Google Launches Gmail Offline

It’s about time. Google has officially rolled out Gmail Offline, allowing users to read and compose mail even while they’re not connected to the internet.

Another gem is coming to us from Google Labs. While Labs has seen its fair share of so-so products (the beer goggles thing?), this one is top of the bill and will probably make it out of Labs and graduate to a full feature pretty quick.

As detailed in the announcement today via the official Gmail blog, once you switch on Gmail Offline (as usual it’s in the labs tab under settings) Gmail uses Google Gears to download a local cache of your mail. When you’re connected to the web, Gmail works the same way it always has by making chit-chat with the Gmail servers. If you drop your connection, Gmail will switch to offline mode and use the information stored in the cache to allow you to keep doing all things Gmail. As soon as your signal comes back, all messaged saved to your outbox will be sent and you’ll be back in business with the Gmail servers.

This is something I’ve been waiting a long time. Working remotely is no picnic and those trans-Atlantic flights are a great time to answer emails and sort my inbox into something that resembles organized chaos.

Offline is being switched on for English UK and English U.S. users. If you don’t see it in Labs straight away, hold your horses and just chill for a bit -- you should see it over the next couple of days. Don’t forget to let us know what you think!

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  • tayb
    Um... I have been able to do this with Windows Live Mail for quite a while now. I can respond to any number of messages and they will all be sent as soon as I re-connect to the internet. This isn't a new feature and certainly not a masterpiece invention from the google labs.

    And just to be sure I wasn't mistaken I disconnected myself, sent several emails, and re-connected so that I could watch them be sent. One was to myself on another email account so I am quite confident that it works.
  • JMcEntegart
    Wasn't suggesting it was a Gmail Labs invention, just something a lot of Gmail users have been waiting for. :)
  • NuclearShadow
    While its good that we can now do this with Gmail its certainly nothing big and no offense to you Jane but its really not news worthy...