Google has released its Google Now notification integration for its desktop Chrome browser, and the update will begin rolling out today and continue to percolate over the coming weeks. The new feature allows users to receive Google Now notifications on their desktop, synced the Now notifications on their phone. To enable them, users need only to be logged into Chrome on the desktop with the same account they’re using on iOS or Android for the automated digital assistant.
Now cards including weather, sports scores, traffic and event reminders will now be displayed in Chrome, and some of the above will use location data from a users’ smartphone to populate, Google explains in a new support document. Location setting changes made on the iOS or Android device where you’re using Now will transfer to the desktop, providing up-to-date information about contextually relevant data. Google Now checks in for location info even when Chrome isn’t working, but you can turn it off using the notifications icon in Chrome to access Now settings.
Now coming to Chrome isn’t a surprise; the company has been telegraphing this development thanks to integrations of the feature in its development track Chrome releases, including in the Beta version of the desktop browser back in February. The integration making it to the general consumer release means it’s ready for prime-time, however, and also signals Google moving quickly to bring together its mobile and desktop platform ambitions.
While Now on the desktop appears primarily as a supplement to the mobile version with this new Chrome feature addition, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google built it into something more robust with more back-and-forth flow of data to get a better picture of a user’s overall computing life. Now’s ability to be relevant to users is dependent upon how clever it can get, and adding in desktop data stands to benefit it considerably in that regard.