Yesterday Google released a new Chrome extension that allows you to initiate a voice search from the Google search page by simply saying “OK Google”, much like you do in Google Now for Android or iPhone. This is a very handy feature that works quite well.
Unfortunately for those outside of the US, this feature won’t work by default. There is an easy workaround though.
By default, if you try to go to google.com outside if the US you will be redirected to your country specific page. E.g. In Canada you will be redirected automatically to google.ca
Since you’re not on google.com, the Google Voice Hotword Extension won’t work.
The workaround is as follows:
- instead of going to google.com, go to http://www.google.com/ncr
That’s it. The ‘ncr’ at the end of the URL stands for No Country Redirect. Using this will force your browser to use google.com instead of your country specific search page.
- One thing to be aware of is that going to the /ncr version of the Google search page will result in a cookie being set on your browser. This cookie will make your browser use the /ncr version all the time. If you still want to use your country specific search page sometimes and don’t want to have to delete the cookie each time, simply do your search by using an incognito window to perform your voice search (⌘-Shift-N on Mac). The cookie will only be set for that window so you’re good to go anytime you want to go back to using your country specific search page.