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‘Ok Google’ voice search arrives as native Chromium feature without browser extension


Google’s open-source Chromium evangelist François Beaufort shared some interesting details today about new voice search integration in the latest Chromium build— Google’s open source browser project that is often used to develop and test features coming soon to its Chrome browser. While users have been able to download a browser extension for Chrome since November that allows them to activate a voice search with the “Ok Google” voice command (just like on Android), it appears Google is testing the command as a native feature without the need of the extension. Beaufort notes that the latest Chromium code shows the ability to toggle the feature through settings:

Yes! The chromium team has just started to work on this feature. Once enabled in the Chrome Search Settings, Chrome would listen for you to say “Ok Google” and then send the sound of the next thing you say, plus a few seconds before, to Google.

As of right now the feature has two options that will let you force it to “Stop listening for “Ok Google” after 5 minutes” or “Allow in incognito.” There’s no word on whether or not the feature still requires you to actually be on a Google search page like with the current extension, but there is a possibility Google could allow the command to always be listening no matter what page you’re currently browsing. Until the feature hits primetime as a toggle in Chrome’s settings, you can try it out by installing the Chrome browser extension.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.