Back in June, Google brought voice search to the desktop via an update for Chrome, enabling users to click the microphone icon on the search box and speak their search, rather than type it.
Today, Google announced that this functionality has come to Google Maps (also in Chrome) in the U.S.
“Using voice search can make it easier to find hard-to-spell places (like Poughkeepsie or Liechtenstein) or simply get directions without typing (for example, say “Directions from Los Angeles to San Francisco”),” says Google software engineer Jed Burgess. “Or if you’re interested in exploring the world through the Earth layer (using the plugin), you can just say where you want to go and fly over to that location directly within your browser!”
As I mentioned when I covered the launch of Voice Search for Desktop, I’m not sure how often I would find myself using it (which I don’t think I have since the day of the launch). I really don’t even use it on mobile all that often either. From the desktop especially, it seems easier to just type your query out, even when you have a hard time spelling it. Google’s pretty good about knowing what you meant.
All of that said, the feature is certainly a good thing for accessibility for the disabled. It will be interesting to see if this expands beyond the Chrome browser.