CNET reported last summer that Google Now cards were heading to Google’s Chrome browser for the Mac. Six months later, Google releases a brand new Google Canary build with Google Now cards functionality nested right inside the browser’s notification center which sits in your Mac’s status bar.
Although not all Google Now cards are available in this alpha release of Chrome, the search company has integrated a few of the most popular ones like sports scores, real-time weather updates, and travel information…
According to the Google Operating System blog, Google Now cards are not enabled by default so here’s how to turn them on manually in three easy steps.
Download and install the latest version of Google Canary, a free download from Google. Google Canary is an alpha release for developers and early adopters so it’s not as well tested as the final build and some features may not make it into the final version.
But don’t worry, Canary won’t mess up your stable Chrome installation: the settings, preferences and other data are stored separately from the stable release. Also, Chrome Canary and the stable Chrome can run at the same time.
Fire up Canary and type “chrome://flags/#enable-google-now” into the address bar. Choose “Enabled” from the Google Now drop-down list and hit the Relaunch button at the bottom.
Canary will restart and you should be able to access Google Now cards through the Chrome notification icon in your Mac’s status bar. If not, hit Preferences in the Chrome menu and sign in to Chrome with your Google Account under the Settings section.
According to Google, current Google Now implementation on Chrome shows a subset of the Now cards available on mobile. These include weather, sports scores, commute traffic and event reminders cards, with some of the cards using the location of your mobile device.
To learn how to edit your Google Now location settings on iOS, check out this Google support document. For those who have Google Now enabled on multiple devices, you’ll need to manage your location settings for each device independently.
“You’ll only see location based Google Now Cards on your desktop for devices that have Location Reporting turned on,” the company cautions.
I must admit that the feature is pretty awesome – I only wish the Chrome notification bar would remain active in the background even if Chrome wasn’t running.
So, how long until Apple unleashes Siri on the Mac?