Android Central

Auto-enabled for beta track users from this week

We've already taken a first look at Google Now for the desktop, when Google added it to the bleeding edge Canary builds of Chrome. Today, Google drops word that starting this week, folks a bit further up the chain on the beta track on Mac, Windows or Chrome OS will get access to the same card based notification system we're all familiar with from our Android devices. 

Unlike with the Canary build, you don't need to mess around with enabling flags here. Look for the bell icon on Mac or Windows or the numbered box on your Chromebook to open up your notifications. We've been impressed with it so far from our early look, so if you want to give it a whirl load up the beta build and let us know what you think. 

Download: Chrome beta, More: Google Chrome Blog


Reader comments

Google Now for desktop progresses to Chrome beta


Howdy! Just installed the Beta, 33.0.1750.58.
Not seeing any bell icon yet.
Excited to get the Now features!

If you go into chrome://flags then you can enable the Google Now from "auto" and then it'll start to show up. Or just wait until the push. Eitherway.

"Coming this week" to the Beta channel... will need to wait another day or so... can't wait... must wait... can't wait...

have it on my PC with Chrome: Version 33.0.1750.58 beta-m and I have google now enabled when I look in flags. Just got it about 2 hours ago.

Can somebody tell me how Google Now help you or how do you use it?

I tried it and the feature I want mostly does not work and it is not worth the battery drain:

1). Package tracking
This never worked for me, even when I forward shipping email from another account. Now Amazon stopped showing tracking number in their email..well..

2). Commute
I thought GNow suppose to "learn" how I commute in the morning. However, after 3 weeks, every morning GNow still told me to go to the OTHER BART station than the one I go to. So it ALWAYS give me the wrong commute time.

3). Weather
I compared this with different weather sources (Weather Channel, WeatherBug, etc.) and GNow weather is ALWAYS off by 10-20 degrees or have the wrong prediction - rainy when it is not.

4). Localization Reminder
Maybe this is my device's GPS, but GNow never remind me on the things I want to be reminded at a specific location. I tried this with Nexus 7, Galaxy S4 Active, Nexus 5, Sony Xperia and HTC One.

Given the above, GNow runs in the background all the time and uses network and GPS location service, killing my battery.

With GPS being handled by a Google Location services, your battery is being affected by GPS use a lot less than you think. It replaces several apps asking for location with a location caching mechanism. But for it to work you have to allow it to use all location services, wifi, towers, and GPS.

The fact that you are worried about this suggests you turn your GPS off a lot, and if you want accurate commute times you have to leave GPS on.

Sometimes the commute info is wrong, and sometimes it knows more than you realize. Mine was always recommending a different, route. So I tried it, and was amazed to find it was much faster, due to less traffic and fewer lights.

You can also tell it something isn't useful.

Actually, based on Better Battery Stats, when I have GNow, the GPS wakes up the device a lot. There's also more data transferred since GNow uses the network for Location Based service. There are many threads on this on XDA Developer site.

However, I can turn a blind eye on this if GNow service provided more accurate information (see above). This is not just for commute, though I use public transportation more than I drive.

So now I use a separate apps for weather, train schedule and package tracking, which ended up being more accurate.

Not bashing GNow, but I wish it works better.

Better Battery Stats also causes a wakelock on its own, so......yeah. Location services appear to go in cycles for me with battery usage. Some days or weeks it'll be very high, others it'll be a lot lower. Overall, it's worth the battery usage for me as it works pretty well. With enough time, it'll learn your routes. However, there was a bridge out on my normal commute and it took GN like 4 weeks before it figured out the bridge was gone. I was hoping for it being a little faster on the uptake there due to crowdsourcing information from Waze now.....oh well.

The first three things work perfect for me.
Commute you can manually change the address of your work. And I've never tried location reminder.