Google is rollout out an update to its Chrome OS to add the Google Now feature. It was previously available in a beta version of the Chrome operating system, and now all Chromebooks have access to Google’s service in the public release.
Google Now comes to Chrome OS
Besides adding Google Now from Android, there are also some other key changes as part of the Chrome OS version 42.0.2311.87 update. Now, it supports password-protected Zip files and the Files app received a “Material Design” make over in line with the company’s other apps.
There is also an updated calculator and an improved Chrome OS Launcher that adds better search, and voice search.
Google however isn’t the only company bringing voice search to their desktop operating system. Microsoft it busy adding Cortana search from Windows Phone to its upcoming Windows 10, which currently is only available as a technical preview (though anyone can sign up).
And like Cortana, Google Now allows you to search the web, it integrates well with Google search as it’s a Google product, and also tries to anticipate when you need information to deliver relevant results without you having to intervene. For example, it will provide updates on the weather at home and work, traffic conditions, travel times and delays, and bits of news based on your search history.
Bits of Android come to Chrome
Besides Google Now, Google is also porting the Android experience in general to the Chrome OS. Furthermore, it’s making the Android Runtime for Chrome engine available to allow developers and users to run Android apps on any Chrome system.
This means Chrome users will have access to more than 1.3 million Android apps available today. Chrome OS is now becoming more of a platform for apps as a result, and not just a way to access web-based apps.