Running Velaro as a desktop application is the recommended experience for a variety of reasons. As advertisers continue to abuse users in new ways, the major web browsers have began implementing policies to prevent annoying ads running in background tabs and generally disturbing the user. While this is good news for those looking to avoid these advertisements, it limits the ability of a legitimate alert or notification from playing. As browsers start implementing more safeguards against these, the reliability of alerts and notifications from legitimate interactions suffers. There are a few ways that browsers have begun limiting what applications can do.
Tab throttling limits the amount of bandwidth available to our application when running in a background tab. This means that if you have multiple tabs open in your browser and are viewing the other tabs while Velaro sits in the background, the browser will throttle your Velaro connection resulting in missed notifications and possibly even detecting you as unavailable. Running the desktop application negates this as it's operating outside of the context of a browser and is not limited to any browser imposed bandwidth limits.
Auto play policies work by not playing sounds or showing notifications for documents that haven't been "interacted" with. An example of this would be just logging into Velaro, and then just sitting there not clicking anything. Browsers have decided that this means you haven't interacted with the page and it should not show/play notifications for pages you haven't interacted with.
The future of browser restrictions is unknown, as advertisers continue to find new ways to get their ad to play, and browsers continue to adopt policies to protect users. Using the desktop application ensures stability while avoiding future browser policy changes that can limit the reliability of the Velaro experience.