Google adds offline support back to Gmail

One of the biggest issues with using Google's Gmail is that users can't access their account offline, but that changes today. Google has announced via its blog site that offline access to Gmail accounts is now a reality. The catch? The offline feature is only available if you use the company's Chrome web browser and download the new Gmail Offline addon from the Chrome Web Store.

The new app, which uses HTML5, is actually based on Google's Gmail app that it made originally for Android-based tablets. Google says it hopes to add offline Gmail support for other web browsers when they "support advanced functionality," however, it's not clear what that actually means. It also hopes to add support for users who want to customize how much of your online Google Gmail is synced with its offline messages.

Google also announced that two more of its web-based services will also get offline support. Google Calendar and Google Docs will soon be able to be accessed by users without the need of an Internet connection. As usual there's a catch. Users won't be able to edit any files on Google Docs when in offline mode. However, the blog post states, "[...] we know it’s important to many of you, and we’re working hard to make it a reality." In the meantime, Google Calendar and Google Doc users can switch into offline mode by clicking the gear icon at the top right corner of the web app and selecting the option for offline access.

Image via Google

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I just tested this and it does work BUT. I noticed after closing Chrome there were 10 chome.exe running. Even after logging out and back in they reappeared. Uninstalling the Offline GMail made them all go away. I would imagine between them they were using about 250MB of RAM, pretty poor.

SK[ said,]I just tested this and it does work BUT. I noticed after closing Chrome there were 10 chome.exe running. Even after logging out and back in they reappeared. Uninstalling the Offline GMail made them all go away. I would imagine between them they were using about 250MB of RAM, pretty poor.

I got a warning when I installed Gmail offline that Chrome will continue to run in the background even after we close it. And it will be started to the start up programs as well.

Who would have thought that with a simple app you can actually save your mail for offline viewing. Groundbreaking stuff!

/end sarcasm

I certainly hope they add support for non chrome browsers as not everyone will want to use it just for gmail. They should also focus less on apple garbage and more on android and others.

I really like the idea and the offline interface. It looks good. But it would be great if the article included the link to the offline app in the google web store.

Simon- said,
I'm pretty sure it was originally designed for iPad, not Android Tablets

Seeing as google developed Android I am pretty sure the inverse of that statement is correct

You mean some people actually go offline!?

Anyway, what's wrong with setting up Outlook or something to sync with your Gmail account?

Shiranui said,
You mean some people actually go offline!?

Anyway, what's wrong with setting up Outlook or something to sync with your Gmail account?


outlook costs money

still1 said,

outlook costs money

But 'or something' does not necessarily have to.

Edited by Shiranui, Sep 1 2011, 6:12am :

why does this need an add-on? I'm pretty sure it can be done with pure html5 - and the yahoo mail tablet site does a pretty good job of giving me offline access to my mail

~Johnny said,
why does this need an add-on? I'm pretty sure it can be done with pure html5 - and the yahoo mail tablet site does a pretty good job of giving me offline access to my mail

no reason at all, it's just a proxy drug to get you into their "store". Sad reality is that most stuff on the Chrome Store just puts a bookmark on your browser homepage, and that stuff works as well or better under Firefox.
They just want to re-create the IE6 ActiveX environment, but this time under the HTML5 umbrella term where they just violate standards and call the others as being "non-conformant". Sadly, people is biting the bait.

Besides them using actual HTML5 for that I don't see how this has anything to do with ActiveX.

We'll just have to see when it's available for other browsers. Who knows what technical issues they encounter, don't pretend like you know. That's just an arrogant thing to say.

Draje said,
I was really hoping for offline editing in Google Docs. Would have been nice on an Android tablet.

I guess it should come sooner than later....they must be sorting out the synchronising issues that can happen, since it is lot more complex than just fetching a mail or a document....

Restricting it to chrome?. You're starting to sound a bit anti-competitive there google. What happened to your "do no evil" motto?

dvb2000 said,
Restricting it to chrome?. You're starting to sound a bit anti-competitive there google. What happened to your "do no evil" motto?

I heard the board of directors had a meeting where they agreed to do a little bit of evil just for lulz. So they only released offline Gmail for chrome and no other browser.

It wasn't a technical reason at all... no really... just for the sake of being evil and anti-competitive. That's how Google has actually made all it's millions over the years, not from its web searches or ads.. but by through restricting people to chrome wherever possible.