Google brings push notifications to web apps in Chrome and Chrome OS

Google brings push notifications to web apps in Chrome and Chrome OS
Push it real good!

Google is giving developers the ability to build push notifications in to web apps for its Chrome browser and Chrome OS.

The new Google Cloud Messaging Service for Chrome (GCM) allows web developers to send a message to Google's servers, which then pass it on in real time to those using the browser.

It means news services will be able to send instant alerts regarding breaking items in the same way that they're able to facilitate users of Android apps with the latest information.

The same will apply for sports scores, stock prices and weather services with the alert prompting an action in the browser like the opening of a web page or a simple message depending on the user's preference.

More efficient

In a post on the Chromium blog, Google said the roll out of GCM (which was announced for Android at Google I/O last year) for Chrome would make life easier for app and extension developers.

In the current system, web apps are constantly polling their own servers to see if an update is ready, which wastes bandwidth and user battery life, Google said.

"Event pages keep apps and extensions efficient by allowing them to respond to a variety of events such as timers or navigation to a particular site, without having to remain running persistently. But what if you need to respond to something that occurs outside of Chrome, such as a news alert, a message sent to a user or a stock hitting a price threshold? Until now, you had to do this by repeatedly polling a server. This process consumed bandwidth and reduced the battery life of your users' machines," posted Mark Scott, Product Manager.

In order to make use of the new push notifications service, Chrome users will have to be signed into their accounts.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.