Google has released a new version of Gmail that operates offline without an internet connection, and it plans to offer similar offline versions of Google Docs and Google Calendar over the coming week. But these tools will only work in Chrome browser plugin and HTML5, the new offline functionality will let users access messages, documents and appointments even without an active Internet connection.
Based on Google’s Gmail web app for tablets, the new Gmail Offline must be “installed” from the company’s Chrome Web Store, its marketplace for web applications and Chrome extensions. This adds an icon to Chrome’s “new tab” page, and after clicking on this icon, you can continue using Gmail while offline. The app is due to arrive in the Chrome Web Store today.
Features Under Construction
- Google plans support for a wider user base, but the app only works on Chrome at the moment.
- Docs support is read-only for now, but Google is working on support for write-access for offline Docs.
- The Gmail service uses a different application than the usual web app, although the interface is akin to running Gmail on an iPad.
- Gmail storage is limited to three to seven days, depending on mailbox size, and all starred message. No selective label support is implemented at this time.
- Users can read Calendars and respond to RSVPs, but cannot create new calendar entries.