Paving the way for bringing Google Now cards to Chrome, Google’s open source web browser project Chromium has been updated with a new notification centre.
François Beaufort of Trapeze Media spotted the new release and posted it on Google+, calling it the "perfect hub for Google Now cards." Essentially a real-time search interface for Android users, Google Now has aimed to get users more relevant and real-time results since its launch at Google I/O in 2012.
Google has been working on bringing Google Now cards to desktop Chrome as well. In the latest build of Chromium for Windows, you need to toggle the ‘Enable Rich Notifications’ flag in chrome://flags to see the how the notifications work.
The notification looks simple and effective (Image Credit: François Beaufort)
A screenshot put up by Beaufort details how this notification centre will look and behave in everyday use. The code shows how users can manipulate and create their own notifications within a Chrome extension. But Beaufort says it will work with regular HTML5 notifications too.
The notifications look neat and simple, and have controls to change settings and clear all notifications at once, making it evident that multiple notifications can be lined up.
A revision on the Chromium Project log last month hinted at Google Now being developed for Desktop Chrome. Revision #171868 of the Project revealed that a skeleton of Google Now has been created. “Creating a skeleton for Google Now for Chrome implementation. The CL creates the top-level structure for showing Google Now cards in Chrome via Chrome Notifications. The implementation lives behind -enable-google-now-integration flag,” the log read.
The service has been eagerly awaited on desktop ever since it was launched on Android. On the mobile platform, Google Now has about 25 cards detailing weather, traffic, events and more. The service intuitively throws up cards that could be relevant and/or important to you at particular points of time.
Google has kept mum about the development since the code surfaced last month. A spokesperson said that Google was always experimenting with new features in Chrome but that they had nothing more to say at that time.
Chrome for desktop already has cards called Desktop Notifications that work well with Google services like Gmail and YouTube, and it is possible that Google Now would piggyback on this service. Email notifications, comments and messages pop up thanks to Desktop Notifications even when the browser is minimised. ChromeDeck, TweedtDeck’s browser version also uses such notification boxes.
However, many more changes are clearly in store for Google Now before the final version is launched. The service is still going through lots of changes on Chromium.