Small feature on the outside, but potentially game changing on the inside:
One of the web’s superpowers is its low friction: a new site is always only a single tap away, allowing users to easily navigate through a rich diversity of experiences. The mobile web provides a great discovery experience for users and unparalleled reach for developers.
Unfortunately, once users discover an experience they love, it is hard for them to build a meaningful relationship since websites lack the engaging capabilities developers have come to expect from mobile such as push notifications and home screen icons. As a result, developers have needed to decide between the engagement potential of a native app and the reach potential of a mobile website.
Chrome 42 addresses this dilemma by allowing users to engage more deeply with the mobile web experiences that are important to them, by both opting in to receive push notifications directly from websites and easily adding regularly-visited high-quality sites to their home screen.
There’s a bunch of different ways you can cut this:
How Google is advancing the appification of the web. How it’s another feature to be spammed and abused. How it’s more anti-privacy than before.
We need to take the good with the bad and right now, we need more work like this to move the ball forward in the open mobile ecosystem.