Elias Pelcastre

A replacement to “OK Google” on Chrome for desktop

Google decided to kill its “OK Google” feature for Chrome browsers. But here’s an extension that you can use to keep Google’s voice assistant alive.

Voice Actions is a free Chrome extension that enables you to “control your browser just by talking to it.” Available for free in the Chrome Web Store, Voice Actions bring some interesting commands that let you use your desktop browser hands-free.

After you install Voice Actions and grant the extension access to your computer, you will see a small microphone next to the search bar. Tap on it to get Voice Action listening to you talk.

Actions include looking for pictures or videos, or doing Internet or Wikipedia searches, as well as getting directions and switching between tabs.

You can set your favorite search engines for videos, maps, and music. That means you won’t end up stuck with Google to do voice searches.

I have to admit that Voice Actions had some trouble understanding my foreign English accent, as I got “outlast”, instead of “calculate two plus two”. If your native language is not English, don’t expect the extension to get your dialect on the first try.

Voice Actions may not be a replacement for the hands-free command “OK Google”, but it gets pretty close to filling the void that Google’s smart search has left in our desktops.