Google Chrome Taking on New Music and Voice Features
The Google Chrome browser is putting on some new moves. We've already covered the fact that with the latest version of Chrome, you can search by voice on Google—no typing or clicking required.The browser also has a new feature that makes it easier for users to import and upload music into its Google Play Music service, including dragging and dropping tracks from Apple’s iTunes into Google Music. And finally, Google is rolling out Google Now notifications to users of its browser on Microsoft Windows and Apple's OS X.
"Google has finally enabled uploading tracks to its Play Music service through a browser, but for now, you'll need to flip the switch yourself. In the Labs section of the menu, there's an option for Google Play Music for Chrome. Ticking the appropriate box will allow for both drag-and-drop and manual song additions without the need to use that less than stellar Music Manger. Clicking the "Add Music" button at the top of the UI will also give you the option to choose folders that you'd like synced automatically."
"If you use Google Now on your mobile device, you can see certain Now cards on your desktop computer if you're signed into Chrome, including weather, sports scores, commute traffic, and event reminders cards," the company also said in a support document online.
The cards will already be familiar to iOS and Android users who have taken advantage of Google Now alerts. The cards deliver notifications that appear on the desktop and you have to be signed into your Google account to get them, so they are another way that Google is tying users to its ecosystem of services.
Meanwhile, both Chrome and Chrome OS are getting voice search features. To use the feature, you open a new tab or visit Google.com in Chrome, say "Ok Google," and then start speaking your search. This is being rolled out progressively to users on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Google has been steadily working on Voice Search for some time, and is likely increasing its focus on speech recognition since hiring Ray Kurzweil as head of engineering. Kurzweil is a seasoned veteran in the speech recognition field. We covered these features previously in this post.