You can now use Google Assistant for voice searches in Google Chrome on Android, and not a moment too soon. The move saves Chrome users from the lacklustre voice recognition you were forced to deal with previously.
Google Assistant is more convenient, and it integrates your in-app Chrome searches into the assistant’s broader cross-app functionality. Google Assistant’s accuracy is better, too. It can recognise multiple languages by default, so multilingual users no longer need to tediously switch their default system language in the Android settings to search the web in a different language.
Chrome also supports the new Google Assistant redesign, which is now a full-screen interface with snazzy glowing light rather than a small window in the bottom third of the display. However, the new Google Assistant interface isn’t a requirement; you can enable Chrome’s Google Assistant voice search on all devices, it’ll just look different depending on which UI your phone uses.
Despite its advantages, Google Assistant voice search is not a default feature in Chrome. You have to activate the experimental feature by enabling a Chrome flag, but it’s available on all Android devices using Chrome 87 or higher. It’s possible Google will turn Chrome’s Google Assistant on by default in a later update, but here’s how to manually enable it for now:
- Open Chrome on your Android device and create a new browser tab.
- Go to
- Tap the drop down menu under Omnibox Assistant Voice Search.
- Select “Enabled.”
- Tap “Relaunch” when prompted to save the changes and restart Chrome.
To use the new voice search, tap the microphone icon in Chrome’s Omnibox bar to launch Google Assistant. Ask your question or speak your search criteria out loud; Google Assistant will answer your question by voice and open a new Chrome tab with relevant Google search results.