Google axes its Chrome browser of the hands-free 'OK Google' voice search command and Notifications on Windows, Linux and Mac.
Google has finally realized that it’s high time to bid farewell to its Chrome Notifications from desktop operating systems. The company officially made the announcement on Wednesday, citing that only handful of users visited the notification center that made the feature rather pointless. However, the feature would still be there in Chrome OS, wrote Google’s DeWitt on the Chromium blog post.
It was indeed high time that Google had to let go of the yellow triangle nobody found useful. Introduced almost two years back in 2013, the feature was primarily aimed at enriching the overall browsing experience on Chrome, delivering pop notifications to users. It would remain active even when the Chrome browser was closed so that users could still receive notifications even while they were away.
And this is where things started getting rather annoying. While Google thought it was a good idea to keep users updated, the Notifications ability to work in the background also meant unnecessary pop-ups even when you did not need them, which apparently users found very distracting. In addition, disabling the feature was not really a viable option for those of us who’d installed a whole bunch of apps and extensions for the browser.
Hence, many Chrome users often got infuriated with these random notifications that eventually led them to disable the feature. Add to it the fact that we are living in an era of smartphones and tablets where we are constantly bombarded with updates, the Notifications on desktop comes across as rather unnecessary.
The Chrome Notifications will be removed from the next version of the browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux, though the company has decided to retain the feature for Chrome OS users. The announcement also implies that developers will also have to alter the way things work, as notifications sent exclusively to the center will now show an error message, while API events that communicate with the center will no longer function. Extensions that relied on the Notifications will no longer work as intended, although apps and websites will still be able to send push notifications going forward.
Google also rolled out Chrome v46 for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux with several bug fixes and performance improvements. With this release, the company has removed ‘Ok Google’ voice search feature, which was introduced as a Chrome extension back in November 2013 and added to Chrome v34 Beta in May 2014.
Though it doesn’t mean the voice search is going away permanently, users can still access the functionality on the New Tab Page and on any Google.com page — by clicking on the mic icon.
Additionally, the updated browser will now start marking HTTPS websites with minor errors with the same blank page icon used for HTTP sites. Earlier these pages were marked with yellow triangles. As per the company, it is a better indicator for security. However, the secured HTTPS pages, regular HTTP pages, and insecure HTTPS pages icons would display the same white page.