Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

Summary: Google will add offline capability to its Apps suite of cloud-based software, including Gmail, Calendar and Docs.

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Google announced on Wednesday that it would add offline capability to its Apps suite of cloud-based software, including Gmail, Calendar and Docs.

The company said the addition comes in response to an increasingly mobile population that doesn't always have wireless access everywhere, such as on airplanes, trains and in the car. It first suggested the addition at its annual developer conference, Google I/O, this year.

Gmail offline will be available today. Offline modes for Google Calendar and Google Docs will deploy "over the next week, starting today," the company said.

A few points:

  • Gmail Offline is an HTML5-powered Chrome Web Store app that looks a lot like Gmail for tablets. You can read, reply, organize and archive mail without a connection. Once installed, it allows you to continue using Gmail after a connection is disrupted.
  • Google Calendar and Google Docs also allow for an online, offline transition. Calendar allows you to view events and RSVP to invitations; meanwhile, Docs allows you to view documents and spreadsheets. (Offline editing isn’t yet ready, the company said.) Both can be activated by clicking the "gear" settings icon in the top right corner of your browser window.
  • IT administrators can deploy Chrome Web Store apps to users en masse by setting up organizational policies for Chrome.

"We’re pushing the boundaries of modern browsers to make this possible," the company writes, "and while we hope that many users will already find today’s offline functionality useful, this is only the beginning."

Topics: Collaboration, Apps, Browser, Cloud, Google

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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31 comments
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  • About time

    "Google announced on Wednesday that it would add offline capability to its Apps suite"

    Only two or three years later after promising that Google Gears will revolutionize the world and make offline useable.....only to update their messsage to s/Google Gears/HTML5/g

    Way to go Google, you have finally caught up to the needs of this century.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

      Just so you know, your sed reference was not in vain. At least one other reader got it.
      WarhavenSC
    • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

      @facebook@... Google has a history of making promises and new products only to dump them shortly after. They are pooring millions into Google Apps to try and compete against Office 365 and other online offerings.
      Gisabun
  • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

    Tired of Google.... the only thing I use is Gmail and Blogger...
    Hasam1991
  • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

    I'd love to use it, but the Chrome web store is not available for my work Gmail account...
    aep528
  • Should be "restores", not "adds"

    Offline modes used to be available, via Gears ... then Google removed them, out of concern for supporting Gears go forward in an HTML5 world. I'm really surprised they didn't plan a better transition - support the Gears version until the HTML5 version was ready ... it's been almost 1.5 years. (there were technical issues with how Gears worked with the browsers, i think ... but still).
    daboochmeister
    • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

      @daboochmeister

      Yes - difference being that now people are forced to use Chrome... gears worked with most browsers...
      tom4everitt
      • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

        @tom4everitt
        Is that right? So we have a large monopolistic company releasing products that millions depend on for their own platform first and better than for other, more established platforms?

        Why does this sound familiar to me...?
        x I'm tc
      • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

        @jdakula<br>That sound like Office for WP7. Except Google Docs doesn't have the monopoly (or dominant position if you prefer) that Office has therefore this isn't illegal.
        anono
      • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

        @tom4everitt
        I doubt it. Any browser made from open source chromium should work.
        anono
  • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

    Even Docs going offline???
    what next?? sorting for Gmail? :)
    Raju Das
    • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

      @Raju Das

      Lol. Sorting is anti-Google, because it's anti-searching.
      atguilmette
    • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

      @Raju Das What a novel freaking idea, they are innovative you would think...oh never mind Yahoo Mail and Outllook Web already have that, years ago.
      ItsTheBottomLine
  • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

    wow! this so much better than Ex-change.
    loidab
    • LOL!

      @loidab
      I was going to say the opposite - If this is Google's idea of Exchange, they still have about 10 years more work left to go.

      This is too little, too late.
      William Farrell
  • Promising

    Looks like a start, but for now we'll stick with syncdocs.com which syncs all the Google Docs to local hard drive. We can edit them in Word, and when you go online again, everything syncs.
    RohanTT
    • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

      @RohanTT If you're looking for that functionality, the rest of us have had it since ... Windows Briefcase in WIndows 95 OSR2. So, Google is only 16 years behind. :-)
      atguilmette
      • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

        @atguilmette Ouch
        ItsTheBottomLine
  • Hehehe

    Google needs the offline features with the number of times their service has crapped out.
    Gisabun
  • RE: Google adds offline mode to Gmail, Calendar, Docs apps

    *Sigh* I wish Google or someone would just bite the bullet and come up with a true multiplatform client for Gmail. A modded Thunderbird or Seamonkey with fully integrated access to email, private and shared calendars, contacts, and docs, messaging, and maybe even shared storage, should work. While you can DIY some of this via various Thunderbird extensions, you end up with a kludgy hodgepodge that's very awkward to set up and doesn't work cleanly.

    A lot of people just aren't quite willing to give up their email clients quite yet, especially those who have been reared on using Outlook, despite its many flaws. Google should be more than a little aware of this, and while this "Offline" mode sounds sort of client-ish, it still isn't.
    JustCallMeBC