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Chrome 11 beta arrives, introduces HTML5 voice interface

chrome iconThis is just getting silly now. Firefox 4 launched yesterday. Internet Explorer 9 hit last week. And Chrome 10 was unleashed at the beginning of the month. The three top browsers all got major upgrades within a few weeks of one another.

Now, Google has gone and made everything more complicated with the release of a beta version of Chrome 11.

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What makes this news especially noteworthy is the addition of support for the HTML5 speech input API. Or, in layman’s terms, you can talk to your browser and have it actually respond. This is especially cool because, as a component of HTML5, any developer can take advantage of the feature. There’s also support for GPU-accelerated 3D CSS, which offers support for websites with 3D effects using CSS. Lastly, Chrome 11 also sports a shiny new icon.

The speech input feature is pretty simple to work with. You’ll first need a microphone connected to your computer of course. Once that’s squared away, any website that supports speech-to-text will include a button that you can click. Then you speak into your mic and the computer magically translates what you’ve said into text on the page.

This is an initial beta release for Chrome 11, so don’t expect everything to work perfectly. But if you’ve already had your fill of the new features in Chrome 10 and want to see what its future replacement has to offer, the option is now there for you to do so.

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In the meantime, you can snag the latest version of the Chrome beta here.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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