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April 20, 2015

Chrome 42 for Android let websites send notifications to the notification bar

by John_A

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Last week Chrome 42 arrived bringing support for push notifications. At the time, we didn’t get into too many details about this feature, but starting today, a number of websites are now turning on support.

So what exactly are Chrome push notifications? Basically, desktop and Android Chrome users can now opt-in to receive notifications from their favorite websites including Facebook, eBay, Pinterest, Vice News, and Product Hunt. For Android users, the feature sends notifications in the exact same way a native app would — placing them right in the notifications bar.

What if Chrome isn’t open, or even your primary browser? As long as the feature was turned on with Chrome, it’ll work anyway. Once turned on, you’ll be able to manage these notifications from a special setting within the Chrome browser.

Of course, not every site will support Chrome push notifications, and it will be up to web developers to implement the code needed for the feature. It’s also worth mentioning this isn’t just some ultra-easy plugin that anyone can put into place, it uses an HTML5 feature called a Service Worker that requires a fair level of knowledge to utilize. Bottom-line, websites will need to determine if it’s worth the effort to add the functionality.

Websites that do have notification support will automatically detect Chrome when you visit them and will ask you whether or not you wish to turn notifications on.

What do you think of the new push notifications feature for Chrome? Useful, or do you already get bombarded with more than enough notifications from your apps as it is?



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