Google seems to be doing a little spring cleaning in the Chrome web browser. While the company’s been adding features to Chrome for years, the latest version of Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux is missing a few features that had been available in earlier versions.

We already knew Google was killing the notification center. It looks like Google has also removed the ability to perform a voice search by saying “OK Google” to your computer.

chrome ok google

Starting with Google Chrome 46 for Windows, OS X, and Linux the web browser will no longer automatically recognize your voice and let you start a search just by talking. But you can still search by voice. You just have to tap the mic icon in the search bar first.

OK Google hotword detection and the notification center are still available in Chrome OS. But it makes more sense to include these features for Chromebook and Chromebox users, since there are no other voice search or notification systems on those devices. When you’re using Chrome on a different operating system though, you can use the notification or voice capabilities of your native OS instead of relying on Chrome.

Google says the reason it removed the notification center is that few people used it. Odds are the reason for pulling OK Google support is the same.

via 9to5Google and VentureBeat

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3 replies on “Google removes “OK Google” hotword from Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux”

  1. I think the real reason is, that a lot of people didn’t like their computer continuously recording into a buffer. How easy for the NSA or any other crook to get that forwarded without you ever knowing about it.

    Its like voluntarily bugging your own house for anyone who cares to listen in.

    Its also a drain on certain computer resources. A person just browsing and using some office applications would never notice the difference, but people using specialized software for audio, like DAW type software certainly would.

  2. But does it cost them anything to leave it? I see more choice for people are a good thing but I can understand if that costs Google money.

    1. the continuous listening for the words “ok google” runs entirely on your system, so it costs Google nothing, until such time that the rest of their code base has changed enough that they’d have to rework the code for that feature.

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