updated 11:55 pm EST, Tue January 27, 2009
Gmail available offline
Google has announced plans to make the company's Gmail service available for user's offline through the Gmail Labs Settings tab. By using the Google Gears offline application technology, people will be able to browse their e-mails from a web browser when no internet connection is available. Once the application is activated, a new "Offline" link will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the user's browser window allowing them to click and view all or most of their Gmail messages, depending on the size of the mailbox. In order to do this, Gmail synchronizes messages in the starred folder to a local cache.
By only synchronizing messages in the starred folder, people can customize the messages get replicated offline. In addition, users are also be able to compose and save new messages when offline, that will automatically be sent once an internet connection is made. When the service becomes available, it could take several days before it is fully functional throughout Google's entire infrastructure.
Within the next few weeks Google Apps users can also expect offline access to Google Calendar. Initially, the offline version will be read-only so people will not be able to make changes for later online synchronization. People who use Google Apps Standard Edition will be able to enable the offline calendar use once it becomes available; while users of Google Apps Premier Edition and Education Edition will have to have the ability turned on by their Google Apps administrator.
[via Information Week]