Chrome 68 takes notifications native in Windows 10

The browser, launched July 24, uses the OS's own notification center to post messages; users must be running Windows 10 1607 or later.

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Google / Gerd Altmann (CC0)

Google this week started rolling out a change to Chrome 68 on Windows 10 that uses the operating system's native notification center to post messages from the browser.

According to Peter Beverloo, a staff software engineer who leads the team responsible for, among other things, Chrome's notifications, half of version 68's users have had the native support switched on in their browsers. The remainder will have it enabled, Beverloo said, "in a week or so."

Chrome 68 launched July 24. The browser must be running on Windows 10 1607 - the mid-2016 feature upgrade also named "Anniversary Update" - or later.

With native notifications enabled, messages that had previously been displayed by Chrome - such as those sent by a news website that an important story has just been published - should instead appear in Windows 10 action center, manually accessed by clicking the speech bubble-style icon on the task bar.

"Users want a consistent experience on the platform they use," Beverloo said in another tweet as he explained the reasoning behind the change. "Chrome's [notifications] always stood out and behaved slightly differently."

Chrome has supported native notifications in macOS since version 59, which debuted in June 2017.

Users can skip the waiting and immediately switch on Chrome's Windows 10 native notifications by typing chrome://flags in the address bar, then locating the item "Enable native notifications." Change the option at the right to "Enabled" from the drop-down menu and relaunch Chrome.

There may be a downside for site owners, however. "Metrics show a slight decrease in [click-through rate], something to be aware of if you're a web developer using notifications," Beverloo tweeted. "It should pick up again as people get used to their notifications being in the Action Center."

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