Google Chrome desktop Web browser users are just now receiving one of the coolest features that’s been available to Android smartphone users since June of 2012—the ability to get useful, just-in-time information at a glance through the innovative Google Now service.
Google Now for desktop Chrome users has been rumored since March of 2013, when reports surfaced that Google Now was under development for desktop users.
The long wait for the desktop version allowed Google to focus on providing Google Now services for mobile users, who can really take advantage of the just-in-time alerts that the service provides while they are on the go.
The launch of the Google Now capabilities in the latest stable Windows and Mac release of the desktop Chrome browser was announced on the Google Chrome Google+ page on March 24 by the Chrome team. “Starting today and rolling out over the next few weeks, Google Now notifications will be available to Chrome users on their desktop or laptop computers,” the post states. “To enable this feature, 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.
The feature was rolled into the beta Version 33 of the Chrome browser in February as engineers worked to finalize the feature and add improvements and fixes.
Google Now is a very useful feature for commutes, travel, entertainment options and more, giving users a wealth of useful information on their desktops or mobile devices.
Google Now service for iOS arrived in April 2013 as part of a new Google Search app so that users of iPhones and iPads could benefit from its notifications.