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Notification requireInteraction - A Smoother Notification UX on Desktop

We've learnt a lot since Notifications and Push Messaging landed in Chrome. One specific piece of feedback about Desktop-class devices was that notifications would stay around and visible on the user's screen until actively dismissed by the user.

When the page is open it is possible to create a simple JavaScript timer that will automatically close the notification. But we now live in a world with service worker: where web apps can live past the lifetime of a window and the service workers are put to sleep as quickly as possible to save resources. This means we need another way to create a good experience for users.

The Notification spec was recently updated to give the developer the ability to indicate that the notification should not be automatically dismissed by the system.

A notification has an associated require interaction preference flag which is initially unset. When set, indicates that on devices with a sufficiently large screen, the notification should remain readily available until the user activates or dismisses the notification.

This might seem odd, but what it implies that unless told otherwise the notification should be removed from view after a short period of time.

Chrome 47 (beta in October 2015) now supports the requireInteraction option. Unless it is explicitly provided and set to true, all notifications on desktop will be dismissed after approximately 20 seconds. The interesting part though is that Chrome has recently just removed the Notification Center from all desktop platforms (but Chrome OS), this means that minimized notifications are considered to be dismissed and are not accessible in a call to getNotifications in a service worker.

On Chrome for Android, because the notifications are minimized in the notifications tray area, the requireInteraction option is ignored.

navigator.serviceWorker.register('sw.js');

function showNotifications() {
  Notification.requestPermission(function(result) {
    if (result === 'granted') {
      navigator.serviceWorker.ready.then(function(registration) {
        registration.showNotification('requireInteraction: true', {
          body: 'Requires interaction',
          icon: '../images/touch/chrome-touch-icon-192x192.png',
          requireInteraction: true,
          tag: 'require-interaction'
        });

        registration.showNotification('requireInteraction: false', {
          body: 'Does not require interaction',
          icon: '../images/touch/chrome-touch-icon-192x192.png',
          requireInteraction: false,
          tag: 'no-require-interaction'
        });
      });
    }
  });
}

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