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Voice search lands in Chrome for Android – thanks to this nifty little trick

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Digital assistants have become such a common part of our lives that we hardly give a second thought to using them. In fact, it has just about reached the point that we only really think about digital assistants when we encounter something they are not able to do but we wish they could.

On Android, Google Assistant is gaining a new capability that will soon become second nature in the same way so many other voice controlled activities have become. The mobile version of Google Chrome is gaining support for voice input. It has not officially been made available, but there's a trick you can use to activate the feature right now.

The great news is that there is no need to be running a Developer, Beta or Canary build of Chrome. Google Assistant-powered voice search can be unlocked in the release build of the browser. Use the following steps to activate it:

  1. Fire up Chrome on your phone and pay a visit to chrome://flags
  2. Search for Omnibox Assistant Voice Search
  3. Use the drop-down menu to select one of the Enabled options – there are three to choose from and experiment with
  4. Tap the Relaunch button to restart the app

Now you're ready to start using your voice to search.

With the feature enabled, you can use your voice to conduct a web search whenever you see a microphone icon in the Chrome omnibox. Just tap the icon and voice your query aloud. Google Assistant will audibly respond to you, but will also display traditional search results in the browser.

As mentioned above, there are three different options that can be used when enabling voice search – Enabled, Enabled (grey mic) and Enabled (colorful mic). The differences are purely aesthetic, but you can play around to see which you like most.

Via Android Police