Google is giving its Chrome web browser improved support for web apps that work even when you don’t have an internet connection.
Chrome 40 beta is the first version of the browser to support service workers, a new set of tools aimed at allowing web apps to work when your device is offline. The new features should work in Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.
Service workers allow web apps to intercept network requests and reply with cached data or other responses that don’t require an internet connection.
What makes service workers different from some other tools that allow web apps to work offline is that they can function even after you close a web page.
This allows them to run as background services, offering push notifications, background sync, or other capabilities, particularly on a mobile device where a user gives an app permission to run in the background.
Not only will service workers allow some web apps to work like native apps whether your phone, tablet, or other device is online or not, but it can also speed up the loading of some web apps even when you are online, as demonstrated in this video:
Always on, always accessible Internet connections are still rare for many folks.
Offline usability only increases desirability of chrome and doubtless will increase user numbers as more people find chrome os more useful in more situations.
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