Google releases Chrome 81 with less intrusive 'app icon' notifications

The stable version of Chrome 81 has arrived for Windows, Mac and Linux after a couple of weeks of delay brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. As ZDNet notes, Google had to move some of the features it was supposed to ship with to future versions, but it still comes with a few notable updates.

The updated Chrome enables a feature called “app icon badging,” which allows apps and websites to notify users of new activities without interrupting them. It’s much less intrusive than outright notifications and could be the better choice for, say, chat and email apps displaying the number of unread messages. Or social media apps displaying the number of times a user has been tagged in a post.

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