive in the coming weeks as part of Google's regular Chrome release cycle.

Download the latest Chrome Beta here: Windows|Mac|Linux

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