Google Chrome Works Behind the Scenes with Background Pages

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Google is continuing to push the functionality of its Google Chrome browser by highlighting the various cool things it can do in a series of posts over at the official Chromium blog. For example: Background pages.

Chrome’s background page functionality allows extentions and packaged and hosted apps to run in the background at all times, even if the user has closed all Chrome windows (The “invisible” windows will continue to run until Chrome is exited, and then relaunch when Chrome restarts, unless told otherwise). Wondering what actual use this would be? Here’s the official take:

One way you can use background windows is to preload content and data so that they are immediately available when the user opens your app. You could also issue HTML5 notifications to alert the user when important events occur—for example, a friend wants to initiate a chat session. There are plenty of possibilities here, and we look forward to seeing what you’ll do.

And if you’re concerned about privacy, don’t be; Google has already thought of that, and made sure that regular websites won’t be able to open background pages.

The feature is already available in the Chrome Dev channel. It might not have the immediate advantages of Google’s omnibox extension, but it’ll probably be more productive in the long run.

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