updated 02:23 pm EDT, Tue July 9, 2013
Future Chrome Packaged Apps could use Bluetooth 4.0, access camera
Google has updated notifications in Chrome with a new user interface, that brings notifications externally to the browser. At the same time, the company has updated its Chrome developer tools with improved support for behind-the-scenes aspects of Chrome Packaged Apps, including a new group of APIs that provide more access to important tools.
The revised notifications center in Chrome version 28 shows all new updates as a mix of text and images outside the browser, and now allows for users to act upon the notifications from Chrome apps and extensions within the notification itself. Examples include messages received in Gmail or Google+ with options to instantly respond with a call or another message, or to mark a reminder notification as completed. While it is available to Windows users today, the Mac version is still being worked on by the Chrome team.
The Chrome Packaged Apps changes will add more access to Google services, such as Google Wallet, and improved integration with the operating system, according to the Chromium Blog. Secured access to Google+, Calendar, and Drive are included, as well as access to in-app payments via Google Wallet, and the Media Gallery API now allows for a user's iTunes music library to be made available as a default media gallery, complete with the ability to import and play music from it.
Aside from Google services, the new APIs will provide access to more parts of a device. A new Bluetooth API will grant access through the connection using the Bluetooth 4.0 specification, including Low Energy support for fitness trackers, while the Native Messaging API will allow Chrome Packaged Apps to communicate with applications native to the device, such as camera or motion sensors.
The new additions to the Chrome Packaged Apps are usable by developers now, and could end up being added to a future public version of Chrome in the next two months.