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Google brings one of Android’s coolest features to your desktop

Published Jan 16th, 2014 9:35AM EST
Google Now Chrome Canary Release

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Android has a lot of great native features and one of its best is Google Now, the voice-enabled personal assistant software that aims to give you important information before you even think to ask for it. Google Operating System reports that Google has now released a desktop version of Google Now that is integrated into Chrome Canary, the more “cutting-edge” version of its Chrome browser that is designed specifically for engineers and early adopters.

For the uninitiated, Google Now uses your search history and location history to figure out what information users might need at what times, such as being able to tell users how long their typical commutes will be given current traffic conditions, and being able to figure out how long in advance users will have to leave for them to make appointments. It’s won wide acclaim within the tech world and was named Popular Science’s “Innovation of the Year” in 2012.

So how does Google Now work as a desktop browser-based application? Google Operating System says that “if you’re signed into Chrome, you should see a Google Now notification and then a list of cards” that are “are displayed using Chrome’s notification interface in the Windows system tray or the Mac menu bar. Just look for the bell icon.”

Any Android fan who’s interested in seeing what Google Now looks like on the desktop should certainly give it a try, although Google warns that Chrome Canary can sometimes “break down completely” since it’s mostly a Chrome build for more experimental features.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.