Practical Technology

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Chrome 11: The Best Browser?


Was it only a few weeks ago, that we were looking at the latest crop of Web browsers? Why, yes, yes it was, but now Google has released yet another newer, faster, better, and more feature-full version of its Chrome Web browser: Chrome 11.

Voice to Data

Besides the usual improvements in security and speed, which I’ll get to in a moment, Chrome 11 comes with a new, interesting feature: voice-to-text, or more properly, voice-to-data. So, with a Web site set up to handle it, such as Google Translate, you can “talk” to the Web.

Currently, Google Translate is the big application that uses it, but Google promises there will be more. It’s clear, for example, that a voice to text feature, once it’s perfected, for Google Docs would find fans.

This voice-to-data feature uses HTML 5’s Speech Input application programming interface (API). This proposed API was developed and proposed by, guess who, Google.

I found it to work “amusingly” well. It made far too many mistakes for me to consider using it, but when you consider that it’s a first try at a mass-market cloud-based real time translation tool, it is impressive–just not very useful yet.

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