Web-based applications are one of the exciting new fields of development, but users still face a problem of how to continue working when they're offline.
Yesterday, Google announced Google Gears, an open source technology for creating offline web applications.
The company announced the new browser extension at its Google Developer Day, and is making it available in its early stages so that everyone can test its capabilities and limitations and help improve upon it.
The long-term hope is that Google Gears can help the industry as a whole move toward a single standard for offline capabilities that all developers can use.
Google Gears marks an important step in the evolution of web applications because it addresses a major user concern: availability of data and applications when there’s no Internet connection available, or when a connection is slow or unreliable.
As application developers and users alike want to do more on the web – whether it’s email or CRM or photo editing – enhancements that make the browser environment itself more powerful are increasingly important.
"With Google Gears we're tackling a key limitation of the browser in order to make it a stronger platform for deploying all types of applications and enabling a better user experience in the cloud," says Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. "We believe strongly in the power of the community to stretch this new technology to the limits of what’s possible and ultimately emerge with an open standard that benefits everyone."