Google Now has long been rumored to be have been headed to the desktop, but today it showed up in Chrome Canary, the most bleeding edge pre-release version of Google’s desktop web browser. You can enable it by setting the right flag and doing a basic reboot of the software, and it’ll appear in either your menu bar on OS X or system tray in Windows.
As reported by The Next Web, you can receive updates about weather, traffic and commute times, upcoming events and scores for various sporting events. It’s not as robust or far-reaching as Google Now is on mobile devices, where it provides info about places to see nearby, TV shows and more, but it’s just a first version, and for now it’s only limited to the version of Google’s browser that’s furthest away from shipping to the general public.
Google has already created a support page for Chrome’s Google Now powers, however, which describes details about what kinds of cards do carry over, how it determines your location (it borrows those most recently found on your mobile device) and how to turn the cards on and off. So while Now is currently only available in the development track of Chrome, it’s almost certain it’ll make its way into an upcoming stable release of Chrome proper.
Google Now has been spotted in Chromium code and Chrome Canary builds on Windows in the past, but it was never actually enabled and fully functional before now. It’s likely only a matter of a few weeks or months before it makes its way to the full version now.