Google's New Chrome for iOS Has Improved Voice Search

 
 
By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-09-19
 
 
 

Google is always working on improving voice commands for its core Android apps, and the latest version of Chrome for iOS has some key updates, including improved and broadened voice search as well as deeper integration with Google Apps.

The details about the new Chrome for iOS Web browser, which is Version 30 (officially known as Version 30.0.1599.12), were unveiled Sept. 18 in a post by Miranda R. Callahan, a Chrome software engineer, on the Google Chrome Blog.

"With today's update, voice search on Chrome for mobile gets better," wrote Callahan. "You can now string together multiple voice searches with pronouns to get to results faster. For example, a voice search for 'Who is the president of the United States?' followed by 'Where did he go to school?' lists all the schools President Barack Obama attended (all the way back to elementary school!). "

The broadening of the voice search capabilities means that users can now verbally ask for more information and be confident that Google Search will deliver the requested information, she wrote. Callahan gave other voice search examples to demonstrate the new feature, such as asking Google Search how many people live in Pennsylvania, and then following that up by asking when Pennsylvania became a state.

Another improvement in Chrome for iOS 30 is that users can go back to their search results more quickly if a clicked link turns out to be a dud. "We've [speeded] things up so that as soon as you hit the back button, all your results reappear instantly," she wrote.

A related update is that users can now directly open links from Chrome in their YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ apps, according to Callahan. "For example, if you're searching for a nearby Thai restaurant, Chrome will open the address in the Google Maps app. Just visit 'Google Apps' under Settings to select which apps you'd like to open from Chrome."

Also improved in the new version is that users now can more easily and quickly switch between Chrome and their favorite Google apps on their mobile device. "Sign in to Chrome on your iPhone or iPad, and the next time you open another Google app, you can login with one simple click," wrote Callahan. Users can also now easily add or remove such accounts in their Settings folder.

In addition, Chrome for iOS 30 includes a new look and enhancements for iOS 7 on iPhones, as well as improvements to full-sscreen behavior in devices, especially on iPad running iOS 7, according to Google. To run the new release of Chrome 30 for iOS on their Apple devices, users will be required to run iOS 6 or higher.

Google this week also released new updates for its Chromecast television dongle, as well as a new Stable channel update for the Chrome OS operating system, which powers Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and other devices. The latest version of the Stable channel update is Version 29.0.1547.74 for all Chrome OS devices. In conjunction with the new release of the Stable channel version of Chrome OS, Google has promoted the new Dev channel version of Chrome OS to Version to 31.0.1631.1 for all Chrome OS devices except Google Chromebook Pixel and Google CR-48 devices.

In late August, Google released its Chrome 29 Web browser as part of its regularly scheduled release program, as well as an updated stable version of the Chrome OS.

The updates are done regularly by Google as features are added and as known problems are corrected. In August, Google released maintenance updates to its Stable, Dev and Beta software channels for users on all Chrome OS devices, as part of its regular code refreshes.

Also in August, Google updated its Chrome DevTools toolset with three new tools that will make it easier for developers to write their code and produce their products. The tools include Workspaces, which allow developers to live-edit source files within DevTools with bidirectional disk persistence; CSS preprocessor mapping; and Snippets, which let developers create, edit, save and execute custom JavaScript snippets.

In July, Google announced previous updates for many of these applications, including a new version of its Chrome browser for iPhones and iPads, as well as a new Chrome Beta version for Android that introduced a new Web audio API and support for WebRTC.

In April, a Dev channel version of Chrome OS caused problems for some Google Docs users, so the company recommended that developers revert back to an earlier version that didn't include the glitch. The affected Dev channel software was Version 28.0.1485.1.

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