Feeds

Google lets users take Apps files offline

Hard drive autosaving to save you grief

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.