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Gmail rolls out Offline Mode

 2:57 am on Jan 28, 2009 (gmt 0)


Today we're starting to roll out an experimental feature in Gmail Labs that should help fill in those gaps: offline Gmail. So even if you're offline, you can open your web browser, go to gmail.com, and get to your mail just like you're used to.



 12:23 pm on Jan 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

another Google Gears application...


 6:30 pm on Jan 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just last week I was searching to see whether Gears allowed this yet or not - they announced quite a while ago that Gears would *someday* do this.

I would start a pool to see when it comes out of beta, but who knows what currency we'll be using by then ;-)


 4:52 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

This could be a good offline backup option as well. When you activate this option it tells you it's going to download all your mail to the local machine.


 5:07 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WOW , did you see that? They just rolled out this feature and hackers everywhere rejoiced. A full set of your own emails just sitting there on your hard drive ripe for the taking. How many people use gmail at work anyway ?


 6:03 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

20,000 Google employees? Just a guess.

I've always hated the gmail interface I was talking to my nephew and he was talking about how he loves the way gmail works. For him, it's the only email he'll use at work or otherwise unless some corporate IT flack forces him to use the company system.


 6:06 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Unless your browser cache is secured/cleared each use, whatever you do is visible to IT wonks at the company in any event... should they look... and they have the right to do that.


 2:41 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I love gmail; it totally converted me to webmail, and it's hard to get my head around it being desktop - especially as I'm virtually never offline.

I still use outlook for usenet - just as a daily reminder of how I loathe everything about it - and yet *still* prefer that setup to Google Groups!


 2:55 pm on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

gmail actually pushed me back to outlook.


 5:09 pm on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've just tried it and it may actually make gmail palatable for me. It's now available offline, tolerable on dialup and lightning fast on DSL.

If the address book is part of the offline setup, I might be sold. It essentially means that I have a synched up desktop client that I can access from any computer. Not too bad. I do wish gmail had actual IMAP mailboxes instead of those stupid tags. If it had that, I'd definitely be sold, but it drives me nuts that everything comes straight to my inbox. I like to filter and sort and get mailing lists, payment confirmations and so on out of the inbox right off.


 1:43 am on Feb 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ahh, one problem - no offline access to contacts. So if you want to sit and compose a bunch of emails, you would have to open Thunderbird, Outlook or whatever, get your contacts, which are increasingly out of synch with your gmail contact list, and write your letters in offline mode.

Not much use really, is it? It's alpha. It would be nice to see them get it up to beta like the rest of the gmail ;-)


 10:59 am on Feb 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's a weird limitation, and I'm sure it'll get sorted soon.


 11:36 pm on Feb 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't be sure. Labs projects, in theory, are created more or less at the whim of employees. I don't think there's a huge hurry. Though if it suddenly gets a lot more people on gmail and brings in a lot more adsense revenue, we might see the kinks ironed out sooner rather than later.

Most definitely at alpha status right now.


 12:20 am on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe; but it's a strange limitation; I suspect that when they were pushing for IM and chat, someone tweaked the contacts list for their purposes, and made it difficult to to an offline contacts without fouling up chat or something.

But we'll probably never know for sure!

While you're right about labs products in general, I reckon anything to do with Chrome and Gears is part of the Master Plan (one-upping M$), rather than a simple whim - it's serious stuff, leading in 'on line' software, while undercutting traditional M$ offline stuff..


 4:09 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>Chrome and Gears is part of the Master Plan

That's true and that does give me hope. I think rather than simply one-upping MS, Gears for all Google products shifts the load from Google servers to your computer. The more program logic they can get to run on your machine and the more data that gets cached, the less the Google servers work. That makes services cheaper to provide, which is a competitive advantage against not just MS, but everyone (but especially MS who already has such direct access to so many computers).


 12:39 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

not only that, the local cache really helps google if you have search history turned on and your serps are enhanced by your search history.


 6:45 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

You mean the Gears cache?


 3:41 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

if i were a search engine developing a browser i would make sure everything was a search (no address bar) and i would use local processing to "improve the search experience" which includes using "a new, souped up javascript engine [webmasterworld.com]" and using local cache (nothing new for browsers here).
so i mean chrome cache - for now.
but i can imagine a search on chrome that has access to a unified gears cache which includes all browser and search history, all documents, all emails, all chats, etc.


 5:43 pm on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Check, I forgot about "Chrome and gears" as part of the Master Plan. I was stuck on Gears. For the time being you need to approve Gears access for each site, but your comment made me wonder about how that might evolve.


 6:23 pm on Feb 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

i've been wondering that since i first downloaded Gears over a year and a half ago.

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