Google might be removing the Android exclusivity of its Google Now predictive information service. According to a Friday posting, Google Chrome developers have started to add a, "skeleton for Google Now for Chrome implementation" into the browser, the first step toward building full support for Google Now notifications within the desktop browser.
For those not sporting Android devices, Google Now is a feature found within the company's Jelly Bean Android operating system – version 4.1, if you prefer to go by numbers – that acts as a kind of intelligent, personal assistant for one's day-to-day life. And it accomplishes this by scouting through your search history – on the phone or anywhere else that your synched Google account has been used for search – in order to give you personalised information that it thinks you might want or need.
For example, if you've been searching for the score of a football game, Google Now can recognise that fact and throw up a little "card" of the score on your Android phone. If you've made an appointment on your calendar, Google Now can take a look at your current location, the location of the meeting, and let you know if you're going to be late – or tell you the exact time you should leave so you aren't.
Google's representatives are silent on whether Google Now capabilities will ultimately be introduced into Chrome -- "We're always experimenting with new features in Chrome, so have nothing to announce at this time," said spokeswoman Jessica Kositz in an interview with CNET.
If Google Now does become integrated with the Chrome browser, it would allow the service to reach cross-platform status. The Android-only bonus might be available on Windows, OS X, and even iOS devices. This would give Google an advantage over competitor, Apple, whose corresponding service, Siri, is bound to iOS devices with little chance of changing to a multiplatform format.
However, Google will need to be careful with the various features it builds into Google Now and give users clear, easy-to-understand ways for opting out the service in parts or in total, lest some feel that Google's attempts at being helpful are more intrusive than informative.