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‘Google Now’ Arrives on the Desktop In Latest Chrome Canary Update

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 13.38.05

Google Now desktop notifications have been enabled in Chrome’s Canary channel

The feature, which delivers a wide range of contextually-aware notifications, including weather forecasts, stock market information, traffic reports and sports scores, has played a central role Google’s mobile experience on Android and iOS.

The latest update to the Chrome Canary channel finally brings the feature to the desktop.

According to Google not every card type available on Android will be on offer in Google Now for Chrome. For contextual alerts based on location, cards default to using the location as reported by your mobile device.

Set Up Google Now on Chrome

Google Now on Chrome is currently only available in Canary builds on Mac and Windows. It also requires Now to be set up and configured on Android or iOS, and linked to the same Google account that you use in Chrome.

As Canary, which is updated daily, runs alongside stable, beta and dev versions of Chrome on the desktop it offers a relatively safe way to toy with new features ahead of time.

Provisos out of the way, on to setting it up.

  • Open Canary
  • Make sure that you’re signed in to the Google account
  • In a new tab go to: chrome://flags/#enable-google-now
  • Change the setting from ‘Default’ to ‘Enabled’
  • Click the ‘Relaunch Now’ prompt at the bottom of the page

Once configured open the Notification Centre by hitting the small bell icon in the system tray to view any available cards.

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 13.15.19

Disable Google Now in Chrome

Google make turning the feature off easy as pie. Just open Notification Centre, click the ‘cog’ icon to access settings, then uncheck the box next to ‘Google Now’.

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 13.37.52

  • http://maitreyavyas.in/ Maitreya Vyas

    Finally! :)

  • 6ame9o

    What is with Chrome OS?

  • fancollo

    is there a good (and i mean good) reason why this isn’t available on GNU/Linux?

    • Kenny Strawn

      Because Linux has Chromium. Therefore, it doesn’t need Chrome Canary. Just build Chromium from source or use the latest prebuilt binary, and you should be good to go…

      • CruelAngel

        umm… and does that have Google Now? :

        • Kenny Strawn

          The newest Chromium daily builds should have it, since their versions are definitely on par with Canary builds, and yup, that means the latest build from there should be on 34. However, you have to keep updating those Chromium builds manually, because they don’t update on their own…

          • CruelAngel

            checked it out… well it’s not available on my platform.

    • kris

      It’s there, in Chromium (and I assume, in Chrome for Linux as well). However it’s greyed out with the explanation of not being available on the platform.
      From what I can gather, the extension integrates on an OS level (you can pull up Now from the Notification area) and I assume they just haven’t gotten around to making an API for that for Linux DEs.

      It’ll come, Google actually likes Linux, but I understand it takes a bit longer to integrate with Linux than with the two dominating OSes. It’s also, arguably, easier to integrate your extension to two largely uniform OSes, as compared to making an API Linux DEs can call on.

  • Surfer

    Chrome needs a one most used feature..It should give a option to keep the bookmarks bar as a button with tree down structure near address bar …the bookmarks bar ribbon takes some screen space..Changing This will be the superior option for the existing by design & operation..Please pass this request to respective official in chrome..dont know how to make it heard to a respective personnel.

  • foreverFrustrated

    Frankly, I see this as googles invasion of my computer, they can’t create a usable OS so they bundle OS crapware with Chrome. This just popped up one day without any consent as a notification within windows. To bundle it with Chrome could constitute a trojan in my eyes. If this were another lesser know company I think most people would eliminate it.

    The time of “do no evil” was ended long ago.

  • Juggler

    Agreed. Love it on my phone. Hate it on my PC. Will switch back to IE if I can’t remove it.

  • Dave

    chrome://flags/#enable-google-now

    Change option to Disabled

    • Barry Ferguson

      Thanks! Wonder how long until they remove the switch =/