If you love trying out new browser add-ons as much as we do, here’s one from the Mountain View folks themselves – the OK Google Voice Search Hotword extension. You can add it to your Chrome browser and look forward to hands-free searching.
We know, you’re saying voice search has been part of Chrome for ages. It’s just been sitting in the search bar, pretending to be a microphone and waiting for your orders. But you have to click on the said icon or use the Control + Shift + . keyboard combination to activate it on a Windows PC.
Not any more. This link will lead you to the Chrome Web Store page hosting the OK Google extension for desktop. It’s only been available on mobile so far. Once you’ve downloaded it and ensured that the mic on your PC is enabled, you can start a voice search by simply saying those two magic words.
When the microphone icon is fully shaded, it means Google is awaiting your command. If you can only see the outline, it isn’t. The results are read out whenever possible. Apart from activating the hotword to be detected when you’re on Search, you can also opt for it to stop listening for the words after 5 minutes.
The usefulness of the add-on is quite limited at present. It will let you employ the OK Google command only in Search or when a new tab is open. But for questions like ‘5 liters are how many gallons?’ or ‘What is the population of China?’ where the answer appears directly in search results, this is quite handy.