After months of rumors, and weeks being refined in a beta channel, Google's Chrome notification center is now live and available to the public on Chrome for Windows and in Chrome OS. The addition of notifications comes in Chrome 28, an update that moves both the browser and Chrome OS over to Blink, a new rendering engine forked from Webkit.
On Windows and Chromebooks, notifications in Chrome look and work pretty much the same: Everything takes place in pop-up windows outside the main Chrome browser window. The notification center box, which pops up in the lower right hand corner of your screen, displays rich alerts from Chrome apps or browser extensions. This includes formatted text, embedded images, and even a few direct actions. For example, you can respond to an email directly from the Chrome notification center.
No Chrome notifications for OS X yet, but Google is working on it As of now, not many apps take advantage of Chrome's notifications API, but that should hopefully change in time. On day one, most of what shows up in the notification center comes from Google — Gmail, Calendar, Google+, a couple packaged apps that Google has built, and a some experimental items. François Beaufort, a Google evangelist known for leaking Chrome features, has built an app called Ouistiti that uses the notification center to snap a photo of a user once a day. The app works mostly inside of the notification center, and photos are stored in Google Drive. Ouistiti is simple, but it serves as an example of what's possible with notifications in Chrome, said Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, a product manager at Google.
At this point, there are no notifications for Chrome on Android or iOS. While this is something Google is looking into, mobile notifications for Chrome won't be showing up anytime soon, Roy-Chowdhury said. What should show up soon, though, are Chrome notifications on OS X. "It's coming to the Mac," he said in an interview. "We're working on it. Mac is just a little bit more challenging in getting all the platform integration pieces right."