Removed when I saw this. Not a good idea to push updates like this without a good explanation or option to disable aggressive permissions.
Gmail notifier needs to access to your storage API to save your preferences. This is noting new! It has been there since the first release!
Seconded. The version number is also inconsistent with the manifest file's version number in the above link to the source.
Guys in Opera and Chrome to be able to store user preferences, the extension needs to have access to the storage API. GN used to resort to localStorage but since this API is not permanent, the new version uses the standard storage API and hence needs the new permission.
@itsbenweeks you can check the actual installed extension http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14543896/where-does-chrome-store-extensions. The one in GitHub is the multi-browser version for testers and developers. The one that is in Google Store is the browser specific version.
Thanks, @inbasic. Looking at the source, it is the storage api as you mention.