A closer look at the Chrome OS notification center

February 9, 2013
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Chrome OS notification preview

A few days back, we wrote about the new Chrome OS notification center that was reportedly going to make the user experience a richer and easier one. First shared by developer Francois Beaufort, the notification center resembled Google Now cards, and worked on both Google Chrome OS installations, as well as PC-based installations of the Chrome Browser.

Computerworld offered an in-depth look at the new notification center, based on a demonstration application built for internal testing purposes. Here are some insights.

  • The notification center seems to be meant to unify notifications from the different Google messaging services, including Gmail, Google Talk, Google Voice and Google+. However, the only application currently only supports Gmail.
  • A notification is shown in full about 10 seconds, and then fades away from view into the notification icon. Clicking the icon reveals pending notifications in a card-like stack.
  • Notifications are shown as a thumbnail, a headline and a few snippets of text.
  • Some notifications are built for chat-like services, and even offer a few options for calling or sending messages.
  • Some notifications are for shared content, such as photos and images.
  • Notifications can be dismissed by clicking on an “X” icon. Sorry, no swipe-to-dismiss gesture here, as many Android ICS and Jelly Bean users might be familiar with. Notifications can all be dismissed with a “clear all” button.
  • The notification center offers granular customization, in which a user can choose among basic and simple notifications, as well as itemized list notifications for some applications and services.

What’s getting users and fans excited about this notification center is how it’s meant to unify the different messaging services available on Chrome OS. Of course, as an extension, there is the question on whether Google Now will make an appearance on Chrome OS or the Chrome browser, and whether Chrome will support unified messaging from services on one’s Android device, which can include missed calls and messages.

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