The Verge is now reporting that Google’s virtual assistant Google Now is coming to the Chrome browser and Chromebooks. Google Now will apparently be part of a new notification center in the Chrome OS.
There’s no question that Google Now is a compelling product. Whether we call it a “virtual assistant” or “predictive search” or “ambient search,” it is to Android what Siri is to the iPhone — a differentiator. Last year, it won the “innovation of the year” award from Popular Science.
It’s not entirely clear how Google Now on PCs would manifest, perhaps a notification box or pop-up in the upper right corner of the screen. It’s also a bit unclear how Now on the PC would interact with Now on handsets.
I would imagine, however, that signed-in Google users would get the reciprocal benefit of the tool on both platforms. For example, calendar + traffic notifications (“leave for the airport”) would pop up online just as they currently do on Android handsets.
Google Now as a notifications tool on the PC is less likely to provide the “wow” experience it sometimes does in mobile but it will likely help promote and reinforce usage of Android and Chrome.
Postscript: There are also signs Google Now may come to iOS devices. See our related story on Search Engine Land, Will Google Now For iPhone & iPad Boost Google Search App Usage?