Posted April 1, 2008 10:05 am by with 13 comments

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First Google Gears brought us an offline version of Google Reader. Now, after many signs of its pending arrival, Google Docs is gearing up to go offline too.

With Google Docs offline (powered by Google Gears), I can take my little piece of the cloud with me wherever I go. Once enabled, I have a local version of my document list and editors, along with my documents.

As long as I have an Internet connection, every change I make is saved to the cloud. When I lose my connection, I sacrifice some features, but I can still access my documents (for this initial release, you can view and edit word processing documents; right now we don’t support offline access to presentations or spreadsheets – see our help center for details). Everything I need is saved locally. And I do everything through my web browser, even when I’m offline (the goodness that Google Gears provides). When my connection comes back, my documents sync up again with the server.

OK, so now I can write an article or update a spreadsheet while in the air, but what about Gmail, Google? When do I get to read and respond to my email while offline? Wake me up when you have that in place.

  • Didn’t you know Andy? Instead of spending time to make better GMail applications that could maybe benefit us, Google is spending time creating useless new features such as the “Custom Time” feature as newly shown today!

  • PS3

    A great post for 1st April – Andy invents web mail…without the web. Nice idea.

  • That’s a very great feature from Google…Goggles always comes up with something fresh and great. And same as you, I’m waiting this feature on Gmail.

  • I don’t think that they will make GMail off-line accessible until they can figure out how to put the advertisements on it when you’re not online. GoogleDocs doesn’t have advertisements to the same extent that GMail does so I’m assuming that they’re not loosing any money by letting you use it without offline. But yea, it’d be nice to read my email while on the airplane.

  • @kango suz – except I pay $50 a year for Google Apps Premier–which has no ads to start with. 😉

  • Matthew

    Offline Gmail would definitely be a killer app for helping corporations switch over to Gmail for Corporate email systems. I really hope they are working on this.

  • Gmail can be accessed offline. Set up your Outlook / Thunderbird to access Gmail through POP3. It’ll download all of your messages. C’mon now.

  • isaac

    setting up gmail with Thunderbird or whatever program was a huge pain in the butt and ultimately a failure. perhaps I an a computer retard, but we outnumber you, and demand things be simple and work. Gears for gmail will be one of the first large improvements to my web experience in a long time.

  • Greg

    ‘perhaps I an a computer retard, but we outnumber you, and demand things be simple and work.’

    Yes, you do outnumber us. I agree that things should be simple and work. Why can’t this be a computer geek motto, too? 16 years working with computers, writing code and managing systems and I still don’t see the point of making things this complex.

    Gmail Offline WILL be a Killer App, though good luck peeling the Outlook junkie away…

  • berilio

    This news is irrelevant to people who already use thunderbird — which makes having a gmail account in the first place sorta redundant. The purpose for Google to release an offline Gmail client is for people who care more about the features of Gmail than they do the word that comes after their @ sign.

  • Henrik

    offline GMail would be nice. But until Google comes with this feature is the solution. There mail program have the offline solution like there office solution also have it like google docs.

    I just miss a good calandar in zohos list of programs.

  • Great, When can we see this feature live? Or till which time it will be Beta ?

  • @Andrew – you should see the option any day now.