Google just brought Google Now, its voice-recognising search product for mobile, to the desktop.
It announced the news at Google I/O, a conference for developers held today in San Francisco.
Business Insider’s Steve Kovach, who’s on the scene and saw the demo live, says, “that was an incredible demo. This is the future.”
Any meaningful upgrade to Google search on the desktop is huge news. Google search is the desktop Internet’s most perfectly profitable business.
So, what does Google Now for desktop do?
It’s basically a voice-recognising robot assistant.
For starters, you can use it to search the Web by talking to your computer.
Except you don’t have to talk in the same funny way you would type out a search on Google.com.
You can speak normally and get useful responses.
For example, you can say: “How long will it take me to drive to Santa Cruz beach?,” and Google will show you directions with Google Maps and tell you how long it’ll take to get there.
Google Now also does more than just search the Web.
Because it is connected to Google Now on mobile, you can use it to set reminders, and have them be triggered by times, dates, and locations.
For example, you can, from your desktop at work, tell Google Now: “Remind me to take out the garbage when I get home,” and Google Now will remind you when, through your smartphone, it senses you are back at home.
Because Google Now has acces to your calendar and other Google services, such as Google Maps, it can pull off lots of other cool tricks, too.
For example, if you have an appointment in your calendar and Google knows traffic will be heavy getting to it, Google Now will warn you to leave early.
Most of these features have been available in Google Now for a while now.
What’s new is that it’s now available on the desktop through Chrome browsers. Also, Google Now will now also recommend things for you to do.
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