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google now

Google Now could be on your home page soon

If you were a fan of iGoogle, this might pique your interest. Google looks set to bring Now, its contextual search assistant, to its home page.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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The news comes courtesy of Googlesystem, which describes itself as an “unofficial blog that watches Google’s attempts to move your operating system online”, and is based on code from a page that’s tested by Google.

The page gives some idea of how Now will function on the desktop: “Get started with Google Now. Just the right information at just the right time,” it says, “Google Now uses your Home location to show relevant information like weather, traffic conditions, and nearby places,” explains Google. You can edit the home location, work location and the current location. Another feature lets you track your favorite stocks”.

Google Now Code

It’s not clear how the page will look at this stage, although a possible implementation — based on a Chrome extension — shows what it might be like.

Google Now implementation

Seeing Now on the desktop will be interesting, although we’re a little bit stuck in two minds about how useful it will be. Mobile dominates when it comes to local search, and Now just accelerates that dominance on smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, it might be easier to customise the fields you want Now to display.

As TechCrunch notes, it also gives Google another source from which to gather data and further improve its product.

Putting it on the home page also means that more people will become familiar with it and, if they like it, be encouraged to buy Android phones with the feature installed on them.