Google Chrome Now Lets You Search with Just Your Voice

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This week, Google unveiled some new features for their Chrome browser. The centerpiece is a new voice search feature that is one of the most user friendly voice controls we've seen in a browser. 

In a blog post, the company detailed the following changes:

  • The Chrome OS Launcher now supports folders - you can sort all of your apps exactly the way you want.
  • We updated the window controls based on the feedback of our users - the minimize button is back and the left/right tiling of windows can be done via long-press on the maximize button.
  • Hotwording (or "Ok Google") is now available on New Tab Page and for English (US) users.
  • We’ve implemented captive portal detection during a signed-in session, which will help you get online in cafes, hotels, airports, and other locations which provide internet connectivity via a captive portal.

While I love a folders as much as anyone else, the standout feature is "Ok Google." The simplicity is key. To enable Ok Google, just go to and press the microphone icon. If your settings have yet to connect Chrome with the mic on you machine, press "Allow" and then speak once to verify it works. After that, you can do all of your searches via Ok Google. The Wire gave it a test run, and it works as advertised, even with an accent. 

Even if you aren't a "Chromie," the feature is worth taking on a test run. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.