Google Pushes Product Offline Modes, But Only For Chrome - gHacks Tech News

Google Pushes Product Offline Modes, But Only For Chrome

Hypothetically, what would you say if Microsoft would enable an offline mode for Hotmail or Office Live 365 but only for Internet Explorer? Chance is, a lot of users would cry foul play and demand that Microsoft would enable support for other web browsers as well.

If you look at Google these days, you might have read that the company started pushing out offline modes for some of their products. The crux? Offline modes are only available for Chrome versions. Not for Firefox, not Internet Explorer, and definitely not for Opera.

You may remember that Gmail offline access was available before for both Firefox and Internet Explorer. This was made possible by Google Gears, which has been discontinued earlier this year. Some of the Gears features have made their way into the Chrome web browser though.

Gmail users who want offline access to their emails and data need to install the Offline Google Mail extension from the Chrome Web Store.

With it they can read and respond to mail, search and archive emails without network access. Gmail Offline " will automatically synchronize messages and queued actions anytime Chrome is running and an Internet connection is available".

To start Offline Gmail after installing, open a new tab in Chrome; In the new tab pane you will see a Gmail Offline Icon. Click on the icon, and Offline Gmail will load.

For Google Docs, it is even easier. Just click on the settings icon next to your profile picture on the Google Docs website and select "Set up Docs offline" from the context menu.


A new popup window opens up on the screen where you need to allow offline docs access. You still need to install the Docs Chrome web app in the process, but everything is handled directly from within Google Docs.

While not announced officially yet, Google will offer offline access for Google Calendar as well in the future.

Google Calendar and Google Docs let you seamlessly transition between on- and offline modes. When you’re offline in Google Calendar, you can view events from your calendars and RSVP to appointments. With Google Docs you can view documents and spreadsheets when you don’t have a connection. Offline editing isn’t ready yet, but we know it’s important to many of you, and we’re working hard to make it a reality. To get started using Google Calendar or Google Docs offline, just click the gear icon at the top right corner of the web app and select the option for offline access.

The question remains: Do you think that Google should offer offline support for other web browsers as well? Let me know in the comments.

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    1. Ken Saunders said on September 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      It’s total ****. Seriously. How many Firefox and IE users are there combined that uses Google’s services. Far more than Chrome users. Of course it’s a push to get people to Chrome, but it’s also a push full a total monopoly on services. Search, docs, email, calendar, and so on.

      They will find themselves in court more than MS ever was.

    2. Leland said on September 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      This just goes to show why Google is being investigated by the government for abusing monopoly power. It also seems to go against the mantra of “do no evil”. I still find their services useful but Google Chrome is just not quite my style. I would like to see these features offered to all browser users the same way Microsoft was forced to offer the browser ballot screen in Windows.

    3. Robert Palmar said on September 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      The lack of offline editing makes this pointless to me.
      As for Chrome only that is typical of Google these days.
      Pissing off users of other browsers is not good marketing.

    4. RMR said on September 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      I use Opera, so that’s no new for me. Gmail sometimes don’t work with Opera, WLmail works with opera but the other services from Live such the calendar, skydrive… doesn’t do.

      That’s is the reason I don’t like Google.

      1. Alucai Vivorvel said on September 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm

        You DO know that Live is from Microsoft, right? The wording of your post makes it look like you believe Live is from Google.

    5. Alucai Vivorvel said on September 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      Well, I use Chrome mostly, anyways. But, I sometimes switch back and forth between Opera and Chrome, so it’s a pain when Docs and GMail won’t work properly. (Usually no problems with the latter, but syncing with Opera’s Mail server is sometimes finicky.)

    6. Adam said on September 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      As a heavy Gmail Offline user on FireFox, this change really angers me. I’ve been stuck using an outdated version of FireFox for months, since Google abandoned Gears. All the time waiting for some movement on the promised HTML5-compatible offline solution. And now, adding insult to injury, Google finally returns with a solution that won’t even work in the newer versions of other browsers? Thanks, Google, for wasting my time. This sucks.

    7. Anonymous said on October 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      This definitely sucks big time! Fortunately it is possible to install Thunderbird to access GMail and thus have an option to read GMail offline…

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