Chrome OS to Soon Get Dictation as an Accessibility Feature
In recent months, Google has been adding features to Chrome OS at a rapid pace. Not too long ago, the OS had a basic feature set, which made it inadequate for power users. However, we have seen that features like a floating keyboard, split screen in tablet mode, and keyboard shortcuts to move the active window are being added in Chrome OS. Most recently, Chrome Story found a commit showing that Chrome OS notifications would soon get inline reply support for messages.
Now, Chrome Story has found a code change request which indicates that Google’s web-based operating system will soon get support for system-level dictation. The report notes that currently, the only way users can enable dictation is through extensions. Apps like Google Docs support this feature on all platforms including Chrome OS. Moreover, some Android apps may support dictation on Chromebooks with Google Play Store support. The new commit, however, shows that dictation will become a built-in feature for Chrome OS, with system-level integration.
System-level dictation will be brought to Chrome OS as an accessibility feature. The commit change request has the following description:
Support dictation on Chrome OS (initial version/prototype)
– bound to ctrl+alt+s
– each invokation triggers a new dictation session
– sound icon prompts for user to start dictating
– silence triggers dictation completion and recognition result
Chrome Story notes that the bug mentioned in this change request is private, so at this point, more details like screenshots are not available. The commit’s description states that dictation will come with a keyboard shortcut. Users will be able to launch dictation using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + S. The report added that this is expected to require enabling the feature under accessibility settings. The sound icon will prompt the user to start dictating, and silence will trigger dictation completion and bring forth the recognition result.
The change request on the Chromium Gerrit hasn’t been merged yet. Therefore, it will take a while to merge the request, add it to the Chrome OS developer channel, then add it as an optional flag, and then finally enable it for all users. So even though users have to wait a lot for the feature as of yet, they can be assured that the feature is expected to eventually make its way to the stable channel of Chrome OS.