Feeds

Google lets users take Apps files offline

Hard drive autosaving to save you grief

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
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.