Google Assistant gears up to replace Chrome's Voice Search

The Nokia 4.2 next to shrubs
The Nokia 4.2 next to shrubs (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google plans to replace the built-in Chrome for Android Voice Search with Assistant.
  • The upcoming change was spotted in a Chromium commit.
  • It's expected to debut in Chrome 85, scheduled for September.

Google is making a common-sense decision to simplify its voice offerings on mobile. Courtesy of comments made on a Chromium commit, it has become clear that the firm is planning to replace the built-in Voice Search in the Chrome browser with a handoff to the Google Assistant.

What this means is that instead of relying on the current Google Voice Search interface, you'll get the newer and more capable Google Assistant to aurally parse your queries.

As per XDA Developers who originally spotted the commit:

The comments and code change reveals that once the commits are merged, a new flag called "Omnibox Assistant Voice Search" will appear in chrome://flags#omnibox-assistant-voice-search for Android devices. According to its description, the new flag will 'Use Assistant for omnibox voice queries.'The idea behind this change is to send an intent to the Google App to launch the Google Assistant whenever a user taps on the voice search button in Chrome's address bar/URL bar/omnibox. Currently, when a user taps on the voice search button in Chrome, it brings up the old Android Voice Search UI.

Chrome isn't the only place you'll find the old Voice Search. Google still offers the old UI in commonly used places like the Play Store and Photos. As the firm has been building out Assistant as a much more modern, faster, and just plain better service, it has needed to transition for a while now. Hopefully, Chrome is just a harbinger of broader Assistant adoption.

Assistant integration with Chrome is scheduled for a debut with Chrome 85 in September.

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