The desktop version of Google Chrome has been receiving fairly regular updates to both the stable and beta channels lately, with each update usually bringing at least a few new features. Although not all of the features have been major overhauls like the beta test of Chrome’s material redesign, some fairly significant under the hood fixes have come along in recent updates. The newest update, bringing Chrome up to version 50 in the stable channel, is no exception. In today’s stable channel update for the Mac, Windows and Linux versions of Chrome, users will find a number of improvements to push notifications, along with a system called declarative preloading, which essentially improves preloading by letting sites declare what assets and tools may need to be loaded in order to finish loading a page completely.
On the notification front, providers can now include a data payload with their notification, allowing the notification to reach the user more reliably under poor network conditions or during congestion. Notifications can also be customized, with providers being able to add in actions, flavor text and icons with their push notifications. On top of all of that, providers have access to user interactions with the notifications, allowing for things like a quick yes or no on a survey or cross-platform notification actions, like dismissal or marking notifications as important or needing to be looked at later. Sounds can be added to notifications, as well as vibration, if the hardware allows it.
With declarative preloading, sites can have a prioritized data payload that includes a dataset indicating which web tools and assets, both on site and off, would have to be retrieved in order to fully load the page at hand. This means that, instead of going to a page element, figuring out what tool or cache was needed, grabbing it, then loading that element, Chrome will be able to preload all of the needed prerequisites, then mass-load all of the page elements. This should lead to much faster and more lightweight preloading, benefitting those on slow connections or old computers almost as much as those with fast connections and modern gear. The new changes are already live on the Chrome stable channel, which means existing users can expect to see them roll out in the very near future if they don’t feel like updating manually.