Since Chrome's big 10th birthday redesign, it's looking cleaner and less cluttered than ever, but that may be changing soon. The Chrome team is continuing work on the 'Badging API' that would allow websites to add unread notification badges to open tabs or bookmarks. In theory, this could be really useful, but I hope it doesn't make for a UI that's way too busy.

As spotted by Chrome Story, Google engineers have written a proposal outlining the goals and use cases for the prospective feature. The API is already behind a flag in Chrome, but its current form only adds badges to Progressive Web Apps that have been installed. The latest proposal adds them to regular tabs as well, which could come in handy for messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, or Google Messages.

Mockups of the unread badges planned for Chrome tabs and bookmarks.

Bookmark unread badges are potentially a more interesting application of the API since it would allow you to see how many notifications you have without having the web page open and taking up valuable memory resources (thanks to background refresh functionality).