Feeds

Google lets users take Apps files offline

Hard drive autosaving to save you grief

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.