Microsoft Improves Notifications in Edge

Posted on November 16, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge with 13 Comments

Microsoft said today that it has improved the way that the desktop versions of Edge display notifications and badges.

“Most desktop browsers only receive notifications while they’re running, causing users to miss out on important updates if the browser is closed,” the Microsoft Edge team writes. “And when users do finally open their browser, they’re treated to a flood of incoming notifications that may no longer be relevant.”

The legacy version of Microsoft Edge supported background notifications to get around this problem, and now the new Chromium-based version of the browser does as well, Microsoft says: All you need is Edge 85 or newer on Windows 10 version 20H1 or newer. And developers don’t have to write any special code: Background notifications will just work.

Related to this, Edge now supports icon badges—like an unread email count for an email app—for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and pinned sites. This support arrived in Edge 81, Microsoft says, and works even when the underlying web app or site is not open. And, yes, the user needs to opt-in to notifications before these badges will appear.

“Between background notifications when the browser is closed, more reliable badging, and support for badges on pinned sites, users can rest assured they’ll always receive important updates for their favorite sites in Microsoft Edge,” the Edge team notes. “And best of all, developers who are already using service workers for notifications and badging don’t have to do a thing.”

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