Google has finally brought its Google Now notification "card" feature to the latest version of its Chrome beta browser for desktop users, Version 33.0.1750.70 for Windows, Mac and Linux.
The long-awaited inclusion of Google Now cards for desktop Chrome users was announced by Travis Skare, a Google software engineer, in a Feb. 3 post on the Google Chrome Blog.
"Starting this week, if you're using Chrome beta, you will be able to receive your Google Now notifications via the notifications center on your Mac, Windows or Chromebook computer," wrote Skare. "To enable these notifications, simply sign in to Chrome with the same Google Account you're using for Google Now on Android or iOS."
Google Now, which was introduced for Android devices by Google in June 2012, presents its information through a series of flip-through "cards" that are visible on the screen of a device, providing a different piece of information on each card. The "cards" appear at the moment they are needed by users, such as the train schedule card appearing when a user is heading to the local train station. Users of Google Now set their own preferences for what information cards appear on their mobile devices. A wide variety of cards are available for Android users to receive instant updates about public transportation, flight information, traffic reports, sports scores, appointments, weather, hotels, events, restaurant reservations and more.
In April 2013, Google unveiled its Google Now service for iOS as part of a new Google Search app so that users of iPhones and iPads could benefit from its notifications.
The Google Now notifications can be very convenient for users who want to keep track of the events in their lives, wrote Skare. "Your friend Steve's flight from New York is delayed by an hour. Your favorite soccer team is up by one point with two minutes left. Your Chromecast has just shipped. If you're using Google Now, you'd already know all of that information without having to ask," wrote Skare. "Google Now already gives you the right information at the right time on Android and iOS."
Users can view the Google Now notifications on their desktop machines by clicking on the bell icon on Mac or Windows computers, or on the numbered box on Chromebook to open the Chrome notification center, according to Skare.
More information on setting up Google Now services is available in the Help Center.
The new Google Now services in Chrome beta will be available in English to start, with support for other languages expected in the future, he wrote.
In March 2013, reports surfaced that Google Now was also under development for desktop users. An early glimpse of the upcoming feature was posted on Google+ by a French developer, Francois Beaufort. The service was not yet live at that point, but its appearance in the beta build could indicate that Google is looking at expanding its use to the desktop.
In December 2012, Google Now received a host of other intriguing improvements aimed at making holiday travel easier and less stressful, including the availability of instant, up-to-date travel information before users even head to the airport, train station or bus terminal.
Google Now also brings travelers helpful information on the weather and things to do in their destination city as they travel. Once travelers are at their destination, Google Now can display options for things to do in the new location, including information on local events near users, as well as suggestions for Websites to explore the events and to get more information on museums, culture and more.
In February 2013, Google Now added several updates, including the ability for users to get instant movie ratings before heading to a local theater, while also being able to receive their tickets right on the screen of their device. Also added was the instant availability of listings for houses and condos for sale in local neighborhoods, making it easier for homebuyers to find the place that's right for them.