Gmail, Calendar and Docs Offline arrive on Chrome Web Store

31 Aug 2011

Internet giant Google has launched Gmail Offline, a new app that will allow offline access to Gmail. Offline for Google Calendar and Google Docs will start rolling out over the next week via Google’s Chrome Web Store.

“Gmail Offline is a Chrome Web Store app that’s intended for situations when you need to read, respond to, organise and archive email without an internet connection,” explained Benoît de Boursetty, product manager,” Google Chrome Web Store in the Google blog.

“This HTML5-powered app is based on the Gmail web app for tablets, which was built to function with or without web access. After you install the Gmail Offline app from the Chrome Web Store, you can continue using Gmail when you lose your connection by clicking the Gmail Offline icon on Chrome’s ‘new tab’ page.”

Offline Google Calendar and Docs apps

He said the Google Calendar and Google Docs apps will let users seamlessly transition between on- and offline modes.

“When you’re offline in Google Calendar, you can view events from your calendars and RSVP to appointments. With Google Docs you can view documents and spreadsheets when you don’t have a connection.

“Offline editing isn’t ready yet, but we know it’s important to many of you, and we’re working hard to make it a reality. To get started using Google Calendar or Google Docs offline, just click the gear icon at the top right corner of the web app and select the option for offline access.”

He said IT administrators can deploy Chrome Web Store apps to users en masse by setting up organisational policies for Chrome.

“Today’s world doesn’t slow down when you’re offline and it’s a great feeling to be productive from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

“We’re pushing the boundaries of modern browsers to make this possible, and while we hope that many users will already find today’s offline functionality useful, this is only the beginning. Support for offline document editing and customizing the amount of email to be synchronized will be coming in the future. We also look forward to making offline access more widely available when other browsers support advanced functionality (like background pages),” Boursetty said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years