Google's vision of making every app a Web app is now one step closer to reality with speech input HTML. To show off the new feature, Google's own Translate site has been updated with a microphone icon that lets you speak the words you'd like translated.
The microphone doesn't appear unless you've updated Chrome to 11. No other current browser displays the microphone icon. In quick tests, the speech input worked perfectly, though it only accepts English.
The update wasn't deemed significant enough for an entry in the official Google blog, but the company posted about it on the Google Chrome Blog, which boasts, "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."
The Google Chrome Releases blog goes into more detail about bug fixes, noting that a record $16,500 was paid out to bug sleuths who reported issues to Google's Chrome team. The largest award, at $3,000, went to a user who goes by the handle "kuzzcc" for finding "Possible URL bar spoofs with navigation errors and interrupted loads." Fifteen of the 25 listed bugs were considered "high" priority, and 10 of them were found by Google employees, who didn't receive cash awards.
If you're eager to have the new logo or speak to your browser, and you're already a Chrome user, just click the Gear icon and choose "About Google Chrome"; the update will download and on your next restart of the browser, you'll have version 11. First-time users can download Chrome 11 at google.com/chrome. Installers are available for Windows XP, Vista, and 7; Mac OS X 10.5 or later (Intel only); or Linux in Debian/Ubuntu or Fedora/openSUSE distros.