Feeds

Gmail goes offline to avoid flatline online

Google goes back to the future with PC-based Office

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Google has finally added offline support to Gmail, allowing US and Blighty-based users to read and write email while unconnected to the interwebs.

The firm said it was rolling out an “experimental feature in Gmail Labs” that will probably be a bit cranky and frustrating due to the fact that there are still “some kinks that haven't been completely ironed out yet”.

Gmail engineer Andy Palay said in a post on the company’s offical blog yesterday that Google has been testing the offline version of Gmail for some time.

Indeed many have been patiently waiting for the manacles to come off of Gmail, because up to now it was limited by the fact that messages could only be accessed online.

Of course, Gmailers wanting offline access could simply opt for a separate POP client such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail, or even Microsoft's very own Outlook.

Google entered the offline web app market in May 2007 with the release of its browser add-on project Gears.

At the time the firm marked out clear intentions to enter territory dominated by Microsoft by offering free, open source apps such as docs and spreadsheets that work without an internet connection.

However, it’s taken Google over 18 months to include email in its Gears project. In that time the company has suffered several major outages in Gmail that have perhaps best illustrated the limitations of storing users data up in the cloud.

The offline version of Gmail now uses Google Gears, which downloads a local cache of an individual’s mail and synchs with Mountain View servers when connected to its network. A fact that could prove a storage headache for some.

The feature has to be switched on via Google’s email testbed environment Gmail Labs. It will be made gradually available to individual Gmail account holders as well as Google Apps biz customers in the US and UK over the next few days.

Oh, and an offline option for Google Calendar will be winging its way into Gears soon too. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
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
Apple's OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud
Docs, email contacts... shhhlooop, up it goes
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.