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Chromebook OS could soon get OK Google voice commands

Google is set to bring its Android-based voice command software to its Chromebook operating system, according developers at the firm.

OK Google, which is currently only available on smartphones and tablet devices, will be included in new developer builds of the Chromebook software.

Read more: ‘Domino’s feed me’: Xbox One app lets users order pizza by shouting at console

François Beaufort, who works on Google’s Chromium open-source browser, revealed the news late last week, but did stress that the software is still at the “experimental” stage.

“Try out the experimental new version of the ‘OK Google’ experience by toggling the chrome://flags/#enable-hotword-hardware flag,” Beaufort wrote in a blog post. “Restart your device, go to Chrome OS Settings and check ‘Enable “OK Google’ to start a voice search” to train your device to respond to the sound of your voice by saying three times ‘OK Google’.”

Google’s voice command feature will allow the user to ask their Chromebook questions at any time, providing the screen is awake and unlocked. Users will also be able to access a complete history of all their voice activity, via a dedicated audio history page.

The fact that researchers at the search engine giant are stressing the untested nature of OK Google for Chromebooks, suggests that a widespread consumer release may be some way off, if it occurs at all.

Google is not the only firm looking to bring its mobile personal assistant to its laptop and PC devices. Rumours indicate that Microsoft will also be including Cortana in its new Windows 10 operating system, although once again, the software is not yet ready for use.

Read more: Leaked Windows 10 build includes Cortana – but do we care?

It is not yet clear whether consumers will be embrace personal assistants on their PCs and laptops, certainly it seems less necessary than on mobile devices, but if OK Google and Cortana are successful it surely won’t be long before Apple brings Siri to its Mac OS.b