If you are an avid as well as advanced Chrome user, and use and keep track of the latest beta versions then you’d know about the latest beta version – Chrome 11, which was released around the same time when Firefox 4 was released officially.
So what’s new? Well, apart from the various bug fixes, technical improvements, a new Chrome icon (shown in the screenshot above) and all, there’s one thing that’s particularly interesting – the addition of support for the HTML Speech Input API. In plain English that means that there can now be a way for Chrome to convert voice to text. You can speak “google.com” instead of typing google.com in the address bar.
Not that other browsers cannot do it. But either requires Flash (which doesn’t work well on Chrome in my experience) or some other kind of a plug-in which you are better off not using. This new technology in Chrome doesn’t need any of that.
As I had hoped, it wasn’t too long before a developer came out with an extension that lets you quickly incorporate this Chrome feature in various websites.
Called Speechify, this extension enables the HTML5 speech to text functionality on popular websites like Amazon, YouTube, Google, Hulu etc.
It adds a small icon on the browser extensions bar, which could be used to input your voice query. You’d obviously need to use the mic.
Overall, I like this new feature. Doesn’t work too bad..actually works pretty good on most of the occasions. But this is something that’s part of the beta so hiccups shouldn’t surprise you.