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"OK Google" Voice Search Feature Removed from Chrome


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With the recent release of Google Chrome 46, the search giant has removed one of the browser's most controversial features, its "OK Google" voice-powered search assistant.

The feature was added in Chrome 35 back in May 2014, and only to the desktop browser, the voice assistant being already built-in with Google's default apps on Android devices.

A huge scandal surrounded the "OK Google" assistant back in June, when it appeared that the Chromium project, Chrome's official feature testbed, was secretly downloading a binary package on Linux distributions to support this feature without the user's consent.

Since the Linux community is built around open source code, this practice sparked outrage towards the company, which was later forced to remove the "OK Google" binary altogether.

Now, the company is also removing it from all Chrome versions running on Windows, Mac, and Linux, with the same explanation it gave a few days back, when it removed the Notifications Center as well.

Basically, the feature was not used enough to warrant its place in the browser's source code, which is getting bigger and bigger with each every new release.

This makes sense since not all users have microphones available on their desktop PCs, and most people that use this feature, use it from their smartphone, and not their laptops.

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