Voice search is voice input of a search query, translating it to text without using a keyboard. This technology is especially important for mobile devices: their touch screen keyboard is not quite convenient because of the small size of the screen, so the search query is often entered with errors. The situation is partially saved by autocorrection of input, but it also occasionally fails, correcting the misspelling of the wrong word, which requires a query. Speech input works almost error free, provided you can clearly say your search query words.
What are the voice search browsers
While developers are working on improving their browsers, so far only Google Chrome and Yandex.Browser have speech input functionality. Mozilla Firefox, Opera or Edge do not have this function.
We note that modern smartphones on the Android platform work with Google Chrome browser: account creation, device synchronization, geolocation, etc. are associated with it. PC users, especially if they use Android smartphones, make Google Chrome the default browser on their computers. With all these devices, you can use the voice assistant "OK Google".
How to enable voice assistant in Google Chrome on PC
For a while, voice search "OK Google" required connection and customization, but now it's embedded in the browser by default and requires only an internet connection and a working microphone.
The presence of the voice input function is easy to find by going to Google Chrome: If it is active, you will see an icon in the search bar represented by a microphone. To use speech input, proceed as follows:
- Go to Chrome search;
- click the "Microphone" icon;
- if this is your first time using voice search, click the "Allow" button (the window will contain permission for the browser to use the microphone);
- Click the voice search icon again;
- wait for "Speak" to appear in the window that opens;
- spell the search term or phrase.
The text of the request will be displayed in the search window and the system will provide you with the search results in the form of links. For a number of questions the voice assistant provides a spoken answer. For example, if you ask, when is the birthday of a media person, in addition to the usual list of links you will receive a voice response to your request. The same applies to inquiries related to the location of an object (store, health center, etc.) provided you have enabled and configured Google geolocation.
How to enable voice search in Google Chrome on Android
In this case you also do not need to install and configure an extension that is built into the default browser. The use of this function is simple:
- Go to the Chrome application on your phone;
- pronounce "O'key Google" or press the "Microphone" icon located in the search bar;
- wait until the word "Recognition" appears;
- pronounce the request clearly.
The search will display as text in the search window and then the browser will provide results. Just as with PCs, voice search provides you with answers to some categories of questions.
What to do if Google Chrome voice search does not work
Since voice input is built into Chrome, it should work by default. If despite this, its icon does not appear in the browser search bar when using a PC or phone, check if there is one or more of the causes of the problem.
Invalid browser version
Checking which version of Google Chrome is installed on your device is easy. If voice input does not work on your computer, you need:
- Go to your Google Chrome browser;
- click the icon that has three dots on it (it is located in the upper right corner of the screen);
- in the menu that opens, hover over the "Help" item;
- Wait for the pop-up window in which you should click on the "About Google Chrome" section;
- wait until it checks for browser updates;
- Click the "Restart" button to complete the update.
Then the update procedure starts running and the voice assistant will appear together with it.
If the same problem occurs on the smartphone you should:
- open the Play Store application;
- tap the 3 horizontal lines icon (upper left corner of the screen);
- open "My apps and games" section and wait for the current update;
- launch the Chrome update by clicking the "Update" button to the right of its icon.
The browser will be updated to the latest version and voice search will be available.
The reason for this may be quite trivial: Without the microphone enabled, voice recognition is not possible. This mistake is often made by PC users. To fix this problem is simple.
- Click the "Start" button.
- Open the "Control Panel" section.
- In the list of panel items open the "Sound" section.
- Choose the "Record" tab.
- In the list of devices locate the microphone and make sure that there is a tick in front of the image indicating that it is recognized by the system.
- Click the line describing the microphone model.
- In the window that appears look for the "Device Application". If the answer line underneath reads "Do not use this device (off)" the microphone is disabled.
- Click the "ν" sign on the right side of the line and change the setting to "Use this device (on)" and the Google Voice Search will work.
If the microphone does not work on your phone, reboot your mobile device as sometimes this simple action is sufficient. If this does not help, please consider whether the phone may have been damaged by moisture, dropping it or hitting it against a hard surface. It may also be caused by a software glitch that requires reflashing. The phone may need to be taken to a service center.
Setting down settings on your smartphone
The reason for the malfunction may be that the voice input settings in your browser are disabled. To check this version follow these steps one by one:
- Go to the Google application;
- Click the "Menu" icon (the three dots usually located in the bottom right corner of the screen);
- in the menu open the "Settings" section;
- tap the "Voice Input" tab;
- check all the associated settings: the "Voice Match", "Languages" sections, etc.
The sections should be active. If there is an obvious malfunction (wrong language, Voice Match is disabled), eliminate it..