Feeds

Google lets users take Apps files offline

Hard drive autosaving to save you grief

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google is to give users access to Google Apps offline, meaning they'll be able to continue working if their internet connection falls down.

Over the next few weeks, Google will start to enable users' accounts one at a time and it'll start with Google Docs. Offline access to Spreadsheets and Presentations will follow later.

Users will know if they are enabled to work offline by the inclusion of an offline logo in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

It works thus: while users are online, Google Apps continually saves a copy of the document to the user's hard drive. When the user goes offline, their work from the latest version saves to the hard drive. When their internet connection is restored, the document on the hard drive syncs with Google's servers so the latest version is also stored online.

Of course, offline functionality will also be useful if users deliberately disconnect from the internet, for example, to change from one network to another.

Google software engineer Philip Tucker explained Google's reasoning on its blog: "Cloud computing is great, but you need the cloud to make it work. On an airplane, on the shuttle commuting to work, or at home when my cable modem goes down, I want to work on my documents."

Well, this must be his lucky day. It shouldn't turn out too bad for Google, either. Giving users access to their documents without an internet connection gives the company a much stronger proposition against Microsoft's pricey Office portfolio.

It also takes Google into competition with Zoho, which announced in August last year that its hosted word processing application Zoho Writer would be available offline.

Both Zoho Writer and Google Docs' offline capabilities are based on Google Gears, an open source browser extension. Users must install Google Gears to get the offline functionality.

Perhaps concerned by growing interest in hosted applications, Microsoft is toying with a few ideas. It is currently working on project Albany, thought to be the codename for an upcoming suite of scaled-down hosted applications.

It's also working on Office Live Workspaces, a portal which allows users of MS Office documents to share and collaborate online. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.