Google fixes offline Gmail app, increases student appeal?

Google fixes offline Gmail app, increases student appeal?

Summary: Google has released a number of improvements to its offline Chrome application. Are updates a reason why students are heavy Gmail users?


According to Google's official Gmail blog, key updates have now been made to their offline Gmail app, available for the Chrome web browser.

Since it is web-based, current users will notice the updates the next time they open the application. According to senior software engineer Dave Stewart, this is the latest move to improve its "HTML5-powered offline journey".

The changes made to the application are:

  • The addition of a settings page, accessible via a new settings icon.
  • All attachments are now downloaded and available for offline use.
  • Keyboard shortcuts enabled in Gmail are now able to be transferred over to the Gmail offline app.
  • Messages and attachments now download at a faster rate.
  • Small bugs have also been tweaked to improve the overall usability of the app.

My personal favourite is the increased synchronisation capacities of the Gmail offline app. Users are now able to choose between various time frames -- 7, 14, or 31 days' -- of email to be synchronised without an Internet connection. The idea of trawling through a month's worth of emails is enough to make one's head spin, but simply having the option to use this feature is a vast improvement. This is a big step for Google, considering the last version only synced up to the last 7 days' worth of email.

It is suspected that Gmail dominates the student marketshare of email use. Once a user signs up for an email account, generally it becomes unlikely that they will switch provider -- unless of course, as history shows, issues occur like increased spam levels or poor functionality.

Google is one of the few email providers I view to be interested in making continual improvements to their email functionality -- which is why by offering additional features and making their service interfaces increasingly user-friendly, they will continue to grow and expand their student user base.

The offline Gmail app for Chrome can be downloaded and installed via the Chrome web store.


Topics: Browser, Apps, Cloud, Collaboration, Google

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  • RE: Google fixes offline Gmail app, increases student appeal?

    "The idea is enough to make one???s head spin"

    Is it? Really?

    Regular apps could hold an infinite number of days worth of email, back when they were popular.

    Cloud email never really caught up with the functionality of the old apps, sorry.
    • RE: Google fixes offline Gmail app, increases student appeal?

      @CobraA1 I think she was just referring to the sheer number of emails that 30-days worth might be for some people, not that it's somehow impressive that the offline app handles it. Thanks for bringing your anti-cloud sentiment to the conversation, though. It's always refreshing to hear someone complain from time to time.
      • RE: Google fixes offline Gmail app, increases student appeal?


        He's right - its not a complaint, its a fact. I'm moving our campus to email in the cloud but the web clients all suck compared to the power/functionality you get in the Outlook Client. We were actually playing around with the idea of just having employees use the Outlook Web Client. We quickly realized that would be a terrible idea.
  • Google has moved from untenable to barely adequate

    At the current rate of innovation, Google Apps and Gmail will have a useable post-beta product in the next two years.
    Your Non Advocate
  • RE: Google fixes offline Gmail app, increases student appeal?

    Interface is still worthless for desktops because I can't have an email open to refer to while writing a response.