April 28, 2011 at 2:25 PM ET
Google's increasingly popular Web browser, Chrome, now includes built-in speech-to-text translation with Chrome version 11, now available for download.
The tech giant has been busy fixing some bugs in Chrome, but also adding new features, with the speech-to-text ability the most exciting. As Google says on its Chrome blog, using the Web browser you can now:
... translate what you say into other languages with Google Translate. If you’re translating from English, just click on the microphone on the bottom right of the input box, speak your text, and choose the language you want to translate to. In fact, you can even click on the “Listen” feature to hear the translated words spoken back to you!
"You can talk to your bank's computer, so why not your own?" writes PC Magazine. "This is possible with the built-in speech recognition available on Windows and Mac machines, but Google's vision of making every app a Web app is now one step closer to reality with speech input HTML."
You won't see the microphone unless you've updated Chrome to 11. "No other current browser displays the microphone icon. In quick tests, the speech input worked perfectly, though it only accepts English."
Google also said it paid "a record $16,500 of rewards" to those who came up with fixes for various bugs in the Web browser.
Chrome, which competes with other Web browsers like Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari, "surpassed" a 10 percent share of "global browser usage" for the first time in January, according to Net Applications.