Google gears up for offline access to services

Google launched "Google Gears" yesterday, an extension to browsers like Firefox and Opera, that provides some interesting functionality that many web application developers could find useful.The extension offers offline access to web applications -- something that will be a huge leap forward for services like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs.

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Google launched "Google Gears" yesterday, an extension to browsers like Firefox and Opera, that provides some interesting functionality that many web application developers could find useful.

gears-features.jpg

The extension offers offline access to web applications -- something that will be a huge leap forward for services like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. As a Google Apps administrator, this is one of the most common complaints (with no solution or real work aroud) from my users. With these apps eventually adding offline functionality, Google Apps may gain more support in the enterprise.

After looking at some of the source code -- the toolkit looks very powerful, and it doesn't look too difficult to use for people who are used to working with HTML, Javascript and relational databases like MySQL.

Currently the only Google service using Gears is Google Reader, but it's not a stretch to think it will one day show up on the other services as mentioned above.