14 October 2015Chromium:
This past spring, Chrome began supporting push notifications for web pages via the emerging web push standard. However, notifications in Chrome aren’t new; Chrome apps and extensions have supported push notifications on desktop since 2010. In some cases, these desktop notifications would appear while users were gone, so in 2013 Chrome launched the notification center, a place for users to find notifications from Chrome apps and extensions that they’d missed.
However, in practice, few users visit the notification center. To keep Chrome simple, it will be removed from Windows, Mac, and Linux in the upcoming release. The notification center on Chrome OS will remain unchanged.
Firefox rose in popularity because it was a fast browser with tabs. It became known as a great browser for ‘normals’ because it didn’t crash or screw up as much as Internet Explorer did and it became known as a great browser for power users because of the tabbing features. Firefox fell out of favour because it became slow and clunky. Chrome is way more popular than Firefox ever was but it is starting to walk down the same twisted path.
Today, Chrome includes its own notification centre, web app launchers, web-app-native-shortcuts, an App Store, Google Now alerts, a persistent People manager in the menubar and a load of other stuff I haven’t turned on. Getting rid of the Notification Center is a good start but Google is going to have do a lot more to convince me it will diligently stick to the essential Chrome values that made it a success initially.
Update: I opened Chrome last night for the first time this week. This morning, I noticed it had added five new web shortcuts to my Applications folder without any form of user consent or warning. What I am supposed to think?