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Google Is Removing the Desktop Notification Center From Chrome (chromium.org) 116

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced it is removing the notification center from Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The reason the company is giving for the change is simple: "In practice, few users visit the notification center." The notification center in Chrome OS will remain. Google said this change will take effect for Windows, Mac, and Linux users "in the upcoming release." To be clear, this is not in reference to yesterday's Chrome 46 launchthe notification center is still there. We thus expect that the notification center will thus be removed in Chrome 47, which is slated to arrive in about six weeks.
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Google Is Removing the Desktop Notification Center From Chrome

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Removing Google from the desktop could be advantageous also.

  • Who used it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @12:46PM (#50727197) Homepage

    Why would I want my web browser to give me desktop notifications? Why the hell would I want a website to give me push notifications even if my browser is closed?

    Somehow apparently Google decided what users really wanted was an annoying and intrusive browser, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Definitely a feature which needed to be disabled as soon as it was discovered.

    • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @12:47PM (#50727211)

      I've been looking for something like the notification center ever since I lost my Bonzi Buddy :(

    • by gmack ( 197796 )

      Keep in mind that they are using it to push chrome apps as desktop apps. A good example of this is Google hangouts which does not have a native app with voice/video and so uses chrome as it's platform.

      • Re:Who used it? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @01:07PM (#50727395) Homepage

        Keep in mind that they are using it to push chrome apps as desktop apps

        Yeah, not bloody interested.

        It's a web browser. It needs to stay as a web browser. Don't try to integrate with my desktop. Don't create new vectors for shitware to get inroads into my OS. Show me a damned web page, and then STFU.

        Stop trying to make the #*()%^$&*( web browser part of my desktop. It doesn't belong there, and I'm not interested in it.

        It's "innovative" stuff like this which turns into security holes.

        • But how are they going to monetize all of the revenue streams if they can't push a bunch of crap on you that you don't want?
          • But how are they going to monetize all of the revenue streams if they can't push a bunch of crap on you that you don't want?

            Also, how are your e-mail, calendar and instant messaging web apps going to notify you of messages and appointments?

            • There are other notification methods available in standard HTML.
              • There are other notification methods available in standard HTML.

                But only if the tab is open. The idea with the notification center (and the W3C standardized version Google is switching to) was to enable notifications even when you've closed the relevant tab.

                • So leave the tab open.
                  • So leave the tab open.

                    And if you don't want to leave the tab, or even the window open, but still want to be notified when e-mail arrives, then you can answer "yes" when the site asks if you want notifications. The default on the current notification center, and almost certainly on the coming standardized versionl, is to ask on a per-site basis whether or not you want to allow that site to notify you. So, there is no pushing "a bunch of crap on you that you don't want". If you don't want it, you click "no", and you don't get it.

                    • There are these things called applications. You can start them and run them. They can even connect to other computers over the internet. We used to use them for things like email and word processing before all the hipsters started trying to do everything in a web browser. You should try it. It's "retro".
                    • There are these things called applications. You can start them and run them. They can even connect to other computers over the internet. We used to use them for things like email and word processing before all the hipsters started trying to do everything in a web browser. You should try it. It's "retro".

                      Bah. BTDT, the web is more convenient, which is why it has taken over and relatively few people use local applications for inherently-connected operations like e-mail.

                      It's interesting to me that on mobile devices we've been going the opposite direction, though much of that is probably driven by performance. Web apps are very convenient, but not terribly efficient compared to local native binaries. On laptops and desktops that performance differential doesn't matter much. On mobile devices, it does. Today.

                    • There are these things called applications. You can start them and run them. They can even connect to other computers over the internet. We used to use them for things like email and word processing before all the hipsters started trying to do everything in a web browser. You should try it. It's "retro".

                      Oh, it also occurs to me that if you really prefer that, you shouldn't be using slashdot. USENET with a dedicated NNTP reader app would be much better for you. If you're too young to know what those acronyms mean, Google 'em. Sorry, I don't have a non-web recommendation for searching the web.

                    • Someone has a lot of sand in his mangina this morning. LOL
                    • I've never understood why people bother with posts like that one. I suppose I should thank you for letting me know that I should just ignore you in the future.
                    • This coming from someone who is so frustrated he goes on a tirade about me going back to 80's tech? You are a funny guy. Worth a good laugh.

                      Here's a hint. If you start making things personal, people will dismiss you with insulting retorts and ignore you.

        • by biojayc ( 856286 )

          Keep in mind that they are using it to push chrome apps as desktop apps

          Yeah, not bloody interested.

          It's a web browser. It needs to stay as a web browser. Don't try to integrate with my desktop. Don't create new vectors for shitware to get inroads into my OS. Show me a damned web page, and then STFU.

          Stop trying to make the #*()%^$&*( web browser part of my desktop. It doesn't belong there, and I'm not interested in it.

          It's "innovative" stuff like this which turns into security holes.

          Tell us how you really feel?

          To me the problem is about expectations. People have come to expect that the browser just requests information and displays it and then does nothing else. I think there is a place for a web app though, as it's really know different than a desktop app accept that the front end is html+javascript rather than native code, and it can be updated with just a server deployment rather than requiring everyone download the new version. This just isn't how people have come to expect a we

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Personally it never actually notified me of anything, I had forgotten it existed until recently when I accidentally clicked on it and it mentioned I had a delivery. Unfortunately this could have been useful, e.g. calendar (still nothing good exists on the desktop imo), flights, traffic, etc.
    • Re:Who used it? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @01:17PM (#50727509) Homepage

      > Why would I want my web browser to give me desktop notifications? Why the hell would I want a website to give me push notifications even if my browser is closed?

      web applications.

      The same reason for a normal application. You might not have your eyes glued on it 24/7 and you might want some indication that you need to go look at it again.

    • by markhb ( 11721 )

      I could see it being a useful feature in companies that have switched from Outlook to GMail (although I don't work for such a company and use Firefox at home).

      • I could see it being a useful feature in companies that have switched from Outlook to GMail (although I don't work for such a company and use Firefox at home).

        There's an app for that! It's called Thunderbird.
        Chrome, with two tabs open (Gmail & calendar): 9 processes, 585MB of memory
        Thunderbird with integrated Gmail, calendar, and chat: 1 process, 230MB of memory

    • Why would I want my web browser to give me desktop notifications? Why the hell would I want a website to give me push notifications even if my browser is closed?

      It may be an organizational thing, but I seem to recall that we had to intentionally turn it on. Since my institution decided to swallow the Google pill instead of the Microsoft one, Desktop notifications are useful if I'm doing something other than browsing the web to get my meeting updates from calendars, chat requests, etc. Since I do some web development, I'm usually switching between browsers as well to test different things out, so I might not always be using Chrome or even have it running.

      • My Gnome desktop notifies me about all those things without Chrome. Seamless integration for chats, calendars, contacts ... I don't even open the equivalent Gnome apps, but since I clicked the "OK to Sync" buttons for these items when I gave it my Google Account info, they integrate. I use the desktop search to find contacts - never saw it import. I just know my phone and desktop are in perfect sync. Windows users will have to run about 100 hacks and spyware-laden tools to get anything similar. And as
    • Re:Who used it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @02:18PM (#50728131)

      Why would I want my web browser to give me desktop notifications? Why the hell would I want a website to give me push notifications even if my browser is closed?

      Somehow apparently Google decided what users really wanted was an annoying and intrusive browser, when nothing could be further from the truth.

      Definitely a feature which needed to be disabled as soon as it was discovered.

      Because you get your emails, calendar appointments, and chat messages in your web browser?

    • Just out of interest.... I used to rely on SMS notifications from Google for reminders. Now that is gone. How can I get these reminders without having some sort of widget on my desktop? Keep in mind I can't use push email because my battery doesn't last. Too much spam.
    • Disclaimer: No idea what the "Notification center" is, that sounds like they're talking about something you explicitly go to.

      But... certain applications, such as GMail, are also web pages, and you'd expect applications like email clients to notify you of new messages.

      I was asked recently to integrate a third party "live helpdesk" widget into a website I maintain. It was one of those things that you click on and you get an IM-style chat with a helpdesk support person. On the helpdesk end, the third part

    • Why would I want my web browser to give me desktop notifications? Why the hell would I want a website to give me push notifications even if my browser is closed?

      Somehow apparently Google decided what users really wanted was an annoying and intrusive browser, when nothing could be further from the truth.

      Definitely a feature which needed to be disabled as soon as it was discovered.

      Gnome Linux already includes desktop notification. Eg. if I run a compile job in the background, I receive a popup notification when the job is completed. Ditto for file transfers, etc.

  • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazztNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @12:47PM (#50727203) Homepage
    It's annoying because it FEELS like a bug. There's no way to view Google Now cards, or to access the "clear all" button, or the "do not disturb" functionality.
  • by I'm New Around Here ( 1154723 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @12:48PM (#50727215)

    I have no idea what the Desktop Notification Center is, or how to find it. I even followed a couple links in that post, and still have no idea how to access it. One link says to pull it up from the System Tray, but I have no Google icon there.

    I can see why they are disabling the feature. No one knows about it.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @12:57PM (#50727289) Homepage

      Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Privacy > Content Settings > Notifications.

      Pretty much I went through that whole Content Settings section and selected "oh hell no" on day one of having Chrome.

      Let a web page give push notifications to my desktop? No, hell no, oh god no, please fuck off and go away no. Just no.

      I just want a damned web browser. That's it.

      • Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Privacy > Content Settings > Notifications.

        Pretty much I went through that whole Content Settings section and selected "oh hell no" on day one of having Chrome.

        Let a web page give push notifications to my desktop? No, hell no, oh god no, please fuck off and go away no.

        It requires explicit persmission from the user before sending any, and is useful if you are using webmail, web-based calender or a web-based chat/conference solution. For ChromeOS it makes sense because everything there is a web-app, so it is the way to make notifications.

      • "It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”"

        The switch to turn it on was only five layers deep?
        It amazing it wasn't adopted more universally with how obvious it was. If they wanted it to be used they should have only included it as an undocumented registry key hack. Then everyone would want it and there'd be dozens of site showing you how to enable it.

      • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @01:43PM (#50727769)

        Let a web page give push notifications to my desktop? No, hell no, oh god no, please fuck off and go away no. Just no.

        I just want a damned web browser. That's it.

        Anyway we can get Mozilla to create survey pages for the various "features" they're cramming into Firefox with multiple choice options like that? Because, I'd like to have just a damned web browser too...

        • Yes
        • No
        • Hell No
        • Oh God No.
        • Please fuck off and go away.
      • I just want a damned web browser. That's it.

        What's a web browser?

        My web browser is my e-mail client, appointment calendar, instant messaging app, social media client and a lot more. And for many of those things I actually *do* want notifications. Of course, because my web browser is all of those things I don't actually need notifications when the browser is closed, because the browser is never closed.

        But if I had realized I could get notifications even when the browser isn't running, maybe I would close the browser. Probably not.

    • This. I never heard of it before this article. That said, I don't see why I would need or even want it. It's a farkin browser for $diety's sake.
    • by MagicM ( 85041 )

      Same here. I allow Chrome to show notifications from Gmail, and those pop up whenever I get new mail. I still have no idea what the "Notification Center" is.

  • Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @12:55PM (#50727277)

    The "notifications center" is the fucking shit that lives in the system tray 24/7 and spams you when shittysite.com wants to send you a notification, even after you've closed the tab. Websites pushing notifications that you didn't send a GET request for is an absolutely horrid idea, and I hope this is an indication that Google is giving up on it.

    • by fhage ( 596871 )

      The "notifications center" is the fucking shit that lives in the system tray 24/7 and spams you when shittysite.com wants to send you a notification, even after you've closed the tab. Websites pushing notifications that you didn't send a GET request for is an absolutely horrid idea, and I hope this is an indication that Google is giving up on it.

      Is getting a notification you are about to be hit by a tornado a horrid idea?

      Push (subscription based) notification can be pretty useful. It's been around a long time, in many forms. I doubt Google is giving up on the concept.

    • I have it, never got shitty notifications, only buggy ones.
      Somehow Google got this Google Maps weird setting in its head and notifies me on a daily basis about how congested the route from home to work is. Now, it would be a nice thing to have, except:
      1. I have no idea how it got enabled;
      2. It notifies me at 8 AM but my shift starts at 5 PM.
      3. I have no idea how to edit or disable it.

      The technology has potential, if implemented correctly. IMO its implementation was a fucking catastrophe.

      • Yeah, Waze does this too - it tells me about significant congestion that will impact my commute. Thing is, it seems to tell me about it regardless of whether I am ever traveling at that time of day. For that matter, most of the time I take a train, so I'm not driving to work at all... (not that Waze could understand that of course)

        Guess I just need to remove Waze from the notification center. I've left it alone for a while, thinking sometime there might actually be something useful that comes up... but nope

    • Never encountered this before in my life.

  • Google has a browser that generates desktop notifications?

    I never noticed. My virus scanner must have caught them, and so it should. Derailed Google fools, what was in their heads, soup?

    Good thing they're removing it.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Wait a minute, you're still using a virus scanner and still have the gall to complain about technology? :)
  • Pushbullet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by craters ( 720373 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @01:03PM (#50727355)

    How will this affect Pushbullet (https://www.pushbullet.com/)? I've come to rely on that a lot. I believe it uses Chrome notifications.

  • W3C Push API (Score:5, Informative)

    by Njovich ( 553857 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @01:03PM (#50727359)

    This is mostly a change in API, Google is now pushing for the W3C Push API to become the standard for web push notifications. This (amongst other things) allows developers to use the same much more commonly used push code used for Android notifications (Google Cloud Messaging) to send messages to web browsers. As Google is trying to push this API, having it's own internal (and hardly used) competitor doesn't make sense.

    • It's too bad the Push API is such a mess to implement. It feels like an afterthought to make it available as an API, like Google wanted push notifications for their own sites and thought, "eh what the hell, expose this narrow-use-case API to web developers too."

      • by Njovich ( 553857 )

        Yes, if you follow the docs it's not really hard but feels like a mess... There is no way to send any payload or data with the message, they use registration id's which are depricated in real GCM, the service-worker and manifest seem overkill just to receive a message, and you need HTTPS for the service-worker (which is fine for production, but a bit of a pain for development). Hopefully they will improve things in the coming times.

  • by Scorpinox ( 479613 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @01:12PM (#50727445)

    Note that the chrome rich notification center is different from the standardized Web Notifications API https://developer.mozilla.org/... [mozilla.org]

    This story kind of freaked me out at first because I thought it was referring to that Web Notifications API, which I rely on heavily for web based chat and email apps.

  • But if they also focus on increasing the browsing speed that will good for the users.
  • I tried it for a while, but it didn't work well. Once you saw an email notification, for example, it would keep showing it to you anyway. You couldn't choose to exclude notification types JUST from the desktop (without affecting your Chrome or Android notifications). Basically, it was always half-baked.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      Which makes me wonder if they are collecting the right data as to why people didn't use it.

      For me, I was sort of aware it was there, but it never really did anything. I was at first apprehensive that I'd have to turn it off, because it would send me crap I didn't care about. But for the most part, it did nothing but sit there doing nothing. In that case, all I could complain about was the waste of memory, but if they saw that no one was going to the notification center, perhaps they skipped the step wher

  • Better than desktop notifications are App Badges. See https://code.google.com/p/chro... [google.com]

  • They feel like they're making this awesome stuff but nobody wants to use it. The notification system is a nice example to see why. Windows and Mac both have their own notification systems. They're both very nice, reasonably out-of-the-way and very well integrated with the OS. They both have well-documented APIs that every app uses. But Chrome? No sir. We'll die before we do not reinvent the fucking nut treads on the wheel. I hate it because of it being so intrusive and not respecting any OS design and polic

    • Thank you for this. I also never understood why they felt they had to roll out their own thing. Just use the existing notification APIs in the OS!
      • Yeah, imagine what would happen if some mobile app (say Facebook) would make their own notification center separate form the one in Android and push all messages to that. It would be utter shit and people wouldn't use it for one second. Then why not the same in desktop? I am using the OS I am using because I mostly like it, and I like the way it does things. So just respect that and let the OS handle notifications. Maybe this is what they plan to do from now on. Notifications certainly are useful for some s

  • I actually use and like the feature. Gmail works best in a browser, but I still like having pop up notifications of new mail. I have my inbox configured so that only useful mail reaches it, and it's nice not to have to keep an eye on the browser when I've got another application maximised.

    It might make me unusual, but I'm sure I'm not the only one. Shame google can't keep niche features that some people use, I'm sure now it's been developed that it can't cost a lot to maintain. But then I thought that about

  • How about you give us a way to add permanent trust for self signed SSL certs to replace it ?
  • Google introduce a useless, obstrusive feature no-one uses!

    Are they going to remove the profile switcher button [google.com] now? Seriously, who shares a computer with enough people to warrant having a button like that breaking every UI standard out there?
  • Today: more people learned that Chrome has a notification center, than the number of people that actually use it. To think I've been using an extension all this time just to receive GMail notifications when there was functionality built-in to the browser that could have been doing the same without the need for the extension. Shame on Google for not advertising this feature and making it user friendly. Oh well, I guess rather than make any effort to advertise the feature it's better to just kill it off entir

  • stop changing dev tools EVERY DAMN RELEASE!

    you just killed 30 minutes of my time trying to find the damn hide console button

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