Having a poor ISP connection, or worse, no connection to the internet, need no longer be a problem if we want to believe the hype surrounding Google’s latest GMail innovation: Offline GMail. According to this Wired Epicenter Blog post Google’s latest offering “will enable Gmail users access from their browsers even when they aren’t online”. This sounds like black magic to me, but I think it’s rather a case of exaggeration or maybe interpolation of the facts.
In reality, Offline GMail relies on a caching system that is managed by an open source add-on called Gears which stores data locally on your desktop. Gears can be run under Windows XP and Vista, Mac OSX and Linux operating systems and is designed to run under IE, Firefox and Safari browsers.
Since Offline GMAil is still in beta, Google is warning potential users that some glitches still need to be ironed out, so if you download this add-on – caveat emptor (or for non-latin-speaking aviators: watch your six!).