Nov. 6 Editor's Note: This story was updated for clarity about an existing option in Chrome.
Almost every website I've opened — including the one you're reading — has hit me with the same annoying prompt for receiving notifications about their articles. I always opt out because I get too many push notifications as it is already.
Fortunately, Mozilla is solving my problem in an upcoming version of Firefox.
A Mozilla employee told ZDNet (opens in new tab) that Firefox 72 will block those requests to send notifications by default, for all users. While the final release of Firefox 72 won't hit until Jan. 2020, it's available to adventurous users running the Nightly version of the browser (available here (opens in new tab)), a frequently-updated pre-alpha version.
- What you need to know about the shiny new Firefox VPN
That being said, I'm not running to download that Nightly version, as I'm not the type to risk my efficiency by relying on a buggy beta version.
I've long wondered when a browser will offer such a feature, as those little prompts provide way too much friction. No offense to those who enable notifications, but I'm never going to want or need them, and I always cringe when I see one of them.
Those willing to dive deep into their Chrome browser have such a function already, though it is a bit buried. You'll find a Notifications menu after clicking More button on the top right corner, then clicking Settings, typing Notifications into the Search field, clicking Site Settings and clicking Notifications.
Unfortunately, some sites don't obey the proper methods of this request, so this option doesn't always work perfectly. Hence why I hope browsers make it easier to disable these prompts.
Hopefully this decision will push Google to offer automatic blocking of notification requests, as the millions of folks who use Chrome (the most popular browser, with 57% of the market) also deserve a better internet.
If Chrome doesn't add that feature by the time Firefox 72 hits, I'll be setting Firefox as my default browser, and I won't look back.