Although many might bemoan a lot of mobile's influence on game and Web design, push notifications are a handy update to traditional Web browsing and now you can enjoy that feature with the Firefox browser too. The latest release build of the browser, Firefox 44, now supports push notifications on all platforms.
What's useful with push notifications is that you can receive them from a website even if you aren't visiting it at the time. If a new video or article is posted that you might be interested in, the push notifications can let you know right on your desktop. It could also be useful for a heads-up when an important email or message comes through.
Although this has the potential to be annoying if mishandled by a site, if used within reason, it could stop you having to check websites quite so regularly for updates.
Any developers looking to implement the push notifications will need to make some modifications to their web-code, but it's not overly complicated. Firefox breaks it down in its latest blog post on its hacks site.
Users shouldn't fret however. This isn't something that will be enabled automatically without your permission. Much like learning your location or accessing your webcam, any website that wishes to use push notifications while you aren't connected to the site will need your express permission.
All message 'payloads' are also encrypted to prevent any personal information from being gleaned by anyone looking to intercept the messages.
Of course push notifications isn't a new feature for browsers, it's just new to Firefox. Chrome and Safari have had it for several years at this point, but this does at least bring Firefox more in line with the functionality being offered by those browsers.
The Firefox 44 update also added H.264 video playback, as well as WebM/VP9 on systems that don't support the former standard (as per TechSpot).