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Google knocks Gmail offline, in a good way

Zach Epstein
January 28th, 2009 at 10:05 AM

One of the many, many, many problems with webmail can be found right in its name – “web”. Accessing your email using a web interface can definitely be convenient as it’s accessible from any browser you happen upon. At the same time however, if your internet connection drops you’re basically left out in the cold. As opposed to local email management solutions that can store your messages on your machine such as Outlook, you have no way to view old messages and work with what you’ve got. Sure, Gmail supports POP and IMAP but at this point we think it’s safe to say that POP is dead. IMAP works well in some cases but Outlook and Gmail’s IMAP implementation never seem to get along very well thanks to the way Gmail threads conversations. Enter the aptly named new service fresh from Gmal Labs, Offline Gmail. When you enable Offline Gmail, a cache of your messages will be stored locally and will become accessible even when your internet connection drops. You can read, compose, star and do just about anything else you would normally be able to do. When your connection comes back, all of the actions you performed offline will sync with Google’s Gmail servers and you’ll be good to go. Of course you won’t be able to receive new messages while offline, but at least you won’t be left twiddling your thumbs until your cable company finally gets around to fixing your problem. Hit the Labs tab in your Gmail settings to get rolling with Offline Gmail and hit the jump for a video explanation of the service.


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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