Google Gears Released
Google gears allows online applications (like Google Reader) to have offline capability. With Reader you click a ‘go offline’ icon, which downloads your 2000 most recent unread RSS items so that you can read them without Internet connectivity. For Mac users a Firefox plugin is needed while Windows users need to install a program. In either environment, Gears allows users to stay at home in the browser, which is one of the biggest gripes with some of the other offline frameworks.
Currently, no solid well used framework for offline web applications exists. A few frameworks exist, but the arena is largely untouched. As the difference between desktop and web application continue to blur we’ll see other offline frameworks become available, but Gears looks like a solid platform since it provides offline capability regardless of the development language and browser usage. Pushing integration even more TechCrunch writes that “They (Google) are also collaborating with a host of other partners such as Opera, Mozilla, and Adobe, which will to integrate flash and Apollo into their system.” With that kind of support, I’m sure it won’t be long before we hear clients asking for Gears integration.