Chrome Voice Search Is Coming: The Five Best Announcements From Google I/O 2013

Senior Contributor
05.16.13 4 Comments

Most of the time, corporate announcements are boring. Slight changes are made to products, buzzwords are mouthed, people walk away mildly informed.

Google, on the other hand, apparently felt the need to drop some bombs, because they did.

Voice Search Coming To All Chrome Users

If you use Chrome or Chrome OS, searching will soon involve speaking. You don’t even need to activate the mic; you simply say, “OK, Google…” and follow it with your query. You can set reminders, look up song lyrics, fire up a song in Google Music… it’s a fairly impressive piece of technology. It can also handle colloquial speech really well, which is a pleasant surprise. Basically, Google just set the standard for everyone else in search. Again.

Google+ Is Getting A Major Overhaul

Google+ currently sits somewhere between Facebook and LinkedIn; it’s a bit more formal but not completely buttoned up. Google has decided to give it a massive overhaul. Everything from photos, which now have more tools online, to chat, which is now a persistent thread, to hashtags, which can be added automatically to photos by scanning them, has been tweaked, added to, and just generally improved. So basically all Google has to do now is wait for Facebook to start driving away its audience. Aaaaaany day now.

Chrome For Mobile Grows Up

Currently, it’s impossible or at least difficult for stunts like Kilo’s clever interactive music video to make any sense or work on tablets. But Google has been hard at work making Chrome on mobile devices as high-quality a browser, and apparently it’s going to pay off this year with a far better browser.

Google Play Music All-Access

A clumsy title, but the Google Music streaming service we’ve been hearing about is officially real, and it’s pretty neat, actually. You can create radio stations out of music you own, or pay $10 a month and listen to literally anything Google has in the store. That’s going to make things tricky for both Spotify and Pandora.

An Unlocked Samsung Galaxy 4 With No Crud To Remove

OK, so it’s $650. But it’s nice to see Google embracing some higher end hardware and putting an unsullied version of Android on it. Oh, and the bootloader is unlocked, too. It’ll work on AT&T or T-Mobile and is a fully unlocked GSM phone.

If you want all the details, Google has them on their I/O page. But it’s a pretty impressive haul, and we can’t wait to see it all in action.

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