Advantageous features of Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser (COIL) for laser technologies have increased considerably activities of international COIL communities during past ten years. They have been focused on the advanced concepts of hardware designs of the COIL subsystems, and testing and scaling-up of existing laser facilities. Prospective special applications of COIL technology, both civil and military, have received a significant attention and gained concrete aims. The paper is introduced by a brief description of the COIL operation mechanism and key device subsystems. It deals then with presentation of some investigated advanced concepts of singlet oxygen generators, alternative methods for atomic iodine generation, a mixing and ejector nozzle design to downsize a pressure recovery system, and optical resonators for high power COIL systems. The advanced diagnostics and computational modeling are also mentioned as very useful tools for critical insight into the laser kinetics and fluid dynamics, supporting thus the COIL research. The recent progress in the COIL development moves this laser closer to the application projects that are also briefly presented.