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Google Offline launches to keep business online

Google has updated its web apps offering to deliver offline access, with Gmail Offline now available and offline access to Calendar and Docs to roll out over the next week.

Gmail Offline is a Chrome Web Store app, designed for use situations when users need to read, respond to, organize and archive email without an internet connection. It’s a HTML5-powered app based on the Gmail web app for tablets, which was built to function with or without web access. After installing the Gmail Offline app, users can continue using Gmail even if they lose their internet connection by clicking the Gmail Offline icon on the Chrome ‘new tab’ page.

Google Calendar and Google Docs will also allow users to transition between on and offline modes, giving access to calendar events and appointment RSVP’s as well as document and spreadsheet views when without an internet connection.

Offline editing of documents isn’t available yet, but Google said it’s working on adding the feature.

“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,” Google Product Manager Benoît de Boursetty said in the company blog.

“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.”