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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 30, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

    Gmail goes offline

    Ciara O'Brien

    I’m a big fan of Google labs. The experimental features that pop up from time to time, some useful, others… not so much. The latest addition, offline Gmail, definitely falls into the former category.

    Anyone who uses Gmail has probably experienced a time when the internet connection drops and you’re left loading…still loading…. unable to access any of your mail until you get back online. Once you enable Gmail offline, Gmail downloads a local cache of your mail using Gears and saves it to the local hard drive. .

    Google’s official blog says:

    “As long as you’re connected to the network, that cache is synchronized with Gmail’s servers. When you lose your connection, Gmail automatically switches to offline mode, and uses the data stored on your computer’s hard drive instead of the information sent across the network. You can read messages, star and label them, and do all of the things you’re used to doing while reading your webmail online. Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection. And if you’re on an unreliable or slow connection (like when you’re “borrowing” your neighbor’s wireless), you can choose to use “flaky connection mode,” which is somewhere in between: it uses the local cache as if you were disconnected, but still synchronizes your mail with the server in the background. “

    So. You can’t use it with a shared computer – something Google itself advises you of before you start to synch up your inbox.

    More on this in a few days time, once I’ve had a chance to test it fully.