The revamp of Hangouts, a new Google+ UI and plenty of other exciting announcements were made at this year’s Google I/O, but a lot of people might have forgotten that Chrome has been updated with an awesome new feature as well. Chrome 27 for web and Android now supports voice search, and is also capable of reading out some of the search results for your convenience. iOS was a bit slow in getting Google Now, but the official Google Search app was finally updated with the feature a couple of months back. Following that pattern, some might have assumed Chrome 27 and its awesome voice search won’t arrive for the iPhone for the next few months but surprisingly, the app has been updated a few hours ago and now supports almost all the new features that are available in Chrome for Android.
The new voice search feature for Chrome is not really Google Now, but at times the results it displays are in the form of the cards that are usually associated with Now. The new feature is enabled automatically when you update Chrome on your iOS device, and there are some aspects of it that are customizable. If you want to choose your search language, head to the Chrome ‘Settings’ accessible via the browser’s options menu. Chrome supports plenty of languages when it comes to voice search, including English, Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian and Spanish, to name some. At the top of this language menu, there is also a toggle that can be used to mute Chrome, as by default the browser reads aloud the results that show up in Google Now-like interactive cards.
So, how exactly can you dictate your queries to Chrome for iPhone? It’s not too big of a deal; in fact, the feature is almost impossible to miss. Just tap the omnibar at the top of the screen, which will bring up the browser’s own keyboard. Above all the keys on this keyboard, there is a mic icon with ‘Google’ written next to it. To speak your query, just touch the mic and start dictating. Just like the Google Search app, Chrome voice engine processes commands in real-time, which leads to more accurate results and better voice recognition.
Chrome 27 for iOS comes with a few performance improvements and speed enhancements as well, so there is no reason you shouldn’t give the updated app a shot. It is free and can be downloaded for both iPhone and iPad.