When we looked at Samsung’s Chromebook, we loved the design and long battery life but the fact that the minute you lost an internet connection, the laptop became about as useful as a chocolate teapot, was a bit of a drawback.
Back at Google I/O, the Mountain View company told us that offline access to some Google web apps was “coming”. Well now it’s here, with Google announcing offline access to Gmail, Calendar and Docs.
The Gmail Offline app is available in the Chrome Web Store and is HTML-5 powered. After you install the app you can continue using Gmail even when you lose your connection by clicking the Gmail Offline icon on Chrome’s “new tab” page.
Calendar and Docs promise to let you “seamlessly transition between on- and offline modes.” When you are offline in Calendar you will be able to views events and RSVP to appointments.
While Google Docs will let you view documents and spreadsheets offline, offline editing is still not available, which is a pity as this is where a lot of the productivity for non-connected Chromebooks would have come from. Google promises it is “working hard to make it a reality.”
To use the offline aspect of Calendar and Docs, simply click the gear icon at the top right corner of the web app and select the option for offline access.
Offline access is due to hit today for Gmail with Calendar and Docs getting a rolling release in coming days. Google said it would make offline access more widely available “when other browsers support advanced functionality.”
Source: Official Gmail Blog