Chrome is certainly an industry leader in innovation, even if it hasn’t quite swept the market yet. The Google-powered browser has still managed to show such high degrees of security that hacking competitions turn it down at such high levels of speed that Microsoft has to cheat to make their latest browser look more powerful. Chrome may be making its biggest push in the area of web apps, however, where the Chrome Web Store is helping connect users with thousands of different browser-based applications.
To help push these applications further, Chrome is allowing “background pages” to run for apps even when all Chrome windows are closed. But what are “background pages”? Simply put, a background page is content from an application publisher that loads data or pushes an action without the user actually having the application loaded. This can be anything from simply loading some content for users in advance to actually sending users notifications on, say, when your farm animals need some special care and attention.
Background pages already exist in Chrome, but they will only run if users have a Chrome window open, which means that you either have to leave a random tab up at all times or lose the opportunity to receive communications from your apps. To solve this, Google has enabled background pages to continue running even when you close the final Chrome window. Instead, Chrome will appear in your system tray (if you use Windows) or application dock (if you use a Mac) when a background page is enabled. From this system or dock icon, users can shut down Chrome completely any time they see fit.
This useful little extra should be appealing to users who want to keep in touch with their apps but, more importantly, it’s good for developers who want to keep hold of users’ attention.
[via the Chromium Blog]