Chrome 11 beta adds HTML5-based speech input support

March 23, 2011 – 15:02 by in News Print Share No Comment

It’s barely been two weeks since Chrome 10 appeared, but of course there’s no time to rest in the browser world, and sure enough, Google released Chrome 11 to the beta channel today.

Top of the new features list has to be support for the HTML5 speech API, which you can test in a demo on the HTML5 Rocks site. It’s not too exciting just yet – talk into your microphone here, the words appear in a text box in the website there – but is at least an easy way for you to see how accurate the technology can be. (Not very, in our first tests.)

And if you’d like to see where this technology might be heading, then it’s worth taking a look at the HTML Speech Incubator Group’s “HTML Speech XG Use Cases and Requirements” document, released last month, which envisages everything from voice-controlled web searches, to apps that can handle complex queries like “find me a round trip from New York to San Francisco on Monday morning, returning Friday afternoon”.

Chrome 11 also adds support for GPU-accelerated 3D CSS transforms, allowing the browser to render more complex web content without having too great an impact on its CPU requirements. Which works for us, although it seems odd that Chrome 11 also sees its old 3D icon replaced by a flatter, more stylised version.

Elsewhere there’s the usual lengthy list of bug fixes, performance tweaks and other minor adjustments, all of which are listed in the official SVN Revision Log.

And if you’d like to play with the speech input feature, check 3D CSS transforms or just generally test the program, then the beta of Chrome 11 is available for download now.

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