Feeds

Gmail goes offline to avoid flatline online

Google goes back to the future with PC-based Office

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?