Chrome gets desktop notifications through WebKit

Through Webkit’s new draft notification API, Chrome now has support for text and HTML desktop notifications. 

Posted on his blog, Mohit Muthanna outlines how developers can now incorporate native desktop notifications into their web-based software. Specific usage examples include online email, instant messaging, calendaring, task management, monitoring systems, and so on.

Fortunately for end-users, the API requires that users authorize notifications before they can appear. Additionally, notifications can’t popup right when a user visits a page and thus requires a secondary click or action to trigger them.

If you’re running the latest version of Chrome, try it for yourself at Muthanna’s demo page. First request permission to allow notifications and then click “notify me”. An HTML and delayed notification demo is also available here.

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23 Comments

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I like how there is the bar that says "From: http://..."; and I hope there isn't a way to disable that. Another nice thing would be to put a Google Chrome logo on the notification window somewhere. As bad as the phishing scams are I'm on the side of the argument that this will likely bring more harm than good to the community. I don't like the idea of my web browser generating a dialog box with links outside of the browser window that I opened.

I also don't like the idea of even more notifications than we have already. The only two cases I think notifications are appropriate are IM and Email. Windows 2000 and XP balloon notifications were the worst. Why is "Cleaning up my desktop" more important than the report I'm writing for a client? Windows Vista and 7 handle this so much better. MS picks up on user feedback, thank god.

mikefarinha said,
Is this in the HTML 5 standard? Or is this the reemergence of "Best Viewed with Netscape 4" logos again?
Currently, this is just WebKit, but hopefully it'll get expanded into the HTML5 JS API's. Other parts of CSS3 and HTML5 started as experiments in things like WebKit.

Edited by Elliott, Apr 28 2010, 7:29pm :

So much potential for good, and misuse by scammers and advertisers. Maybe only authorizing it per 'source' would be good

Neoauld said,
So much potential for good, and misuse by scammers and advertisers. Maybe only authorizing it per 'source' would be good

Per-site authorization is exactly what will be done in this implementation.

Ambroos said,
Could see the potentential for pinned GMail or Facebook!
I definitely want to see that for Chat in Gmail.

Edited by shawncm217, Apr 29 2010, 3:41am :

The problem is: users will authorize almost anything. And now, with the ability to skin your desktop notifications to an extent (using HTML), web crud can look like a legit program!

billyea said,
The problem is: users will authorize almost anything. And now, with the ability to skin your desktop notifications to an extent (using HTML), web crud can look like a legit program!

I don't care about that problem, because I'm not that kind of user.
I don't exactly authorize all blocked popups to open either.

Yeah, that's definitely a possibility. I've seen computers with 3+ free toolbar add-ons installed; I wouldn't be surprised to find that those same sort of users blindly clicked through to confirm these proposed pop-ups and ended up with ads on their desktop.


The last paragraph is a bit ambiguous about whether the pop-ups outlive the actual browser process or just the originating site's tab/window; if it's the former that would make things even worse.

Edited by Arkose, Apr 28 2010, 11:04am :

Arkose said,

The last paragraph is a bit ambiguous about whether the pop-ups outlive the actual browser process or just the originating site's tab/window; if it's the former that would make things even worse.

The popup remains if you close the tab but go away if you close the browser.

Dhalamar said,
New avenue for advertising?

"Fortunately for end-users, the API requires that users authorize notifications before they can appear. "

Dhalamar said,
New avenue for advertising?

Additionally, notifications can’t popup right when a user visits a page and thus requires a secondary click or action to trigger them.

still1 said,

Additionally, notifications can’t popup right when a user visits a page and thus requires a secondary click or action to trigger them.

Until a way is found to detect that you aren't clicking them, and then web sites like Ars will throwing a fit again.