How to add powerful voice commands into Chrome on your computer

Our trusty ol’ phones sure do spoil us sometimes, don’t they?

When you carry around an Android device in your purple pantaloons all day, you get pretty used to the idea of being able to summon your invisible phone genie — a.k.a. the Google Assistant — and have it perform practically any task imaginable. Short of making you a meatball sandwich (which I keep hoping the gang from Google will figure out how to pull off one of these days), there really isn’t much Assistant can’t accomplish on Android. And that’s even more true once you add in the platform’s little-known voice control booster pack.

Last week, we talked specifically about some oft-forgotten Assistant-connected voice commands for controlling Chrome on Android — everything from pulling up pages in a jiff to sharing stuff with your comrades, co-workers, and maybe even cockatoos simply by uttering a couple choice words. On certain devices, you can open and close tabs and move around your browser using nothing but spoken phrases, too. It’s pretty powerful stuff.

The problem, though, is that once you get accustomed to being able to do all of that on Android, you really resent having to rely on your actual fingers (pshaw!) to achieve the same sorts of results on the desktop front. A computer packs plenty of processing punch, after all. It oughta be able to handle anything an Android device can, oughtn’t it?

I’d sure as Sherlock say so. For whatever reason, though, Google doesn’t currently offer a desktop-based version of Assistant for most computers — and even on Chrome OS, where Assistant is available (and generally quite capable), the same sorts of browser-specific commands aren’t supported. Curses!

Hang on, though: Don’t sulk away dejected just yet. In my burning desire to make everything as easy as possible (a fancy way of saying “as a result of my laziness”), I tracked down a tool that can emulate most of Assistant’s advanced browser magic and bring the same sort of time-saving, physical-force-eliminating delightfulness into any desktop environment.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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