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Google Now Arrives in Google Chrome Beta

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 13.15.19We’ve spoken a lot about Google Now over the last few weeks, but to try it out you had to be running a development build of Chrome or Chrome OS.

But, as of today, Google Now support is rolling out to users on the Chrome Beta channel, ahead of its arrival in Chrome 33 Stable later next month.

Setting It Up

To use Google Now  on the desktop you must also have the feature set-up and configured on an Android or iOS device using the same Google Account as the one in Chrome.

If you’re running Android 4.1 or above then Google Now is included by default (though it requires you to opt-in).  iPhone, iPod and iPad users will need to install the Google Search app from the iTunes App Store.

Not all cards are supported in Chrome as of writing, but stocks, weather, travel information and event info have, for me, all appeared in the notification centre at one point or another.

Cards don’t yet sync across devices, and cards using location data use the last reported location from your mobile.

Getting Google Chrome 33 Beta

Google Chrome Beta is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, though Google Now is only currently available on Windows and Mac. As this is a ‘beta’ quality build bugs and issues should be expected. Also note that installing it will replace any existing installation already on your computer – you’ve been warned!

Download Google Chrome Beta

For a safer way to play with new features ahead of time try the Canary channel. 

  • Lou G

    so if you don’t have a device you can’t use it? well, that sucks. :( my android device broke a long time ago and I haven’t been able to replace it.

    • For now, it seems not.

      • Lou G

        well, that really bites.

      • Kenny Strawn

        The cards will definitely appear if you don’t have a Google Now capable smartphone; they just won’t display accurate information…

  • Kenny Strawn

    Wow, that was fast… First on 34, now on 33. Looks to be on track for a stable release this month, just as I had originally predicted back in December…

  • Torrey Trahanovsky

    What about chrome beta chromebook?

  • Roland

    @torreytrahanovsky:disqus Google Now is present in Chrome OS 33.0.1750.58 beta. I switched to the Beta Channel from the Dev Channel about 10 mins ago and have got Google Now present.

    • Torrey Trahanovsky

      Yeah! I just woke up to it this morning! Magical!

  • blocoholi

    I switched from stable to beta but there is no google now anywhere… it should come up when I am on google in the notification bar?

    • Kenny Strawn

      Enable chrome://flags/#enable-google-now first. To enable it, you have to highlight that link, press Ctrl+C, open the App Launcher, press Ctrl+V (and then Enter), switch the resulting drop-down menu from “Default” to “Enabled”, and then either reboot (in the case of a Chromebook) or restart Chrome (in the case of Windows, Mac, or Linux).

  • What if you don’t have a smartphone. I am stuck with my Samsung Corby 2 which is based on Java. They should remove this “should have a smartphone” requirement.

    • Kenny Strawn

      Your location certainly won’t be tracked accurately, unfortunately… and oh, yeah, Google Now wouldn’t be able to personalize itself. Unfortunately, most Chromebooks don’t have GPS or 3G/4G radios, and Wi-Fi alone returns very inaccurate geolocation results.

  • hakşk

    like it

  • Adam Acuo

    Loaded the beta and made sure that Google Now is enabled via chrome://flags… but where do I find the cards? I tried the bell icon but the cards aren’t listed there… is there a specific location that I need to go to or will the cards just start popping up?

  • I this it’s so prejudicial for us mobility inhibited folks.. i.e. I don’t have any ios or android :( so I can’t load the beta, and my chrome is running terribly with ‘snap’ being the major screen reading for the day.