Feeds

Offline Google Docs disappear on May 3

Reappearance whenever

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google's online document and spreadsheet editors will no longer offer offline access as of May 3, and it's unclear when it will return.

On Monday, the company introduced updated versions of its Google Docs editors, and unlike previous versions they do not provide offline access through the Google Gears browser extension, which the company is now moving away from in favor of the HTML5 standard. Currently, the updated editors are merely "previews," and the existing versions are still available. But on May 3, Google will remove offline access entirely, as it develops an offline model that uses HTML5 and other technologies

"The new Google Docs editors will take advantage of faster rendering engines in modern browsers as well as new web standards like HTML5," the company said in a blog post. "As a result, we need to temporarily remove offline support for Docs starting May 3rd, 2010. We know that this is an important feature for some of you, and we are working hard to bring a new and improved HTML5-based offline option back to Google Docs."

The company is not saying when it expects the new versions to be ready.

It's worth noting that in the fall or early winter, Google's browser-based Chrome OS will make its debut on real live netbooks, and we have long expected Mountain View to introduce new versions of Google Docs at the same time. The OS does not allow for local applications other than Google's own Chrome browser, and it's specifically designed to cache data for offline use.

Google has merely said that Chrome OS machines will arrive towards the end of the year.

But for some stretch of time beginning in May, no Google Docs users will have the option of working offline. Some have speculated that this will turn off a portion of its existing users, but knowing Google, its internal data shows that this portion is quite small. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.