Always listening “OK Google” feature lands on the desktop via Chrome extension

November 26, 2013
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Ever wanted to have that hands-free experience of activating Google Search with your voice but are currently confined to working on your computer? Google has you in mind when it made this Google Voice Search Hotword extension for the Chrome web browser which brings the now iconic "OK, Google" phrase to desktops and laptops.

Simply install the extension, which you can download from the link below, and you're good to go. Of course, you'll need to have a mic installed on your system, but a lot of laptops come with those nowadays. This will allow you to then simply use voice commands not only for searches but also for things like setting reminders and calendar events, doing unit conversions, and more. You can always type in these search terms or commands yourself, but speaking out commands to your computer is much more convenient and cooler, at least if you're not in a situation that would make it awkward.

The extension is currently in beta and is definitely far from perfect. It does have some limitations, aside from being unsurprisingly exclusive to Google's web browser. The hotword only works when you have a Google search tab open in Chrome and when Chrome is the currently active window in the foreground. Thus, the feature doesn't work when you're doing something else, but it shouldn't be much of an issue for people who work and live inside the browser, which is perhaps Google's primary target anyway.

This Chrome extension is definitely no Motorola Moto X or Open Mic+ Android app. But when you're stuck with using a computer and need a quick and easy way to start a search, then this Google feature might just do it in a pinch.

Download: Google Voice Search Hotword Chrome extension


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