Chromebooks to get new diction feature — and it could work offline

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook2
(Image credit: Samsung)

A recent code change spotted on ChromeOS shows offline diction will soon be available for Chromebook users, which will be a big step toward improved accessibility.

Spotted by Chrome Story, the code was found via the open-source program Chromium Gerrit with two flags added to the ChromeOS code for a dictation extension and offline dictation.

The new accessibility feature is expected to come out in an upcoming Chrome OS Canary Channel update — with Canary being Google's pre-beta web browser targeted at developers, seasoned techies, and browser enthusiasts. 

The offline feature may not seem like much, but this is a big step forward in regards to Chromebook accessibility to a wider audience. Essentially, the offline diction will do exactly as it says on the tin: transcribe and dictate text without an internet connection.

Other extensions, including Otter, let people transcribe Google Meet calls and even caption meetings in real-time, and are an essential online feature, so a feature coming to cheaper Chromebooks in places where an internet connection is fleeting is a step in the right direction.

There are no further details on when the new offline feature will be available, but these other best Chrome extensions are sure to help you out in the meantime. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.