It looks like we’re getting closer to having Google Now functionality in Chrome. Google released Google Now as part of Android last year when it launched the Jelly Bean version of the OS.
Developer François Beaufort points out rich templated notifications in a recent chromium build, sharing a screenshot. You can see the look of the notifications in the bottom right-hand corner of his image.
Rich templated notifications are now available through the new Notification Center in the last Windows chromium build available at download-chromium.appspot.com/dl/Win.
To see them in action, you need to toggle "Enable Rich Notifications" flag in chrome://flags.
Screenshot below shows you how to create a notification within a chrome extension but this also works with regular HTML5 notifications.
As you probably guessed, this Notification Center will be the perfect hub for Google Now cards.
As TheNextWeb (which first pointed to Beaufort’s post) notes, it’s possible that the notifications could look different by the time they actually get to be a Chrome feature. That’s also assuming that this does become a Chrome feature, but it’s very likely that it will.
Google Now in Chrome would be a major step toward the convergence of Chrome and Android into one operating system – a path that Google co-founder Sergey Brin has implied in the past would likely happen eventually. For now, it seems both brands will live on for the foreseeable future, but the more Google is able to bring features from one to the other, the less reason Google may have, in time, to continue operating them separately.
We’ve already seen Chrome rapidly evolve into a much more advanced browser than it started as, and even into its own operating system. Chrome recently got speech recognition capabilities, and has gotten better at preserving battery life.
In what could be another hint of things to come, Google’s HQ has a new statue of a Chrome Android:
This may not be a hint at all, but rather a representation of two important Google products in one homage. However, considering those comments made by Brin in the past, and pending Google Now features in Chrome, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
It’s important to remember that Google is essentially on a quest to unify its products into one larger Google product. This is has been happening little by little, especially since the launch of Google+ – the social and identity layer that ties them all together. “Google+ is Google,” as the company likes to say. Well, perhaps Chrome is Google, and Android is Google too.
As far as Google Now itself goes, Google has been steadily adding more functionalities to that, and they’re only getting started. Adding Google Now to the desktop via Chrome should only serve to incubate new use cases and user demand for more (or perhaps for less for some of the more privacy-concerned users).
Chrome Android mage via DroidLife (who credits Paul Wilcox)