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November 27, 2013

Voice-Activated Search Comes to Chrome

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‘OK Google’ may soon become the favorite phrase of Chrome desktop and laptop users across the globe.

Google has finally brought voice-activated search to its popular operating system, meaning users can now get the answers they want hands-free. Users only need utter the phrase ‘OK Google’ to get started. The spoken query appears on the screen and then Google answers.

The active tab in the Chrome browser needs to be for the feature to work, however.

Google, in a Google+ post to announce the new offering, gave a realistic example of how the hands-free voice search could come in handy.

“You’re elbow-deep in your turkey, ready to start the stuffing and you need to quickly calculate how many ounces of walnuts are in a cup,” the post reads. 

“This year, rather than stopping midway through ‘OK Google, how many ounces are in one cup?’ Et voila, the cooking can go on. You can also say ‘Ok Google, set a timer for 30 minutes’ so you don’t forget to baste that turkey.”

Conversational search first went live on Chrome in May, although it required a little more work from the user than voice-activated search.  To start a ‘conversation,’ the user had to first click on the microphone icon in the search box.

Google Voice Search Hotword can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store and is available both for desktop and laptops. So far, it is available only in the U.S.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.