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Google is ending support for Chrome Desktop Notifications
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Google is ending support for Chrome Desktop Notifications

by AshwinOctober 15, 2015

Google has announced that it is killing off a feature in its Chrome browser.

Google Chrome Notification Center

Remember, the notifications you saw on your desktop? The ones from Chrome extensions like Hangouts, Gmail, etc. Well that is the part which is being done away with.

As you can see from the above screenshot, I do use it for tracking packages, and there is an icon not shown in the pic, for Hangouts chats. But since Chrome is not my default browser of choice, hopefully I won’t miss it much, at least not as much as power users will. Google is infamous for killing off useful features, remember Google Reader? Yeah it was thebest, but was unfairly put down in its prime.

There is a bit of good news in that, this change will only affect Windows, Mac and Linux users. Chromebook devices, which run on Chrome OS, will remain unchanged. Google explains that it is killing off the notification center in Chrome, because few users actually use it.

Here is the official word from the announcement:

However, in practice, few users visit the notification center. To keep Chrome simple, it will be removed from Windows, Mac, and Linux in the upcoming release. The notification center on Chrome OS will remain unchanged.

Google should haveĀ  respected the users, who use the feature, and should have enabled a toggle for turning off the Notification Center, instead of completely removing the feature.

The really sad part is that users will be unable to prevent it, as Google Chrome updates automatically. There is no Extended Support Release Channel for the Mountain View company’s browser, like Mozilla Firefox has. And since this “Notification Center” is a core feature, which actually runs partly outside of the browser, users will won’t be able to enable the feature with a simple setting or an extension.

But it is not the end of Chrome notifications, not totally. The browser has had built-in push notifications for extensions, for quite a few years. And the announcement post, clearly suggests that these notifications will continue to be supported in future builds of Chrome.

I am not sure if this move was a part of the plan, to make Google Chrome more RAM friendly, but it is possible. Google has conveniently forgotten to mention when it will end support for Chrome Notification Center, but it still works in the current version of the browser.

That being said, it would be pretty cool if a Windows 10 version of Chrome was released, as that would enable push notifications to appear in the Action Center, just like Twitter, Mail apps display them. If I’m not mistaken, that is the only way possible to enable the notifications.

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