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Google adds voice search to latest Chrome beta

The latest beta version of Google’s Chrome browser has a neat addition, namely voice-powered web search.

Android phone owners with KitKat on board will be familiar enough with the system, which is fired up with the phrase “Ok Google.”

With the new Chrome beta, all you need to do is head to the Google search page, or open a new Tab, and say “Ok Google” (into your microphone – you’ll need one of those hooked up to your PC, of course; bellowing commands at your monitor isn’t likely to elicit much of a response).

When the magic phrase is uttered, a red microphone icon will appear and you can speak your search – with the results then being presented to you as normal. All without touching the keyboard – so no more typos! Just errant speech recognition instead, maybe…

It’s also possible to set up tasks other than searches by using your voice. For example, you can ask Google to prompt you with reminders, or set a timer to alert you in, say, an hour, which is quite nifty.

Currently, this feature is rolling out to Windows, Mac and Linux users in the US over the next couple of days, with other markets (and languages) to follow.

So, get ready for some voice action. We wouldn’t be surprised if some cool Easter eggs were slipped in, too. Maybe: “Ok Google – load web pages faster.”

Or maybe not...