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Google Offering An Offline Option For Gmail

r_pad
10 Comments

Posted January 28, 2009 - By r_pad

Update: 11:13AM

Google has announced that it will start offering an offline option for its popular Gmail service. The option is part of its "Google Labs" set of experimental add-ons. Andy Palay, a Gmail engineer, describes the new feature on the Official Gmail Blog:

"Gmail uses Gears to download a local cache of your mail. As long as you're connected to the network, that cache is synchronized withGmail's servers. When you lose your connection, Gmail automatically switches to offline mode, and uses the data stored on your computer's hard drive instead of the information sent across the network. You can read messages, star and label them, and do all of the things you're used to doing while reading yourwebmail online. Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection. And if you're on an unreliable or slow connection (like when you're 'borrowing' your neighbor's wireless), you can choose to use 'flaky connection mode,' which is somewhere in between: it uses the local cache as if you were disconnected, but still synchronizes your mail with the server in the background."

The offline feature is being incrementally rolled out so it might not be available to you right away. It hasn't hit any of my Gmail accounts, but a few of my friends have already started the offline-Gmail madness. I'm jealous...big time. I want my offline Gmail now!!!

Update: A few readers are missing how huge the potential of offline Gmail is, so I'll try to explain it. Google Gears now enables users to work with Google Docs and Google Mail offline. This is enormous for business users. While it's certainly not as robust as Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook, Google's solutions are free. Being able to access them offline helps Google compete with those Microsoft products. For small businesses and self-employed people, the offline options make Docs and Mail a viable alternative.

For you Gmail disciples out there, what do you think of this feature? Have you used it yet? Or are you still playing the waiting game?

Source

Google Offering An Offline Option For Gmail
http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/692762/google-offering-an-offline-option-for-gmail/
http://files.g4tv.com/images/blog/2009/01/28/633687324868615637.png
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