Chrome Canary Debuts Breaking News Notifications On Android

The latest version of Chrome Canary ships with a new experimental feature found in the "chrome://flags" menu which enables push notifications for what Google labels as "breaking news." While the word "notifications" isn't mentioned in the description of the service, the app references Google Cloud Messaging as the platform picked for delivering those new content recommendations to users. The solution itself bundles messages into Chrome notifications without the need for a separate app and was originally made for third-party developers which are still able to use it, though it seems that Google is now seeking to take advantage of its own tools to facilitate the process of including new features into its popular (mobile) internet browser.

Given how breaking news alerts were introduced to Chrome through the Canary channel, the feature itself is still in a highly experimental phase of development and may never be deemed good or reliable enough to hit the stable channel. Even if it does, there are no guarantees it will be released on a global level in its current state which is relatively simple and doesn't allow any customization. The experimental flag is set to a "Default" state in the latest build of Chrome Canary and it's currently unclear how it acts in this particular mode, though it can be enabled and disabled in a manual manner from a drop-down menu found in the flags section of the app. Likewise, the wording of its description is somewhat vague in regards to the actual type of stories that it's meant to recommend, i.e. whether Google designed it to suggest only Chrome-related content like its "New Tab Page" example seen in the screenshot below or if it's going to encompass general news as well.

It also remains to be seen whether Chrome's "Breaking News Push" recommendations were programmed to be personalized or not, with the experimental flag mentioning no such capabilities and no known breaking news alerts being recorded to date. The feature appears to have been included in the newest client-side update for Chrome Canary which started rolling out on Wednesday and should soon be available for download from the Google Play Store in all parts of the world. Refer to the banner below to see if you're already able to install the latest Chrome Canary build on your Android device.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]