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While “OK Google” capability has been available in the form of a Chrome extension for quite some time now, those using it had to be on a specific page within Chrome for the browser to be listening for the appropriate hot words. Now, Google has pushed—in the dev build of Chrome OS—the option for users to turn on always-listening “OK Google,” which will allow you to use voice activation from anywhere as long as your device is on and unlocked.

To activate the feature, you need to grab the Dev Channel of Chrome OS. If you don’t know how to do that, then you probably want to go check out this handy guide Google has put together on changing development channels. After you’re on Dev, the process of activating always-listening voice activation is pretty simple. You’re going to want to head to chrome://flags/ in your browser (Chrome only, of course), and toggle the #enable-hotword-hardware flag.

Did you ever wish you could talk to your Chromebook simply when the screen is on and unlocked? Lucky you! Say “Ok Google” in Dev Channel and ask for anything!

After you’ve toggled the flag, you need to restart your device, head to the Settings page, and check “Enable “Ok Google” to start a voice search.” You should see the above pop up, and the set up process is going to walk you through training your device by repeating the phrase “OK Google” three times. After that’s done, you should be set up and ready to try it out.

If for some reason you want to check up on what Google has stored for your profile in regards to your voice activity, you can do that on the company’s history website. And if you want to check out the source for this neat little feature, be sure to check out the Chromium Code Review site.

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About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.