Google Now for desktop debuts on Chrome Beta

Archie Dimaculangan
The search giant's digital assistant software comes to Chrome Beta on Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS

MANILA, Philippines – Users of Google Chrome Beta will be the first to test the desktop version of Google Now when the search giant releases its digital assistant software. 

Starting this week, Google Now notifications called “cards” will be popping up on Chrome Beta’s sidebar, containing weather updates, traffic information, event alerts, and other personal reminders.

Google Now is the tech titan’s virtual assistant feature that predicts and displays information that it believes are relevant to individual users. Notification cards are generated by the program based on the activity of the user across all of Google’s services, including Google Search, Gmail, and Google+.

For example, a person who regularly searches for video game reviews might receive constant updates about the newest titles for the Playstation 4 from Google Now. If you have e-tickets for an upcoming flight in your Gmail inbox, it might also display your flight details. 

It will also keep track of your appointments on Google Calendar, “so the next time you’re finishing up emails at your desk, Google Now might suggest that you leave the office a bit early to beat the heavy traffic on the way to your dinner date,” said Google software engineer Travis Skare.

Smartphone users already enjoy this feature. Google Now was launched in 2012 along with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, while iOS users gained access in April 2013. Google Now was seen as a rival to Apple’s own virtual assistant Siri.

To get Google Now for desktop, download the latest version of Chrome Beta for Mac, Windows, or Chrome OS. Chrome Beta is a testing channel for Google’s upcoming features.

To start receiving cards, users are required to sign in with the same Google account which they used to log in to Google Now on their iOS and Android smartphones. 

Notifications are currently available only in English, but Google promises to include more languages soon.