Push notifications on your phone or tablet are no longer the domain of native apps. With Chrome version 42, Google added the ability for websites to send notifications to an Android phone.
Don't get too upset if you're already getting inundated with interruptions from apps all day long. The new feature is an opt-in choice, so it's not on by default. And the first sites that are expected to implement it -- Beyond the Rack, eBay, Facebook, FanSided, Pinterest, Product Hunt, and VICE News -- won't be doing so for a few weeks yet, Google noted on its Chromium Blog.
The idea here is to make it easier for developers by bringing a little more feature parity between native and web apps.
Native applications have typically enjoyed more engagement because they've offered experiences not easily replicated in a web app. With this change in Chrome 42, that there's slightly less of a divide between native and web.
Google is also trying to sweeten the pot for web app developers by including a simpler method for users to add a web page to the home screen of their Android phone or tablet. While this is really just a shortcut to the web, it provides the look of a native app on the device.
While Google is touting the new push notification from web apps and services through Chrome, the functionality may not be specific to Chrome, or even Android, in the future. Google has implemented the Push API standard that any browser can use.