@crazycells@psychobunny is more well versed with this, but the only real functional difference is that it likely loads a bit faster now (at least, after the first load) because a lot of the pages are cached.
Before, it would reload the page just like you were visiting in a browser.
We don't support natively things like notifications yet, but it is a step in the right direction 🙂
It's not news to say 2020 has been... challenging. In Toronto, the home of NodeBB HQ, we've gone from a spring lockdown to a cautious summer reopening, to lockdown again — sigh. But the team has never stopped working, and have managed to squeeze out one last release before we thankfully turn over the calendar.