Google placed its bets on a cloud computing-filled future with the Chromebook, a nifty little line that advance’s Google’s goal to have everybody’s data available anywhere, anytime. While it’s a wonderful concept, accessing the Web anywhere, anytime requires Internet access that’s available anywhere, anytime. Frankly, we’re not quite there yet. Google admitted this fact (and helped make Chrome OS and Google Apps a little more useful) with today’s announcement of the return of an offline mode for Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar.
Gmail Offline is available right now as a Chrome extension, Product Manager Benoît de Boursetty said on the Gmail Blog. The extension’s based on the offline-capable Gmail tablet app. After installing the extension, if you’re working in Gmail and your connection craps out, clicking on the “Gmail Offline” button on Chrome’s “New Tab” page lets you continue browsing your correspondence.
Offline mode for Calendar and Docs is rolling out over the next week. Working with Google Calendar and Google Docs offline starts by clicking on the gear icon in the black Google nav bar while working with Calendar or Docs, then selecting “Set up docs offline” from the drop-down menu. After agreeing to allow the files to sync with your computer, you’re prompted to install an extension for the app. Currently, you can’t do much more than view appointments or documents when working offline, but de Boursetty promises that the team is hard at work at making it possible to edit files offline.