Google has quietly removed "OK Google" voice search from the latest version of the Chrome web browser. The hotword debuted in the form of a Chrome extension back in November 2013.
As first spotted by VentureBeat, version 46 of Chrome has removed the hotword detection that Google had been providing since the release of Chrome 35 in May last year. This, however, does not mean that you cannot use voice search on the latest Chrome version. You need to visit Google's homepage and click on the microphone icon to start using the same voice search by using the hotword.
The new update is initially available on Windows, Mac and Linux, but would also reach Apple's iOS in the coming future. Android devices are expected to remain unaffected by the new change as there is native Google Now support with "OK Google" voice search on all the latest smartphones and tablets.
Google has not given any specific reason for removing the hotword from Chrome. However, it is presumed the removal is because the feature has not been widely used.
This should boost Microsoft's Windows 10 as the latest operating system comes with Cortana integration. Compared with Cortana integration, which is natively available within Windows 10, the "OK Google" hotword required you to open Google's homepage to start using voice search.
Apart from the removal of the hotword, the updated Chrome has the ability to mark webpages with "HTTPS with Minor Errors", new CSS animation features and some improved performance controls. The web browser also has as many as 24 security fixes and several API tweaks to deliver improved web browsing experience. Google claims it spent over $24,000 in bug bounties to fix some security holes in the Chrome browser.
You can download the updated Chrome browser on your Windows, Mac or Linux running device by visiting the Google Chrome page. The update is also available for existing Chrome users through the built-in updater.