Ranting: Google Chrome's Notification Center a big fat failure

Anyone who has followed me on Twitter of late has seen me melt down a few times over Google Chrome's new "notification center", which is supposed to bring rich text notifications to your desktop via the Chrome browser.

It's a great idea. At least, it would be if it worked. Or, at least, worked for me.

Because it doesn't work for me. At all. I've set all the Chrome://flags properly. I've reinstalled the browser. I've deleted and reinstalled the browser. I'm currently on a version 29 beta version, thinking that might work. Nothing. I get no notifications. OK, that's not entirely true. Once - ONCE! - I managed to somehow get Gmail to give me a popup notification that new mail had arrived. But to do that, I had to have Gmail's desktop notification enabled (an entirely separate procedure than the supposedly built-in rich-text notifications) and leave Gmail open in my browser. But regular notifications from the new notification center? They don't happen.

Now, I know it should work on my computer, and the reason I know that is because I found a notification center spoofing app in the Chrome store that sends fake notifications to your browser.


And it works. Really well, in fact.


So the technology obviously WORKS. It even works in MY version of Google Chrome on MY four-year-old laptop running freaking Windows Vista. 

But it doesn't work on ANY OF THESE APPS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO USE THE NEW NOTIFICATION CENTER!


And, of course, Google has basically ZERO documentation on this, and less than zero documentation on troubleshooting problems with the notification center. The Internet is filled with nothing but glowing "stories" from tech blogs touting the new technology but, interestingly, no ACTUAL HELP for anyone having less than a perfect experience with the notification center.

So, I dunno. Maybe I'm the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD who can't get this to work (which I actually know is untrue), but, gosh darn, it would sure be nice if the ACTUAL REAL APPS ON MY COMPUTER would produce proper notifications like the FAKE SPOOFING APP DOES!
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