Google Chrome 28 Lands with Rich Notifications, Paving the Way for Google Now

Apart from the Rich Notifications though, there's little of interest in the new Chrome

By on July 10th, 2013 06:53 GMT

Google has pushed the latest Chrome 28 to the stable channel. After six weeks in beta and six more in the dev channel, the search giant believes the latest version is good enough for 750 million people to use.

But, as usual, there aren't that many new features. The biggest one is Rich Notifications, which has been in testing for months and is finally considered ready.

Not for everyone though, as it's only available on Chrome for Windows and Chrome OS. But Google has been testing it on Mac OS X and Linux, where Rich Notifications are enabled in the dev or beta channel.

As the name implies, Rich Notifications make it possible for app and extension developers to provide more info and actually do more with notifications.

Notifications have been available in Chrome for years, but all they did was display some text. With Rich Notifications, developers can add images and even include actions – for example, making it possible to start a reply to an email message from the notification box.

These improvements are great for developers and you should start to see your favorite apps switch to the new format soon. However, Google didn't build this just for developers, it built it for itself.

The search giant wants to bring Now to Chrome, and it's been working on it for months. There have been plenty of signs of the search app in Chrome and the company is already testing it with its employees, but it hasn't enabled the backend functionality for the rest of the users, for now.

But when Google Now does land in Chrome, it will be able to make great use of the Rich Notifications, which will be a perfect home for Now cards. However, it may still be a while before the next-generation search app comes to the desktop. Google wants to get it right, but when it does become available, it's going to be a major shift for the Mountain View-based company and Chrome alike.

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