Work With Gmail Offline!
By on August 31st, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I think computing is getting a little too “cloudy”. Many companies are offering there software as a service and are pushing us toward “the cloud” for everything. Fortunately, Google has gotten their head out of the cloud long enough to realize we can’t always be in the cloud all the time. Google announced on the Official Gmail Blog today, a new application called “Offline Google Mail”.

“Offline Google Mail” is an app that can be downloaded for free from the Chrome Web Store and installed into Chrome. Here is the link if you would like to download it. Below you can see the web page on the Chrome Web Store. All you have to do is click the button that says “Add to Chrome” and it will begin the installation. It took me less than a minute to complete.

Chrome Store

Once you have the app installed, it will ask you if you want to use it to manage and compose email when you’re offline. Just click “allow”, and then “continue”, and you’re in business.

Allow Offline Gmail

The main window, pictured below, is sort of a dumbed down version of what you would see in  Gmail online. You have a list of your messages in a column on the left side of the screen and a preview area on the right side of the screen. You can compose messages offline and they will be sent when you are connected at a later time. You can even add labels to your messages offline.

Main Window

This is a great feature add on for Google products. I know there have been many times where internet access has been scarce for me. This made using Gmail very inconvenient as it didn’t have the offline capability. Now, I can add this new app to my laptop and can work in my “Offline Google Mail”. The good thing is it will seamlessly work in online and offline modes.

Google also plans to roll out similar products for Google Docs and Google Calendar. According to the blog post, it appears that Google Docs allows offline viewing now, but they haven’t implemented offline editing quite yet. If Google gets this perfected, I believe it will make them much more attractive to corporate IT.

I am encouraged by the fact that Google recognized the need for offline synchronization. While I think it is great that we live in a world where everything is accessible virtually anywhere, the reality is there are still a lot of dead zones when it comes to internet access. I hope this is a sign of many more good things to come from Google.

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Author: Darrin Jenkins Google Profile for Darrin Jenkins
Darrin is an IT manager for a large electrical contractor in Louisville KY. He is married and has 3 kids. He loves helping people with their technology needs. He runs a blog called Say Geek!

Darrin Jenkins has written and can be contacted at darrin@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://www.fortricks.in For Tips and Tricks

    Wow I havent ever thought of that.
    Google is doing a wonderfull part…
    I am checking this features now…

    • http://saygeek.blogspot.com/ Darrin Jenkins

      Thanks for reading. I would like to hear your experiences with the new app.

  • Katie

    I used it for a while, but found that it made Chrome run more slowly. Now I have uninstalled the app, but can’t figure out where my cached mail is or how to delete it! The interwebs are silent on the subject.

    • http://saygeek.blogspot.com/ Darrin Jenkins

      Katie, Thanks for reading us. Let me see if I can dig up something on this. :)

    • http://saygeek.blogspot.com/ Darrin Jenkins

      Katie,
      Here is what I found on Google’s support site.

      Offline data storage
      Your mail syncs to your Google Chrome browser’s storage on the computer on which you install the app. This means that it could potentially be accessible by anyone with access to your browser. For your protection, make sure not to install Gmail Offline for Chrome on a public or shared computer.

      Enabling Gmail Offline for Google Chrome on one computer doesn’t enable it for any other browser, or on any other computer you use. You can still use Gmail on the web on other computers, via Google Chrome or other browsers, without syncing, even if you’ve installed the app on your personal computer. Learn more about how synchronization works.

      You can remove offline data from your browser’s storage when you don’t need it anymore. Just follow these steps:

      Type chrome://settings/cookies into your address bar and press enter
      Search for mail.google.com
      Hover over the search results and click the X that appears
      Keep in mind that uninstalling the Chrome app will not delete offline data from your computer.

      I hope this helps answer your questions.

 
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