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Richer Google Now notification system arriving in Chrome

New changes mean a key Android feature for general-purpose alerts is closer to reality. Google's browser is getting a mechanism for more elaborate notifications.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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  • I've been covering the technology industry for 24 years and was a science writer for five years before that. I've got deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and other dee
Stephen Shankland
Samsung's Chromebox runs Chrome OS.
Samsung's Chromebox runs Chrome OS. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google is getting closer to building Google Now notifications into Chrome, marrying the anticipatory alert system of Android with its browser.

Yesterday, developers committed a patch with an "initial implementation of Google Now notifications."

According to the code, the patch means that "The Google Now event page gets Google Now cards from the server and shows them as Chrome notifications. The service performs periodic updating of Google Now cards."

Google's work to build Google Now into Chrome emerged in December. Although Android is Google's highest-profile operating system project, Google Now would ensure Chrome OS won't fall behind in this important that links people to Google's personalized services.

The function gets a computer's location, makes a request to a Google server based on that location, then shows the resulting notification "cards." That will give Chrome and Chrome OS Android's capability to show personalized alerts about weather, upcoming appointments and travel, nearby restaurants, and whatever else Google adds to its Now technology

And today, another brick was laid into place. Chrome watcher Francois Beaufort spotted the arrival of a "rich notification center" on Windows. Chrome already can display notifications, letting Web apps issue alerts such as incoming instant messages. but Google is reworking the code into a two-part system, a cross-platform element and a platform-specific element.

Presumably the "rich" aspect will make it more suited to the more graphically elaborate notifications of Google Now cards, which can show things like weather symbols.