Google brings Now functionality to Windows 8 with search app

Summary:The app, similar to those available for iOS and the BlackBerry OS, lets users search online without needing to fire up a browser. However, it will not work on Windows RT-based systems such as the Surface tablet that will go on sale this Friday.

Google has released a search app for Windows 8 devices, much as it has for those running iOS and the BlackBerry OS.

Google's app for Windows 8
Google's app for Windows 8 won't work on Windows RT.

The app, flagged up by Microsoft engineer Mohamed Mansour in a Google+ post on Tuesday, makes it possible for users to search through Google's engine without needing to fire up a browser. It also provides a quick link to Google services including Gmail, Drive, YouTube, Reader, Maps and Calendar.

Google has also put voice control into the app — in Mansour's words, Google Now is "baked in", giving Windows 8 devices some of the same functionality as that on Android 'Jelly Bean' 4.1 smartphones and tablets.

Mansour also noted in his post's comment thread that "there is no difference between the Bing integration in Windows 8 and the Google Search integration in Windows 8 [as] they are both Windows 8 apps and they are embedded into the Search Charm".

It is important to note that Windows 8 does not, in this case, equate to Windows RT. Windows RT is designed for ARM-based devices, and according to, the app will only run on x86-based chips.

Windows 8's big launch is on Friday. The RT-based Microsoft Surface will go on sale on the same day.

Topics: Google, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Windows, Developer


David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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