Google updated its Chrome Web browser today to include voice search, an excellent feature that lets you speak naturally to your computer to get search results.
The new voice search taps into Google’s “Knowledge Engine,” a system that acts more like a virtual assistant than a regular search engine that returns a list of results. For example, you can now ask Google, “What is the circumference of the Earth?” and get the precise answer. Google recognises natural language, so you can speak to your computer as if you were asking your friend a question.
To use voice search you need to be running the latest version of the Chrome browser. Chrome usually updates automatically, so head to Google.com and you should see a tiny microphone in the search bar. Click it to ask a question. If you don’t see the microphone icon, go to Settings, then Help and check if you have the latest version installed.
Google also plans to expand voice search in Chrome to include Google Now, the voice powered assistant built into Android phones and available in the Google search app for iPhones and iPads. Google Now automatically shows you relevant information like travel information for your next calendar appointment, weather in your home town, and sports scores for your favourite teams.