No connection? Here’s Gmail Offline.

New this week from Gmail Labs is “Offline”. As the name suggests, this allows you to access your Gmail when you can’t get connected to the web. It requires installation of Gears, which is a Google plug-in for Firefox and IE that allows them to store certain information so it can be accessed offline.

Initial installation is pretty lengthy (a few MINUTES!), but after the first time you’ll never notice it. You can put a Gmail shortcut on your desktop, which will The result is you can navigate around Gmail as usual, your attachments are still accessible and you can write mail. As soon as you get a connection, messages are automatically dispatched, and your installed mail synchronizes

In your Gmail account, click Settings, then Labs and you should see a link to”Offline”, which will take you through the installation process. It’s an especially useful tool to have on a laptop or netbook, meaning you can write and send messages on a plane or train without using an additional email client like Thunderbird.

With Google’s cloud/browser based apps becoming viable alternatives to traditional computer based programs,  are we seeing the death of the PC as we know it? I don’t think hardware developers will be having sleepless nights yet, as we’ll still need our machines: ‘the cloud’ is all very well, but it so far can’t be accessed through mind waves!

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