Gmail Goes Offline (In A Good Way)
Google's Gmail service is rolling out a new, seemingly impossible feature: the ability to use the Web-mail site even when you don't have an Internet connection.
This feature relies on Gears, Google software you can plug into different browers -- Internet Explorer in Windows and Windows Mobile, Mozilla Firefox in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and Safari in OS X. (It's also built into Google's Chrome browser, as well as the browser in Google's Android mobile-phone operating system.)
As a post on Google's Gmail blog explains, once this feature becomes available in your account -- click the green-beaker icon next to your Gmail address, at the top of the Gmail window, to look for it and switch it on -- your Gmail messages will be downloaded automatically and invisibly to your browser's cache. Then, if your connection drops out, you can still write and read your Gmail offline; once you're back online, Gmail will synchronize your offline activity with your online account.
In a sense, this isn't major news. Back in October 2007, Gmail began allowing users to synchronize their accounts to traditional e-mail programs, using a mail standard called IMAP. This Gears-powered offline mode only eliminates the need to launch a separate program and learn a separate interface. But since many users seem reluctant to do those things once they've grown accustomed to a mail service's ways, that could be a significant advantage.
I can't report back to you on how well Gmail's offline mode works, since my own account has yet to be blessed with this new feature. (So much for the idea that I get to try out all the cool tech toys first... who do you think I am, Warren Brown?) But if you have, I'd like to hear how it's working out for you: Please post your review in the comments.
Posted by: JRosen23 | January 28, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ah___ | January 28, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nashpaul | January 28, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ruidoso | January 29, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mhenriday | January 29, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: skinniedee62 | January 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: artetal | January 30, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: terrancemichalski | February 2, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.