A new built-in extension in Chromium tells us that Google Now will soon be integrated in Chrome OS and the Chrome browser.
Google Now is one of the marquee features of Android Jelly Bean, and without doubt, an area of intense focus for the people in Mountain View. The intelligent assistant has been rumored to come to the Chrome browser and Chrome OS, and the latest Chromium build contains code that suggests the feature will be launched in the near future.
As noticed by developer Francois Beaufort (which brought us the first clues of the Chromebook Pixel), the latest version of Chromium, the open source project on which both Chrome and Chrome OS are based, contains a clear reference to Google Now. A built-in Google Now extension can be activated right now by setting a flag in the Chromium settings page, but the absence of a connection to a Now server renders it unusable.
This is the clearest indication yet that the intelligent personal assistant is being integrated into Chrome. The first time we’ve heard about the convergence of the two projects was in December, while in late January we learnt that Google is working at integrating a unified notification system into Chrome.
The fact that Google Now is explicitly mentioned in the Chromium documentation tells us that the feature is close to release. As for when we can expect to see Google Now in the stable versions of Chrome and Chrome OS, it could be sometimes in the next weeks, although it’s possible that Google will keep the feature under wraps until Google I/O in May.