Google Now Takes it's First Steps Onto the Desktop

By Eric Limer on at

Google Now is great, but it's only on your mobile devices. We've been waiting on a desktop version for what feels like forever. Now, finally, it's just starting to poke its head out in Chrome's beta builds.

So far, the Now integration is a far cry from the redesigned Google homepage you might be hoping for, but it's the service's first foray onto the desktop so we'll take what we can get. What we can get is Now cards delivered periodically through Chrome's notification system, but no place to just go and look at them all. Google explains:

If you use Google Now on your mobile device, you can see certain Now cards on your desktop computer if you're signed into Chrome, including weather, sports scores, commute traffic, and event reminders cards. Some of these cards may be based on the location of your mobile device.

It's not the best implementation, but this is very early days. Google's Chrome browser has a range of non-final configurations, and the one that the new Google Now functionality recently showed up in is Canary: one of the worst. With nightly updates, Canary is bleeding edge, but always prone to crashing – as acknowledged on the launch page for the application

Once you've got that installed, just go to "chrome://flags/#enable-google-now" in the omnibox, flip the switch from "default" to "enabled" on the resulting menu, and reboot the browser.

If you can't stomach Canary for long, no one will blame you. But let's all hope this starts popping up in more stable builds as a fleshed out service soon. It's about time. [Google via Google Operating System]