Google Goes Offline, on Purpose

Google is looking to help web applications get offline, releasing a new Gears open source project. At a demonstration, today it is releasing a version of Google Reader that works offline via a manual sync.

Google Gears is a developer release with new JavaScript APIs for data storage, application caching, and multi-threading features, the company says. In a demo today at headquarters in Mountain View team members said it should work for everything from spotty Internet access to total offline status. They said Google applications like Gmail would be a natural extension, whereas applications like search would not make sense.

Google is looking to start an industry standard and has brought Adobe, Mozilla, and Opera in to support the project. It is looking to outside developers to explore the capabilities of the tools. The announcement comes on the eve of a worldwide developer day, where Google is also announcing a Mashup Editor as well as one million downloads of its Google Web Toolkit.