Google Now could be headed to Google's homepage on desktops

By on April 22, 2013, 2:30 PM

Google Now was first introduced last year as part of the Jelly Bean version of Android. Generally regarded as a more comprehensive alternative to Apple’s Siri, the popular personal assistant feature was largely expected to hit iOS devices and Chrome sometime this year, but now new evidence suggests the search giant might be going for an even wider rollout as it bakes the functionality into the Google.com home page.

References to the feature were spotted by the Google Operating System blog on a test page for the search engine containing several mentions scattered throughout the code, including the following introduction: “Get started with Google Now. Just the right information at just the right time.”


Google Now on a Nexus 10 tablet

It's not clear how Google Now will look on desktops compared to the Android app, but the code suggests users will be able to set and edit their home and work locations as well as their current location, and customize what to display through the use of “cards” -- the service currently supports over 25 different card types, including friends’ birthdays, restaurant reservations, boarding passes, news, events and so on.

Bringing Google Now cards to the Google homepage would mark a stark departure from the minimalist approach the company has usually taken. That said, even if Google Now indeed makes it outside of the mobile landscape, we imagine the feature won’t be forced upon all users but rather be presented an option for those who want a more customized experience -- sort of a modern version of the soon to be shut down iGoogle.

As a refresher, Google Now uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and deliver information to the user even before he asks for it by predicting what they want based on user settings and past search habits. From the service’s official description: “It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform, or your favorite team's score while they’re playing. And the best part? All of this happens automatically. Cards appear throughout the day at the moment you need them.”




User Comments: 13

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JC713 JC713 said:

I hope they bring this to Chrome. It will be the only new feature that will actually be useful, considering Chrome has been the same since version 6. I also hope this comes to iOS; I wonder if Apple rejected it since the last update to the search app only contained bug fixes.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

A good half of those 25 cards use location services for their data, so I don't know how this will convert to a pleasant desktop experience...

JC713 JC713 said:

A good half of those 25 cards use location services for their data, so I don't know how this will convert to a pleasant desktop experience...

Yeah, privacy issues arent the only problems to arise. You will also have that Windows Location manager thing alerting you every second (exaggerating) :eek:.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

This crap sounds like it might be for someone who actually has a life. Hence, I don't want anything to do with it....Bah, Humbug.... (Yeah, you heard me right! I'm not even waiting for Christmas for that).

JC713 JC713 said:

This crap sounds like it might be for someone who actually has a life. Hence, I don't want anything to do with it....Bah, Humbug.... (Yeah, you heard me right! I'm not even waiting for Christmas for that).

It kind of is useless though lol. For example, who needs flight updates from their computer if they have a smartphone. Plus, a lot of embedded PC mics are crappy, I dont think that will effect it though.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I meant that a lot of the cards are dependant on GPS co-ordinates changing in order to be functional.

- You're away from home area, so it shows you picture spots.

- It's dinner time, so it suggests restaurants.

- You're near a cinema on a day that you seem to go there, so it suggests movie sessions.

- It's nearing home time and you're at work. It'll display traffic data.

None of those things happen with a laptop. It doesn't stay on and go with you everywhere.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

- You're away from home area, so it shows you picture spots.

- It's dinner time, so it suggests restaurants.

- You're near a cinema on a day that you seem to go there, so it suggests movie sessions.

- It's nearing home time and you're at work. It'll display traffic data.

But, in large part, it's mostly Google business as usual. It takes other people's money for advertising, then tells you where to spend yours.

Wut, did I miss something.......:oops:

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Got to hand it to Google search engine and now OS and now desktop.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I meant that a lot of the cards are dependant on GPS co-ordinates changing in order to be functional.

- You're away from home area, so it shows you picture spots.

- It's dinner time, so it suggests restaurants.

- You're near a cinema on a day that you seem to go there, so it suggests movie sessions.

- It's nearing home time and you're at work. It'll display traffic data.

None of those things happen with a laptop. It doesn't stay on and go with you everywhere.

Actually, some do... my work laptop goes home with me every night, and it's my only computer at work. You don't necessarily need a GPS location if google is smart enough to just check which wifi you're connected to. Sure that won't work on the bus, but it would be able to tell me traffic at 4pm and know that I'm at work. I'd probably use it, although I can't say it would change my life any. How much different is it than just a bookmark I have to click on to check things?

Of course, all that is useless if you work somewhere where they block social websites.

JC713 JC713 said:

Google will make it work I bet.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

How much different is it than just a bookmark I have to click on to check things?

Unlike those websites, and unlike Siri, Google Now presents the information to you. There is no need for you to initiate the search first. One of the major key differences that IMO (and others' makes Now a lot better than Siri.

Edit: Good call on the take-home-from-work laptop thing. Traffic reports and such would still work, yes.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Unlike those websites, and unlike Siri, Google Now presents the information to you. There is no need for you to initiate the search first. One of the major key differences that IMO (and others' makes Now a lot better than Siri.

You're right.. and that presentation is a big deal. What does everyone do at the bus stop or in the elevator leaving work/school? They check their phones. And having the traffic, important emails, reminders etc shown right to you is very helpful. It's the point of widgets and HTC's Blinkfeed on the One. Sounds like Google Now is the most advanced and I'm looking forward to trying it.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Yup, it definitely makes me sad that I'm not living in a large metro area to make full use of it.

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