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Tone for Google Chrome, is a new extension which lets you share links using sound

Tone for Google Chrome, is a new extension which lets you share links using sound

by AshwinMay 20, 2015

Google loves to innovate, this isn’t something new. But not all of its ideas are a hit, some are downright crazy.


The Mountain View company has announced the release of Tone for Google Chrome.

Tone is a new extension for Chrome, which lets users share links using sound. I know this sounds like an April Fool’s joke, only it isn’t. It is a real extension.

The extension even has a history behind its creation:

Google says Tone was created just for fun, and that its teams used it to share documents in a meeting.

Apparently Google thought that it is not easy to share links with nearby people using regular ways like email, IM, etc.   Tone helps solve this issue, because it can be used to share things digitally with nearby people, just like talking to them. So it has invented a URL sharing option using sound.

Here is how Tone for Google Chrome works:

First install the Tone extension from the Chrome Web Store. You need to be logged in to your Google account, to send a Tone. Then ensure that your device’s volume is on. Open a tab with the URL you wish to share, and simply press the Tone button (the blue speaker icon). The browser will then emit a sequence of beeps, and any nearby machines will receive a notification. It will contain a clickable URL,  for the same tab, as well as, the sender’s name and photo.

Basically a computer speaks to other nearby systems, and the sound which it emits, is received by the other machines as a link. Google Tone isn’t limited to send URL’s for webpages, you can send news stories, documents, pictures, etc to any machine within earshot of your computer.

On the downside, the recipient device also needs to have Google Tone installed, and enabled. Google says this also applies to phones and even hangouts.

Google says that, not all machines will receive every broadcast, But most issues can be fixed by just increasing the volume. There are several factors which affect Google Tone. This includes, the distance between the emitting device, and the listening devices, the acoustic characteristics of the space,  and even the orientation of laptops and the location of the device.

Here is a video demo of Tone for Google Chrome:

Google has clearly forgotten the obvious: “Silence is Golden”.  The Verge says that Tone could be a way to bug friends, and we have to agree.  People are surely going to be annoyed if they hear beeps around them all the time.