Chrome 27 fixes 14 flaws and enables spoken conversations with Google

Chrome 27 fixes 14 flaws and enables spoken conversations with Google

Summary: Google wants you to start talking to your desktop with Chrome 27.

TOPICS: Security, Browser, Google

Google has announced the release of Chrome version 27, which brings faster search and quietly introduces a new dictation feature that lets people start a spoken 'conversation' with Google.

Installing the latest version of Chrome on the desktop lets users ask Google what the weather is like in a particular city and get a spoken reply. As Google demoed recently at its I/O conference, people can continue the conversation from there with follow up questions like 'how far it is to that destination?'.

A 'conversation' with Google search can be activated by clicking the microphone icon to the right of the search box that appears in Chrome 27. If the topic is large enough, such as the size of a nation's population, the spoken reply is coupled with information cards supported by Google's Knowledge Graph.

2013-05-22 12.22.30 pm
Talk to Google through Chrome. Image: Google

As Search Engine Land points out, conversations with Google work well for some lines of querying, like the age of Barack Obama, who his wife is, and from there how old Michelle Obama is. But it often stumbles the deeper the conversation goes.

The feature was introduced quietly: Google did not announce its inclusion as part of the release of Chrome 27 on Tuesday.

The latest version of Chrome also loads webpages five percent faster and contains a new API for developers of Chrome Store 'packaged apps' that enable offline functionality. Developers can use the chrome.synchFileSystem API to save and sync data on Google Drive.

Chrome 27 fixes 14 security flaws, which Google awarded researchers a total of $14,633 for reporting. Only one flaw, a 'memory safety issue' affecting Web Audio, was awarded the top bounty of $3,133.70.

Topics: Security, Browser, Google

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Mic added in ver 27??

    um the mic icon has been around for a while now. Not sure it was introduced in version 27. The I/O discussed the voice feature as being activated by speaking "OK Google". That does not appear to be active yet.
    • Functionality change

      The mic symbol has been there for a while, but it now works differently. It understands pronouns and other 'natural language' better. Previously if you asked a question about someone and then followed up with 'how tall is he?' Google would have searched for the height of a person named 'he'... now it knows that you are most likely referring to the person from the previous question.
  • Im shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear about 14 more security flaws.

    That and it being slower to render pages, less html5/css3 compliant, and no where near as good at protecting users from attacks than IE and you really have to wonder why people still use it at all.
    Johnny Vegas
    • 14 LESS security flaws

      14 LESS (not "more") security flaws
      ~--~--~--~-- ~--~--~--~-- ~--~--~--
      Now I agree that Chrome, and Google more generally, is touching everything recklessly (fiddling disease) and often makes things worse instead of better. They tout loading "webpages five percent faster" but many mundane user operations run SLOWER now after so many "features" added.
      Versailles, Wed 22 May 2013 16:44:20 +0200
      Michel Merlin
      • O really?

        What runs slower?
        • chrome 27

          it is very slow to load disqus into web pages.
          thomas vesely
      • Examples please?

        I found it to be faster overall, hard to measure without benchmarks, by my user perception is that the pages are rendered a bit more quickly than before.
    • Interesting claims. But do you have facts to back them up?

      It's 5% faster rendering pages, unless you're calling the benchmarks a lie.
      Who says it's less compliant?
      Regarding security, ZoneAlarm says* that both a recent Accuvant study* and also the German Government (not exactly Google's best buddy) agree that Chrome is the most secure browser.

      You can read the details of the Accuvant study here:
      And the ZoneAlarm opion is here:
  • Talking to Google

    I'm updated to Chrome 27 but no mic anywhere. Does it apply to v.27 on a Mac?
  • Chrome 27

    Loaded Chrome 27 last night and did not see mic. Opened Google and the mic is to the right of the search box. Did not have mic for this computer so I'll try it tonight. Would be better if it was on the browser window.
  • Win8 loading of ZDNET

    I hope it fixes the "Aw Snap" comment I get on my Yoga loading ZDNET.
    Mike Marquis
  • In the English version, you mean

    Perhaps there are other supported languages, but there is no mic icon at all in my Brazilian Portuguese Chrome 27.
  • Very Cool.

    Work very well. With the exception of the "Ok Google" to "wake it up", the searches are done correctly so far... including what appears to be a self correcting feature if the words don't make sense together. Google miss-read a few words, but if you watch closely, it does the correction based on the other words in the dialog. Very Star Treky!!
  • The Mic

    Have you looked on Google search (home)?

    The Mic is on the right side of the search input.

    It is not as pictured in this article, but a simple, small, black icon.
  • Chrome keeps getting worse and worse

    Every time I use it, the stupid thing JAMS, especially in Amazon, often here, often in websites where its back button just won't work. I have no idea what version I'm on, since the stupid thing self-updates every time I use it. Streaming is glitchy, whether video or audio. I can't say it's faster, either. Same problems in Window 7 as in XP.

    And the interface is awful, totally unintuitive, LACKING in fundamental features that even IE has (i.e., zooming text only, import/export bookmarks, many other features). Firefox has it all over both of them, though I find Firefox plenty glitchy, too.

    What's wrong with the programmers? Don't they TEST their designs prior to release?
    • Better check you box

      Firefox and Chrome has worked *flawless* on my Mint machine. Lol IE irreverent in Mint. Do you have problems with anything else? I don't miss IE whatsoever.