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New Google Extension Brings ‘Ok Google’ to Everyone


All Chrome users can now use the ‘Ok Google’ voice search thanks to a new extension from Google.

The Google Voice Search Hotword extension is now available in the Chrome Web Store for all Chrome users after the “Ok Google” search made an exclusive debut last week in the Chrome OS Dev channel.

There are, however, a few caveats. First of all, the extension only works on the main website and none of the regional sites at the moment. Since it’s a beta, it can also be a little unreliable. I’ve had to change focus away from the window and then back for the extension to start listening. And numerous reviews in the Web Store indicate mixed results amongst desktop and Chrome OS users as well.

The installation process is also more involved than most extensions, requiring a restart and a manual voice search to allow the site to access my microphone first before the extension started working correctly.

If anything, it’s a first look at how ‘Ok Google’ will behave for non-Chrome OS users. While it may not be too useful at the moment when limited to the, Google Voice Search is becoming more and more useful with the recently introduced Google Now-like cards when you search for popular places or people and with follow-up questions that let you query for results based on the context of the previous search.

Install the Google Voice Search Hotword Extension

  • Lou G

    Ah, I didn’t realize it needed a restart. I was wondering why it wasn’t working on my ARM based Samsung chromebook.

  • Kenny Strawn

    Well, since the extension works on Google’s home page but not on the New Tab page based on a personal test, that’s a further sign that the blank space on the app launcher start page enabled with chrome://flags in the Chrome OS Dev Channel will be used for Google Now cards.

    Google Now and voice search go hand-in-hand. That’s why both Android and iOS got voice search before they got Google Now cards: because Google Now depends on voice search. Not only that, it requires the search bar directly above the cards to have voice search support. Which neither the Omnibox nor the New Tab Page search box have.

  • alexpanfilov

    Works nice)

  • Boothy

    Only seems to work on
    But none of the other regional variations.
    Surprise, Surprise.
    Sometimes I even wonder if Google realizes there is a world outside the US.

    • Mathspy

      They need LOTS of people from every country to make them all say “Okay, Google” in their language and then analyse it and things like that
      Speech recognition is a new Technology after all

      And Hand-free control is even newer

      • Boothy

        Yeah, must really be difficult to get it working on
        Unless it doesn’t understand english.

  • Lou G

    It doesn’t want to work on my ARM-based Samsung. I suppose I’ll try again.

  • John Lahmeyer

    Doesn’t work on my HP Chromebook.