Controlling smartphones with just our voices is increasingly common, but soon we may be interacting with out trusty Chromebooks in the same way.
Chrome evangelist Francois Beaufort (who first leaked the Chromebook Pixel last year) spotted the feature in the Dev Channel of Chrome OS. To use it, you just have to set the flag “chrome://flags/#enable-app-launcher-start-page flag” to enable Chrome OS’ experimental app launcher.
Say OK Google, and Chrome OS will search for whatever term you dictate, even when you’re offline. As our Adam Koueider verified on his Samsung Chromebook, the functionality is very basic right now, but Google already did much of the hard work on voice actions on Android, so it shouldn’t take very long for Chrome OS to catch up.
Eventually, Beaufort envisions, Chromebook users will be able to launch an app or send an email with just their voice, just like it’s already possible on Android devices. And, because Chrome OS and the Chrome browser share much of their code base, the feature may eventually come to your browser too.
You can use the “OK Google” keyword on your Nexus 5 from the homescreen (Google Experience Launcher) to accomplish a variety of tasks. Just recently, voice actions gained the ability to talk back to the user to clarify a command. For instance, your phone may ask to whom you want to send a text message, if you omitted to specify it.
Google’s ambitions in the field of virtual intelligent assistants are incredibly bold – as Google Search leader Amit Singhal put it, “the destiny of [Google’s search engine] is to become that Star Trek computer, and that’s what we are building”.