About a month ago, Google introduced some new features to the Chrome beta channel. Among these were speech input through HTML. Now that's part of the stable release.
“Fresh from the work that we’ve been doing with the HTML Speech Incubator Group, we’ve added support for the HTML5 speech input API,” explained Google software engineer Satish Sampath. “With this API, developers can give web apps the ability to transcribe your voice to text. When a web page uses this feature, you simply click on an icon and then speak into your computer’s microphone. The recorded audio is sent to speech servers for transcription, after which the text is typed out for you.”
You can talk to search, just like you can on your phone. I’m not sure how often this will be preferable from the desktop, but it’s a cool feature nevertheless.
With the new announcement, Google uses translation through Google Translate as an applicable example.
"Speech input through HTML is one of many new web technologies in the browser that help make innovative and useful web applications like Google Translate’s speech feature possible," says software engineer Josh Estelle.
In other Chrome-related news, Google has been working with Adobe (and others) on transparency and controls for Flash Player's local storage.