Google hands free voice search now available in full version of Chrome

ok google chrome hands free voice search exits beta tested serch

Google has announced that the company’s hands-free voice searching feature is now available for use with the full version of its Chrome browser. The tech giant made the announcement via an official Google+ post. Hands-free voice search for Chrome was initially added to the beta version of the Web browser back in Febuary.

“If you’ve ever tried to cook and search at the same time – say, when your hands are covered in flour and you need to know how many ounces are in a cup – you know it can be tricky,”  Ji Adam Dou, a Google software engineer and “Search Whisperer” said when hands-free voice search was first baked into the Chrome beta. “With the latest Chrome Beta, you can search by voice on Google – no typing, clicking, or hand-washing required. Simply open a new tab or visit in Chrome, say ‘Ok Google,’ and then start speaking your search.”

Voice search was already available with Chrome, but to enable it, users had to click on a small microphone icon to the right of the Google search bar on the search engine’s homepage. So, does hands-free voice search in Chrome offer a more convenient experience?

Google Chrome Hands-Free Voice Search Tested

We decided to plug in our mic and give the new feature a spin for ourselves. Once we had it set up, we opened the Google homepage, and uttered the magic words to get hands-free voice search up and running: “OK Google.” We said it once, and nothing happened. We said it again, and got squat. Third time? Bagel. Fourth time? Nada. See a pattern?

In all, we uttered “OK Google” about 25 times, and only once did it respond. I tried speaking the command at different speeds, volumes, and tones. I couldn’t detect a pattern that told me what worked and what didn’t. Even when it did work that one time, hands-free voice search didn’t pick up anything I said after that.

At one point, I wondered whether something was wrong with my mic. I opened Windows Sound Recorder to test it, and used it to record and play back some speech to determine whether there were any issues there. Windows Sound Recorder picked up my voice just fine.

Hands-free voice search in Chrome may get to a point where it’s flawless and a pleasure to use, but that wasn’t the case in my experience. However, even if it did work as intended, we’re willing to bet that people will continue to stick to their mice and keyboards anyway.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Product Review

Amazon's new Echo is smaller and cheaper; firmware upgrade improves sound

The all-new Echo is shorter, cuter, and comes with several different color and fabric choices. Our Amazon Echo review reveals that while the acoustics initially weren't great upon release, a firmware upgrade has improved the sound.
Digital Trends Live

Comedian Craig Conant discusses sobriety, comedy, and throwing fireworks at cops

From throwing firecrackers at mounted police to doing stand-up gigs in Los Angeles' biggest clubs, Craig Conant has lived an interesting life. He talked to DT Daily host Greg Nibler about all that and more.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.

Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mail client goes freemium with the introduction of ads

Microsoft Windows Insiders are finding a nasty surprise inside the Mail app on the latest Windows 10 preview build in the form of banner ads. These ads will appear in the Mail app regardless of the webmail service you use.

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.

Crypto hangover could take blame for Nvidia’s potential GeForce RTX 2060 delay

Nvidia's delay in announcing a ship date for its GeForce RTX 2060 GPU could be due to a burst in the cryptocurrency mining bubble. Executives blamed the crypto hangover for an oversupply of inventory on existing GTX 1060 cards,

Save $900 on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more with Lenovo’s Cyber Monday sales

In the latest set of holiday sales, Lenovo is heavily discounting its fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon and other popular Windows laptops and 2-in-1s for the holiday shopping season.