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Google Now arrives on desktop computers

But only for brave beta testers
Thu Jan 16 2014, 17:03
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Google Now

PERSONAL ASSISTANT Google Now is coming to desktop computers.

The service, which monitors your internet searches and presents information you might need before you ask for it, has previously been available only on Android devices.

The latest Canary nightly build of Chrome 34 has a flag to activate Google Now. The instructions posted on a Google blog show that you need only to point your web browser to chrome://flags/#enable-google-now and select Enabled to activate the feature.

Canary builds of Chrome are designed to be run alongside stable releases and are used for testing new features before releasing them to the masses. Therefore, expect a few glitches and bugs that still need to be ironed out.

Google Now has not caught on with the public in the same way as Apple's Siri, but has slowly gained users as it is rolled out across Google's software portfolio. Features include directions with integrated, crowdsourced traffic information from Waze, package tracking, weather, stocks, sports results and updates to websites based on your browsing history.

This represents the latest step as Google works towards parity between software systems. Previous it has introduced Voice search for desktop and card style search results, along with touchless search that can be accessed with the "OK Google" voice command.

The next stage will be to bring Google apps and other desktop functionality to Chrome for Android, which Google is expected to announce later this year.

Since this is a pre-release beta, Google has not made a formal announcement about the arrival of Google Now on the desktop PC. µ


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