Google has announced native desktop notifications for Gmail which includes notifications for chat as well as new mails. Gmail always had this bubble sound alert for new chat messages, but no real visual alert/notification as such. But now you can get to know as and when a new chat message or a new mail comes in through a desktop alert, without having to use any third party app or extension.
A catch of sorts behind this – you need to be using Google Chrome web browser. Chances are you might already be using Chrome, if not, you have a solid reason to switch to Chrome now! Over the past year or so, it has become my primary browser, just like Gmail being the primary email service.
The latest version of Chrome has HTML5 desktop notifications which display pop-ups whenever a chat message or new email arrives.
How to Turn on Gmail Desktop Alerts?
In order to turn on Desktop alerts for Gmail, click on the Settings link on the top right corner of Gmail and scroll down to the “Desktop Notifications” section. If you just want to get notified about chat messages, or if you use Priority Inbox and only want to get notifications for important messages, you can customize your settings from there too.
For those who are not comfortable using Chrome would need to wait for sometime and Google has promised to get it working on other browsers as well in the near future. It is not just Gmail, Chrome’s HTML5 notifications can be enabled for AOL IM, Yahoo! IM and other chats.
Note that, you might have to refresh the browser a couple of time in order to get the desktop notifications to work, but it is very well worth it if you ask me!