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Chrome 50 beta update gets pushy with new notification improvements

It’s that time again, early adopters. Chrome has a new beta version out — quite a milestone, in fact — and it brings with it a couple of useful improvements to push notifications, and the introduction of declarative pre-load. Neither are revolutionary, but if you like being on the cutting edge of browser updates, this is one you’ll want to download.

Push notification improvements are likely to be considered the biggest of the changes this time around, and they affect the way the notifications are handled. Previously, they relied on service workers to proactively grab information from a server, in order to then disseminate that among users who wished to receive the notifications.

This caused issues when network connectivity wasn’t strong, or there was interference from other messages. Moving forward, notification data is embedded with push messages, cutting back on the amount of information being sent at regular intervals. All of it is encrypted to ensure security remains tight, but it should mean that users are less effected by spotty coverage.

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On top of that, site owners will now be able to tell when a user has closed a notification, which allows them to implement a system that dismisses those messages on all platforms — making for a better end-user experience.

There’s also an option to support custom icons on push notifications now, giving us big eyed cats like the image above, or anything else the designer can think of.

The other big change with this beta update is declarative pre-load, which lets site designers pre-load resources that are required by different aspects of the design. In Google’s blog cited example, if a Web page required the loading of a particular style sheet, it may need to wait for a JavaScript to run first, before that style sheet can be loaded, slowing page load times.

In the future, Web designers can call for resources before anything has loaded, which should make for a faster browsing experience for everyone.

Available now for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac, and Windows, the beta update 50 can be downloaded from the usual channels.