The Google Now personal assistant has taken the world, particularly the Android world, by storm. Despite having been around for less than a year following its official Jelly Bean 4.1 rollout, many users of Google’s flagship operating system already rely upon its powerful feature set, and with functionality increasing all the time, it makes sense that Google Now could also be beneficial to desktop users. Developer Chris Emanuel certainly seems to think so, and as such, has developed a Chrome extension which essentially brings up a Google Now-like page to the company’s legendary browser whenever a new tab is opened.
As soon as you install, the New Tab Page extension overrides your previous configuration in place of a Google Now-like setup. Along the top, you have your search bar through which you can perform both manual and voice-based searches, and underneath, you’ve the familiar ensemble of your most commonly-visited webpages at your convenience.
The weather, as you can see, is available at a glance, and if you click on the actual icon depicting the current forecast, you can view more detailed information including precipitation and wind speed.
Although the extension looks elegant and functions nicely, it is by no means the finished article. For example, it really needs a settings menu to enable to the user to tailor the experience to their exact liking; at present, one is forced to display weather for the current, automatically-sourced location, and there is no option to enter anything manually. Also, since I, like many, like to source my news from other places aside from Google News, it would be nice to see support for custom / multiple RSS feeds.
Nevertheless, considering this is version 0.2.4 – two up from the initial release, Emanuel has done a fantastic job, and I can’t help but think that when a few changes have been made in future versions, this could be one of those must-have extensions that everybody winds up installing on their browser.
You can add this Google Now tab page onto your Chrome browser right now by clicking on the link below, and be sure to let us know your thoughts by dropping a comment via the usual mediums!
(Source: New Tab Page for Chrome on Chrome Web Store)