Google has enabled push notifications for websites in the latest version of the Chrome browser for Android.
You’ve been able to receive push notifications from individual websites on the desktop version of Chrome for a while now, but that ability is now open to Android users too.
Over on the official Chromium blog, Google has outlined these new abilities in Chrome 42.
It’s now possible to opt in to receiving alerts from websites whenever new content appears. As Google puts it, this means that developers no longer have to choose between “the engagement potential of a native app and the reach potential of a mobile website.”
More practically, it means that you don’t have to keep checking back on your favourite websites for fresh stories like some kind of nervous habit.
It will take time for the feature to become widely used, but early adopters include Rack, eBay, Facebook, FanSided, Pinterest, Product Hunt, and VICE News.
That’s not the only app-style addition to Chrome 42. You can also now pin specific website links to your Android phone’s home page – yep, just like app icons.
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What’s more, if a website has been designed properly, you won’t even have to dip into the settings menu to activate this feature. Users who regularly visit an optimised website will be offered the option to pin that website to their homescreen with a single tap.
Added to Chrome 42’s “improved performance, full offline support, and access to device capabilities such as the camera and geolocation,” not to mention Google’s new mobile website-prioritising search algorithms (which are now in effect), Google is clearly making a massive push to bring the mobile web front and centre.